• Jørn Earl Otte

April 2nd -- Poem #2

In honor of National Poetry Month, I give you my second poem, which is about lists. Enjoy.

To do

My favorite thing to do

it seems is to make lists of my favorite things

to do

or of the minor things that must be done

but no matter the value of the items

on the list

it is the list


that brings me delicious joy

on the cold white electric paper, I have

traveled the ripe world climbed mountains swam with dolphins

been to every DisneyLandWorldExperience

and of course humbly won multiple literary awards

I also have to make sure the trash is collected

the blue living room carpet replaced

the light fixtures purchased

the lawn mowed

then I must

learn how to play the piano

learn a mysterious new language

learn an old poem by heart

it is the list that makes it all real

not just a courageous bright green painful thought in my head

it is also the list that makes it cowardly and yellow and small

because it is not difficult to write it down

it is red hot sweat-stained blood-stained painful

to have been strong enough to have a list that has had things

scratched off

but I suppose in the end it is also the list that mocks what has rudely not been done

and shames me into thinking that

I need to make a new list

and get things done


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