Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Monday, June 6, 2016

Writing Exercise - The List Poem

 By Ashley Lister

One of my favourite poetic standbys is the list poem. Because, in real life, I’m a serial list-writer, I find it easy to slip into the mindset of writing lists. Maybe it's something to do with having the name 'Lister'?

This is from a poem I wrote a few years back entitled ‘A List of Things I Think About During WOFT Meetings’. It will be noted that the word WOFT is an acronym for Waste Of F*****g Time.

Have I muted my mobile?
Is my mouth fixed in a smile?
Can I slyly check my watch?
Dare I scratch my itchy crotch?
Can I count the ceiling tiles?
Will all this sitting give me piles?

I’ve written mine rhyming couplets, although that’s just personal preference. These can work in blank verse or with a rhyming structure behind them. What sort of lists would be appropriate for an erotic poem? How about a list of things I think about whilst blindfolded? What about a list of things I think about when you’re away? Or  list of things I should have said? This is how ‘A List of Things I Think About During WOFT Meetings’ continues:

The chair’s a witless pseud pretender
Who brings a typo-plagued agenda
He’s followed by his office flunkies
A troop of trite arse-kissing monkeys
Collective covens then collude
Whilst fat ones focus on free food
And everyone gets their free drink
They’re here to eat and chat – not think
And I stare at my blank notepad
And tell myself it’s not that bad
Whilst letting my self-esteem diminish
And wond’ring: “When will this crap finish?”
Should I know that woman’s name?
Dare I check my watch again?
How long ago did this shit start?
How long can I hold in this fart?

As always, I look forward to seeing your poems in the comments box below.


  1. And I wonder how long you can keep up these couplets!

  2. I think that poem goes on for a couple of pages ;-)

  3. 10 June 2016

    Best Laid Plans
    By Lisabet Sarai

    A book of nudes,
    a tube of lube,
    and Thou,
    beside me writhing
    on the waterbed;
    coiled rope to bind
    your hands above
    your head;
    tooled leather cuffs
    to hold your thighs agape;
    a springy crop
    to paint your ivory flesh
    a vivid red; a
    roll of bondage tape
    for quick improvisation.

    Every top
    will need a blindfold
    and well-whetted knife
    to slice through bonds
    and save his darling's life
    or draw her blood;
    perhaps I'll add
    a brand
    to set my mark
    upon your ass
    in fire:
    a sadist's dream,
    the acme of desire.

    By searing wax
    your palest flesh
    is kissed;
    a ginger butt plug's
    burning bulk intrudes...
    So many implements!
    I need a list
    to plot out
    our erotic interludes.

    1. This one works really well. There are so many cheeky rhymes in the text, all of which is balanced against a generous list that leaves little to the imagination. Lovely work x

    2. "Cheeky"! That is the perfect description for this poem. In more ways than one! Thanks, Ash!

  4. ALSO.... I realize that one of my favorite poems from my youth is also a List Poem. I remember learning this for "recitation" in my junior high English class. (I suspect they don't do this in schools any more. What a pity!)

    By Christopher Morley

    WHY is it that the poet tells
    So little of the sense of smell?
    These are the odors I love well:

    The smell of coffee freshly ground;
    Or rich plum pudding, holly crowned;
    Or onions fried and deeply browned.

    The fragrance of a fumy pipe;
    The smell of apples, newly ripe;
    And printer's ink on leaden type.

    Woods by moonlight in September
    Breathe most sweet, and I remember
    Many a smoky camp-fire ember.

    Camphor, turpentine, and tea,
    The balsam of a Christmas tree,
    These are whiffs of gramarye. . .
    A ship smells best of all to me!

    1. I adore Christopher Morley's work. There is so much wisdom in this piece, and it's all done with rhyme and rhythm. Thanks for reminding me of an old favourite.


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