Archive for the ‘O’erheard’ Category

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 31, 2011

“Yo, check out Vinny. He’s going

Out to get girls, I think. Look:

He’s even got his teeth


-South Philly gothic, August ’11


Terse Verse O’erheard

August 18, 2011

I. Woman

“I never think when I


My songs. That’s how I wrote,

‘My enchanted kingdom,

My castle in the sea.’

It just came out.”


II. Man

“My imagination is crazy. I dreamt

My head was


My hat was


I was in this room of


– subway passengers simulateously insulting the creative process and making compelling case for me to jump from moving train and seek refuge in the rain-slimed tunnels beneath the city. Aug ’11

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 17, 2011

“I once heard that if you

Cut a vegetable

While listening with a high-powered


You can

Hear it


– Pathmark butcher. Northeast Philly.

Terse Verse O’erheard

May 18, 2011

“I used to have


Pets but they




– wee neighbor’s unprefaced tale of woe relayed to me from his doorway as I passed on my way to work.  Like if Edward Gorey wrote dialogue for Ralph Wiggum.      S. Philly.

Terse Verse O’erheard

May 5, 2011

“My one daughter is 14. She’s a real

Picky eater. She only eats

Like lettuce and canned foods.

She always dresses

In hoochie dresses.

I’ll bring in some


-coworker causing me to fear his approach forevermore, May 2011

Terse Verse O’erheard

October 26, 2010



-coworker denies existence of problem, convinces no one.   Oct. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

October 25, 2010

“So on my Facebook page

He’s all like,

‘Don’t let your mouth

Write a check that your

Fists can’t cash.'”

-subway rider providing the latest developments, Oct. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

October 21, 2010

“So you’re all-Irish, huh?

My friend Jean, she’s really,

Really Irish, too: she’s, like,


-coworker accidentally turning nearby associates’ brains into gray soup, Oct. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 29, 2010

Chorus of Kids: Yeah, with your best shot!

PigWoman: It’s, “Hit me with your best shot!”

Gabriel, get the fuck off that truck unless you want to

Get cracked.

Woman’s Roommate: Quit shouting like that. It’s 7:00

In the morning. The neighbors are going to get a petition

To get us kicked off the block.

PigWoman: I don’t care about no petition. I ain’t

Going nowhere. These neighbors can




Chorus: Hit me with your best shot!

-neighbors chatting outside my window, S. Philly, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 23, 2010

“I like the fruit-on-the-bottom ones.

They’re the best type of


-coworker putting a hruting on the English language as per usual, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 22, 2010


The maggots are




-neighbors’ kids after the maggots they’d plucked from the garbage and arranged atop a shoebox gradually broke ranks. South Philly, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 17, 2010

“What we should do with these women on welfare

Who keep having babies is strap them

Down and have a doctor

Cut out their


-coworker’s modest proposal for making the world a better place by way of limb restraints, forced excisions, and sanity-rending screams, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 9, 2010

“I was just over

At Fresh Grocer.

They got a good sale on

Tilapia fill-its.”

-coworker sloppily fillets French for a change, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 8, 2010

“At Gabriel’s new school they have a Home and School Association

To raise money for the kids. They have meetings at–

STOP! Gabriel, give me the


At this! Shit’s going to be all over

The wall ’til it rains and I don’t

Fucking appreciate it one bit!

So the Home and School thing does like

Pretzel sales. And there’s

Bingo Days.”

– neighbor supporting the youth of America (in the abstract), South Philly, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 7, 2010

“Do not let those two out of the room.

They’re staying in bed. They’re going to sleep.

Suddenly they think they don’t have to sleep

No more. No way. I’ll

Beat them until they sleep.”

– neighbor’s wish for sweet slumber for her two toddlers, S. Philly, Sep. 6, 2010. 11:00 AM

Terse Verse O’erheard

September 3, 2010

“I knew it was a setup. He was backing me

Around the back of the store so he could

Shoot me where no one could see me

And I just panicked and threw my

Cell at him like

phwooo! and

Booked. I was like

wshhht! and got the

Fuck out.”

– drug-dealing neighbor unveiling hot new cell phone feature, S. Philly, Sep. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 31, 2010

“I don’t mess with scrapple ever since my sister

Told me all the stuff they put in there.  I ain’t trying to

Eat no pig tongue, pig tail

And all that.  I’ll eat a hotdog, though.

On hotdog labels they don’t list

All them nasty parts.”

-coworker who yearns for greater opacity in food labeling, Aug. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 30, 2010

“That’s why you don’t fuck around

In the same group of friends.

I mean, that was his

O.G. girlfriend.”

-patron reminding cashier friend about the sanctity of the much-coveted “O.G.” status, The Piazza at Schmidt’s, Aug. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 27, 2010

“I don’t panic. Anything bad happens

I just dial nine eleven:

Amblance servinces.”

– man revealing a masterwork of preparedness outside Jefferson Hospital, Phila., Aug. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 24, 2010


“I could get a guy ten times

Better than you who’d do better

By me than you ever did,

But I don’t, Joe. I stay with you,

Joe. I stay with you. And you wanna know

Why? Because we have three kids and we’ve

Been together five years.


We’ve been together five years.

You don’t just up and leave

Because you think I’m

Controlling you, Joe.

You don’t do that.

You sit me down and say,

‘Bitch, stop controlling me.’

You beat the shit out of me until I stop.

You don’t just


-neighbor making tender peace overtures to estranged boyfriend in middle of South Philly street, Aug. 23, 2010

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 20, 2010

“You kids never tell your mother

How pretty she is. She told me

She put on pearls for Easter

And nobody noticed. Her sister is

The Sweet One

but your mother is

The Pretty One.

Got all dressed up and




-bag lady to dumbstruck school kids on 18 Bus, Philly

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 18, 2010

“Where’s Texas?

Isn’t it the capital

Of Connecticut

Or something?”

-coworker query, Aug. ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 12, 2010

“Me and my wife took the cat

To the SPCA clinic and they said

It had respiratory problems

Or something.

I was like,

‘Uh-uh. No way.

We’re already here. Let’s just get a

Different cat.'”

-alarmingly pragmatic coworker, Aug ’10

Terse Verse O’erheard

August 11, 2010

“I just rinse them in the


It’s not like my clothes get

Dirty every time

I wear them. Really.

What do I get dirty

Besides my


And my


– commuter on 23 Bus, Northbound. Phila.