NAPOWRIMO - Day 3. Things Took A Nose Dive.

Today I chose the Poetry School’s writing prompt to write a list poem because I love lists and because the example poem was by Inua Ellams whose work I also really love. If I had more time today I could have easily spent ages on this and I wish I had but in the end I only had 45 minutes which meant that what I’ve trotted out is pretty bad.

I started writing a list poem about… whisper it… ex boyfriends and then realised that made me want to claw my own eyes out with cringe. (Which suggests I’ve matured in my writing content since the age of 21. 21 year old me would be saying “Why would you not want to write about ex boyfriends Jess? What an excellent topic. Everyone will be really interested in your ex boyfriends”)

Anyway, by this point I had very little time left so I just looked out the window and made a list of what I saw.

That’s that ticked off the list of ‘things I’ll do in desperation when I can’t think of anything else to write’.

Didn’t expect it to come so early.

9.15am on a Leicester terraced street

The Man Who Shouts At Cats

is off to work

in the Walkers factory.

Screaming from next door

they’re up early

7 weeks and counting.

The Naughty Boys

are late for school

blazers like capes

already sweaty

kicking a ball against

number 77’s front door

with a vengeance.

One of the cats

that some how

never get killed by 40mph drivers.

New people at 76

she’s clocked

that I spend a lot

of time pacing

talking to myself

she’s still unpacking

it’s been three days.

The grandfather from 68

dragging his hysterical ward

by a hand

looking like he’d rather be

anywhere else.

Red car.

72 puts his bins out

he’s mysterious.

A voice too posh for this street

but has been here 25 years.

Doesn’t go to work.

I’m always assigning him

dodgy careers

he must be involved in


stolen good

human trafficking.

Poor bloke.

Always smiles at me.

Old man in hoody.

Young professionals gag

we once gave

each other

a knowing nod

and now I can’t stop

but hate myself for it.

Last August we chatted

for a good 3 minutes

about Pokemon Go.

Postman who has

a life size cardboard cut out

of Amy Pond

in his living room

is back from work early.

Man from over the junction

awkward but smiley

I think we share

the same social anxiety

talks to me about running

now and again

speaks sweetly to his kids.

Amazon delivery van.

Blue car

sun roof open.


Woman from the corner

with two Labradors.

Still, not as bad

as the family down the hill

who have 8 huskys.

Black car.

Looking for a space.

Probably works in town.

Likes to take advantage

of the free parking

and then walks in.

You can always spot them.


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