Monday List Poem Prompt

Steve Kowit called a list poem a “creative inventory.” Each word should be carefully chosen and memorable, but it still really is just a list.

For example, here is one I found on the internet:

“What’s in the box under my bed?
eight marbles and a shoestring

a shiny bubble gum ring

two valuable baseball cards

some chocolate candy bars

a letter from my friend”


But ::my:: FAVORITE list poems are magical and strange.


My favorite is Joy Harjo’s She Had Some Horses. Here is an excerpt:

“She had some horses. She had horses who were bodies of sand. She had horses who were maps drawn of blood. She had horses who were skins of ocean water. She had horses who were the blue air of the sky. She had horses who were fur and teeth. She had horses who were clay and would break. She had horses who were splintered red cliff. She had some horses.”


My assignment is to write a list poem of your feelings own feelings. What kind of feelings do you have? What do they look like? What do they eat? Feel free to add images and magic.

Here is my draft:

“I have feelings that sing sad tunes.

Feelings that run from a cup of tea.

I have feelings that are scared

of men with a fondness of books.

I have feelings that move lie acrobats, like smoke.

Feelings that get drunk like bees and sting me when I try to move.”

Email me your poems at

Write a list poem of your feelings!

A Found Poem

One of my dearest friends, Selwyn Jesse Injety, who is my first call whenever I have a bipolar related concern recently posted about his own disorder. I read it and felt soooooo proud of him. I also felt like it was a found poem, meant to be read! So I asked if I could publish it here and He! Said! Yes! Here it is:

Maybe A Streetlight

I have schizoaffective disorder, a delightful mix of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. you experience more and more psychotic symptoms as you labor through your adolescence, symptoms usually dropping in around mid-teen to early 20s…then the medicine, pretty much makes you sedated and lethargic, to a degree…while you try multiple cocktails of meds out over a few years…and struggle with how much of your cognitive ability you have to trade for sanity from psychotic symptoms.  as far as i know, there isn’t a formula for it.  it’s just a sucky math problem you find yourself living in.

i had my first major clinical depressive episode at 17, it lasted many months, while i was afraid to leave my bed for hours…but even though i knew i was not the first to deal with this, i found myself alone.

NOT because people don’t care, but because it’s a silent trauma that is so obviously easy to move past on the surface, coupled with the fact the others were dealing with my fathers trauma his illness had caused .  it is not simple, easy at all.  it is built on trauma, and hurting others even though you don’t mean to .  hurting yourself, in many ways, mentally and emotionally for being so weak as to be Mentally Ill, dealing with the guilt, etc. being a defective person.  none of that is easy to deal with.

it’s a heavy burden to bear.  i’ve been committed, on my own admit, and not, a decent number of times.

i spent my 20s not being honest with my psychiatrists about my symptoms, because i was afraid i would become what i feared the most.

like my father, who was very ill, and schizophrenic.  if his peers, my family, can’t deal with me putting it all out there, i’m sorry (not really, honesty)  but it’s not your right to decide how open i am about my own life and history.. the time for casual silence has long been over.  by any measures, our community and culture have taken the cowards way out, leaving others in need  to be alone while we pretend everything is ok as long as the food is good at our family events.

this has been taken out of the past generations hands, and it is now in our own.  to be available, to not shame, to not be ashamed of people because they were born with a mental illness.  to be there for them.

that is what family is about.

Call 1-800-273-8255. Available 24 hours everyday #SuicideAwareness

i’m 38, and it’s been a wild ride, but i’m still here, and so so grateful to be alive.  i have the love of family, and friends.  but it took a long time to get here, and many hassles.

but you know you want to stick around, however painful it is.  or you wouldn’t be here still.

i suffered in my self imposed sheathe, and so do others.  i’m no sun, but maybe i can be a streetlight?

you can do it too. please, don’t do it on your own.  that era is over.

, Jes