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For today’s prompt, write a what he said and/or what she said poem. Maybe he or she said a rumor; maybe he or she gave directions; or maybe he or she said something that made absolutely no sense at all. I don’t know what they said; rather, each poet is tasked with revealing that knowledge.

I jotted some phrases and they pointed the idea nobody records words anymore, unless it’s in social media. Nobody journals or keeps diaries. The modern world almost seems driven by hearsay. I began with a derivation of the old “She sells se shells by the se shore,” phrase and ran from there. The title comes from a phrase a baseball umpire from my teens used to reply to our disputes over balls and strikes. Words are meaningless. “Put it down on paper!” ended the argument. If you continued, you were gone from the game.

Put it down on paper

They said she said she sells hair gels by the sea shore
They said she said her prices are too high
If she really does sell well, if her proposition is legitimate and above board
Why rely on rumor?
Why not tell the world herself?

Why can’t she say what she is really up to these days?
Hearsay and supposition, gossip and innuendo
Why do we have to query people we don’t really know, to peek into
The life of some woman we thought we once loved
But we’re not sure we could pick out of a lineup anymore?
Behind the backtalk, faceless confrontation

You can’t trust what anyone says about someone else’s words, anyway
If she really wants to advertise to old friends, to old lovers
Put it in writing, put it down on paper
Or at least post it to Facebook


Poem number two


I penned this at Starbucks this morning while waiting for a writers group to start.

Her words are a wall, empty and stacked
Her vocal chords oppressive twangs of plucked, out of tune guitar strings
Her teeth clack and crunch the Graham Cracker air
A Play-Dough factory of futility
I can’t reach out and I can’t run
Her lipstick full of luscious filth
She accuses and blames, me
A vice principal of commitment
Her ears are so dainty, and her breast
So scarred, battles of her own regard
She flails and parries, but never listens, never loves
What I say