Don’t you love a new friend who offers a fresh perspective? Today’s poet, Lemm Sissay, invites us to reconsider the value of things we typically dismiss like a leaky boat or yesterday’s toast. His poem is creative and refreshing and had me laughing out loud the first time I heard it. Try listening to the poem here first and then reading it.
Some Things I Like
I like wrecks, I like ex-junkies,
I like flunks and ex-flunkies,
I like the way the career-less career,
I like flat beer,
I like people who tell half stories and forget the rest,
I like people who make doodles in important written tests,
I like being late. I like fate. I like the way teeth grate,
I like laceless shoes cordless blues,
I like the one-bar blues,
I like buttonless coats and leaky boats,
I like rubbish tips and bitten lips,
I like yesterday’s toast,
I like cold tea, I like reality,
I like ashtrays, I write and like crap plays.
I like curtains that don’t quite shut,
I like bread knives that don’t quite cut,
I like rips in blue jeans,
I like people who can’t say what they mean,
I like spiders with no legs, pencils with no lead,
Ants with no heads, worms that are half dead.
I like holes, I like coffee cold. I like creases in neat folds.
I like signs that just don’t know where they’re going,
I like angry poems,
I like the way you can’t pin down the sea.
Which lines in the poem struck you?
What are some things you like or value that many others do not? For me, it’s winter. I like winter with its short days and cold temperatures. What about you?
Sissay ends his poem with a period instead of a question mark. It is a directive to the reader to “See.” This makes me think of the poet William Carlos Williams who carried a notepad in which he listed “Things I noticed today that I’ve missed until today” as a way of staying present and connecting with the world.
“Some Things I Like” by Lemn Sissay from Listener, 2009. Copyrighted material used for educational or therapeutic purposes.