I love lists.
I also love list poems.
When I was in second year at UBC, I took this general Creative Writing course you have to take to get into the program in third year. It was a really huge class, but on Fridays we met in smaller tutorial groups, and those groups were divided into even smaller workshop groups. Each person in the group got to submit one time in one genre and have their piece workshopped.
It was a pretty crappy system, and they don't do it that way anymore. All I really remember about that class is that the TA had badass John Fleuvog boots, and I vowed that one day I would be a Master's student TA at UBC that wore badass John Fleuvog boots (got the degree, was a TA, still don't have the boots).
Anyway, my one submission for the class was a found poem I wrote by taking one line from every page of my journal from that year (2009). I had a lot going on at the time; I was basically having a nervous breakdown, almost dropped out of school, dated a guy who was, like, 9 years older than me, and on and on. So it made a pretty interesting poem.
I just remember being struck by how compelling it was to see this huge swath of my life laid out like that.
A couple years later at the end of my undergrad, a poet came to speak at the Green College coach house. I can't for the life of me remember her name, which is horrible, and not at all a testament to her talent.
She read all these list poems, and they were hilarious. So simple but brilliant. Again, I was struck by the power of the list.
Recently, I was writing something on the notes app of my iPhone. It's the first/only smartphone I've ever had, so there are notes in there going back to 2012. I remembered that old list poem, and I thought it would be neat to make another out of my iPhone notes.
I don't know if you can really call it a poem. I mean, I guess you can call anything a poem, if you want to.
Some of them are utilitarian, like grocery lists. Some are ideas for poems. The funniest ones are the ones where I was clearly having a covert conversation with someone in a public place. Sometimes a very long time went by before I used the app again.
I've preserved the original spelling/capitalization/format of the notes. None have been omitted.
I hope you enjoy!
December 15, 2012, 10:37 AM
Foucault Day passion quote
December 15, 2012, 3:24 PM
Erin’s Bird Day
- Nacho things
- Sangria things
- Plastic cups
December 16, 2012, 9:53 PM
December 19, 2012, 2:42 PM
And did you know that you are
everything in the world to me?
Everything that has ever felt the sun
or touched the air.
What has felt the sun and touched
the air is you.
January 4, 2013, 10:50 PM
Iceland parliament elves
January 9, 2013, 6:47 PM
Swimming to Cambodia
January 11, 2013, 2:53 AM
Master cleanse monologue. With
some sort of choral aspect.
January 16, 2013, 4:58 PM
A reader’s manifesto
January 19, 2013, 11:42 PM
January 23, 2013, 2:19 PM
- As much writing as possible
- Car oil change
- Find necklace!
- Find keys?
- Go to Denman and get veggie things
- for the Russells
- Panne Rizzo for Janae
January 26, 2013, 12:05 AM
January 26, 2013, 2:35 PM
- Filled pasta
January 29, 2013, 12:13 AM
Our combined fiction
Play: girl singing along loudly to ipod
Drunk organ player at a small town
January 29, 2013, 4:15 PM
Tea flower drawings (bergamot,
chamomile) framed. Or inks.
*Editor's note: I never did this
February 5, 2013, 6:41 PM
Play that takes place in the organ
booth of a hockey rink in a small
*Editor's note: I did write this play.
Play that takes place in a food court.
*Editor's note: I did not write this one.
February 7, 2013, 1:34 PM
The staple singers
February 7, 2013, 5:46 PM
*Editor's note: I still haven't seen this
February 7, 2013, 7:35 PM
- Green onion
- Korean spice
February 8, 2013, 12:44 PM
105.7 radio 2 classical
February 11, 2013, 2:59 PM
Back to bed soon? Wink wink, nudge
February 12, 2013, 2:07 AM
Upstairs in your room, but you’re not
here, it’s just me and your family.
Clean the snot off your Nasonex and
use it for my own allergy clogged
nostrils. Listen to your parents do
their parents-in-bed talk, and your
little brother with the electric
February 23, 2013, 2:33 PM
345 west 13th
*Editor's note: The Manor Guest House in Vancouver.
February 27, 2013, 2:38 PM
Story where you keep finding out that
things are worse and worse. Like
Moe with the lie detector.
February 28, 2013, 11: 34 AM
Then you can tell me goodbye betty
February 28, 2013, 2:03 PM
March 2, 2013, 3:19 PM
- 2 glasses
- 2 mugs
- 2 plates
- 2 bowls
- Stuff to make tea
- Big fruit bowl
- Laundry hamper
March 6, 2013, 11:50 PM
March 16, 2013, 2:36 PM
110-12020 first ave
*Editor's note: Steveston Tattoo Company
March 29, 2013, 12:22 PM
Socks + underwear for N
April 8, 2013, 12:08 AM
Devil’s in the Deets
An expression; your favourite, though
It went misused.
Your purple bruised tongue
Dancing naked in the rain
April 9, 2013, 12:39 AM
Kill your rapist
Cycle of poems about Borges’s
April 9, 2013, 1:29 AM
It’s cold in here without you
April 9, 2013, 12:07 PM
April 10, 2013, 2:46 PM
Jasmine in a blue plastic cup cranes
its many necks toward the sun
Angles its many necks
Tilts its many necks/chins
April 11, 2013, 1:50 PM
Sex and punishment
April 13, 2013, 8:53 PM
MOTHERFUCKING TEA LIST
French Earl Grey: 11.35
Morning dew: 23.25
Soma blend: 11.20
Cola licorice: 6.70
Sikkim Temi: 19.00
Green house blend: 13.55
April 14, 2013, 10:38 PM
Nw field with jack, ex shows up for
no reason whatsoever.
April 14, 2013, 10:39 PM
- Call Telus-done
- Email Adam-done
- Do taxes-done
- Send in resume-done
- Oil change-sort of done
- Buy Lush stuff-done
- Figure out about fixing car
April 14, 2013, 10:44 PM
Push yourself cockeyed up the ice
That ice, so strangely layered.
Shuffling cockeyed up the ice,
That ice, so strangely layered.
Sliding all the rocks back when the
game is over, little round cows
herded by a broom.
April 16, 2013, 10:34 AM
Set of poems
From the perspective of a
April 18, 2013, 10:04 PM
Gout is crystals in the bone
April 18, 2013, 10:13 PM
Spring is here like going back in time
Crocuses that came and went by
february are just coming up in May.
April 19, 2013, 12:01 AM
I have this ring with your first initial on
And sometimes I just have to take it
off for a while
And you don’t say anything because I
have many rings, and sometimes I
wear different ones, and this ring with
your initial was ten dollars and I
bought it myself. So you don’t take
offence. You pretend not to take
offence. But what about a wedding
band? What if sometimes I just want
it off? My father hasn’t worn his in
years. I’ve never seen him wear it. I’m
22 and I have never seen him wear it.
Maybe you could have it, once day.
April 19, 2013, 12:08 AM
I will not be having sex with you tonight
Because I’m tired and I have gut rot.
And I’m mad at you for no reason.
April 21, 2013, 6:23 PM
April 25, 2013, 12:46 AM
April 25, 2013, 1:41 AM
It was more fun earlier. I hate that
guy. He is a raging homophobe. Plus
he’s a raging douche also.
You do not seem happy at all.
Home? You are basically morose.
April 25, 2013, 4:18 PM
April 29, 2013, 8:51 PM
Nick johnny cash
April 30, 2013, 12:50 PM
May 4, 2013, 6:08 PM
What is the juice
That comes out of a body
May 4, 2013, 6:15 PM
John Prine I Spite of Ourselves
May 9, 2013, 1:11 PM
Unfurl, you fiddlehead
In the darkened hall
May 21, 2013, 11:28 PM
And later when you were on top of
I wished to see a little evil in you
And maybe I did
I watched Room 237
May 23, 2013, 10:46 AM
Throwing away the pit seems wrong;
it isthe thibg I have worked to unearth
May 30, 2013, 6:51 AM
Sam Desharnais, I do! Used it last
year, it was awesome!! Buy two
lemons and some fresh rosemary.
Boil two litres of water and pour them
over the cut up lemons and rosemary,
and leave them soaking in the water
overnight (in the fridge). Then put in
a spray bottle, and spray down the
dogs when they go out. Use it on
humans, too, it cuts down on
Mosquitos, too! Worked like a charm
May 20, 2013, 10:17 AM
- Clean bathroom
- Finish p
June 10, 2013, 9:59 PM
July 4, 2013, 11:58 AM
Mckenzie portage road
Fire road 26 5 milesup
Sun Valley lodge on right
First driveway on right
August 22, 2013, 6:45 PM
1750 west 13th
*Editor's note: I can't for the life of me remember the significance of this.
September 4, 2013, 6:45 PM
*Editor's note: This was my 23rd birthday. No idea the significance of the number/time.
September 12, 2013, 10:45 AM
- Powdered sugar
- Whipping cream
- Baking soda
September 21, 2013, 10:14 AM
5350 byrne road
*Editor's note: The address of a self-storage place in Burnaby.
October 1, 2013, 12:59 PM
5th floor blair 230 tomorrow howe
*Editor's note: I think this was a job interview.
October 5, 2013, 6:42 PM
In which I imagine that I was Glen
Gould’s lover, and I traveled across
the country with him
October 10, 2013, 7:50 PM
A convenient place to dream about
October 16, 2013, 10:16 PM
Poem about brandon and the bird
October 30, 2013, 12:47 AM
A Village After Dark by kazoo ishiguru
Something quite compelling and
creepy about it. Everything is normal
yet not quite right at the same time.
It starts really slowly. Too top heavy
December 8, 2013, 6:02 PM
- 1 can tomatoes
- 1 pack feef
- Parmesan cheese
- Romaine lettuce
- Caesar dressing
- Loaf french bread
- Tin foil
- Apple juice
December 26, 2013, 4:48 PM
Monty hall problem
March 5, 2014, 1:36 PM
March 5, 2014, 1:48 PM
Just because you love someone
doesn’t mean they can make you
Love is not always enough.
March 15, 2014, 2:53 PM
- Treats for e and t
May 5, 2014, 9:40 PM
The mysterious language of children
calling in the distance.
August 4, 2014, 1:53 PM
At some point the waves that split the
lake in two behind your father’s boat
will no longer be a rooster tail
This is for remembering that once you
were small enough to fit in my arms
and kiss my face
October 7, 2014, 7:35 PM
Have we ever had a female mayor?
*Editor's note: This note and the one that follows are from a town council meeting. I was recording whether or not I would vote candidates into office. The last three were vying for Mayor. Boring Guy won.
October 7, 2014, 8:00 PM
[redacted]-(heart eyes emoji)
[redacted]-(dead face emoji) (skull emoji)
[redacted]-(four sleeping face emoji)
[redacted]-(four thumbs up emoji and a happy cat face)
[redacted]-(peace sign emoji) ? kinda insincere
[redacted]-feminist??? (teeth emoji)
[redacted]-glad he’s not my grandpa (poop emoji)
[redacted]-sick tatts (sunglasses emoji) street cred??
[redacted]-(four purple heart emoji) yes girl
[redacted]-(four snoozing emoji) apparently thinks
mill is going to reopen?? Dunno i
think i was asleep
[redacted]-clearly thinks highly
of himself. Probably lesser of
[redacted]-wish he wasn’t skeezy
cause i actually liked him the best.
October 8, 2014, 8:02 PM
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla
400 degrees til custard is set
October 19, 2014, 1:46 PM
My mother lost too much of herself to
October 19, 2014, 2:24 PM
After a long day of being a feminist
March 23, 2015, 11:59 PM
March 24, 2015, 12:11 AM
Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar
Wao by Junot Diaz
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan