Hello?: Telephone Poems

After reading Donna Masini’s short but multi-layered/ overheard conversation ‘telephone poem’, Woman On Cell Phone Dragging an Empty Cart Through Washington Square Park, students created their own phone poems and were encouraged to record them on their cell phones and offer the poems up to others for listening.

Lesson Note: What do the sounds of the passing of strangers in urban settings tell us? Do we wonder, as they pass us, where they might be headed? What they might be thinking? Do we record their differences and similarities? ‘… strangers — often people who would never have contact outside of this [experience] — can share an intimate moment.’-Photographer, Richard Renaldi, Touching Strangers.

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period One

Jaylene A.

‘Okay, so they died?’ the person walking ahead
of me says.
‘That’s crazy, they were so young.’ I don’t want the
person to think I’m following them but I have
to go that way.
‘I understand that but I still care!’ The person crosses
the same street as I need to.
‘Yea, they were murdered.’ I hope the person is

Ani Alpert

Right. So, he says I’ll have the blueberry sauce.
Yeah-blueberry sauce. I know who eats blueberry sauce. I know who eats blueberry sauce
on their ice cream.
So we’re all looking at him like what are you doing?
Why? Oh, well I’ve been out with him before
and he…he just seems like a vanilla ice cream
kinda guy
So anyways,
Blueberry sauce. so we all order and eat
He’s finishing the whole thing
and we’re still all confused and so I ask him ‘Why blueberry sauce?’
and he says-

Mr. Telle, 9th Grade
Period Five

Another One Rides The Bus
Cecelia T.

ABout 20 passengers
enough board so I must stand
One woman sits across from me
speaking in fluent tongue
A tongue sh acts like no one can hear
and she’s not mistaken for I cannot understand
and therefore will not hear
but I can see
see the conflict in your eyes
see the man who sits towards the back
who can hear and who sudden movements suggest so
obviously, you care because as I came on the bus
at 7:00 this morning you were scared
sacred that I would know.

Danielle M.

How are the kids doing? Oh…well that’s not too good.
Is the feeling better? That’s great. And Joey? That’s nice,
that’s nice. You know–oh, what did you say? Mm-hmm.
Yes, little Joey eats crayon often, don’t mind him. Yes…
Yes…as long as Spongebob is on she won’t have a
tantrum. Funny, I know, kids these days…Whatever
happened to only watching cartoons on Saturday mornings?
Oh yeah…you were probably born after that time.
anywayt…make sure to water the Venus Flytrap, and id
you feed the cat? Thank you…yes…I know…it is late.
I’m almost there– two more stops to go. Thanks for
babysitting dear, you know how much I depend on you.

The Final Act
Delaiah S.

Darius? No. Dare he is. That performance. Dare he is.
The one-man monologue. it was such a …such …ah, what the word?
Oh yeah! It was edgy! It was profound! I’m tellin ya, Bernard, the kid’s
got talent. Talent spill into New York but three only..hah?
What’s it about? Oh yeah! The kid was acting as some magician and somehow
overthrow Parliament. Labeled him a vigilante because he sparked
a revolution and brought attention to the poorly structured government.
I’m telling ya, it was like watching The Prestige. And huh? You what?
He’s where? The final who? the Final Act? But you said he…then who
was the kid who performed? Wait a minute. Who is this? Hello?



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.