IMPROMPTU #12: Write a List Poem

Today is a good day! My poem "This Little Girl Goes to Burning Man" was chosen as runner-up for the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize and you can read it over here in The Puritan. The judge was Suzanne Buffam, and my mind is still boggling over that because I remember listening to her read at the Green College Coach House at UBC when I was a new MFA, and thinking how I wanted to be that kinda poet. 

So it seems only fitting that today's prompt is inspired by Suzanne Buffam. I've always been a big fan of list poems, and Suzanne's list poems in A Pillow Book are just about my favourite thing. Here's one:


Random Link Clicker.
Royal Bath Taker.
Receiver of Foot Rubs and Praise.
Chief Executive Napper.
Undersecretary of Trivial Pursuits.
Jester to Her Empirical Majesty of Unverifiable Facts.
Procurer of Unnecessary Hats.
Empress of Ice Cream.
Cloud-Development Supervisor.
Inspector General of Minor Slights.
Editorial Dictator-in-Residence.
Bubble Blower to the Stars.

Some of my other favourite list poems from the book are "Over-Eager", "Beautiful Names for Hideous Things", and "Moustaches A-Z". 

Write a list poem. It could be a to-do list, a shopping list, a bucket list, a list of grievances.

Read more list poems from A Pillow Book over here on the Poetry Foundation. Read my friend Joelle Barron's collection of list poems, "iPhone Notes" here.

I did this exercise in a creative writing class I was teaching earlier this year, and one of my 9-year-old students wrote a poem inspired by the above poem, "Dream Jobs." Just for fun, I'd like to share it here. I've preserved her original punctuation, capitalization, grammar, etc.:


Ukulele player
Piano player
Drum player
Horse rider
Awesome reader player
Awesome writer
A baby-sitter
Basketball player
A artist

I don't know about you, but I identify with just about all of those. Which actually just reminded me this very second that last night I had a dream I was back in high school playing basketball in gym class. HOW WEIRD IS THAT. This universe, yo.