Writing Exercise

by | February 6, 2014 | Writing Exercise | 3 comments

 By Ashley Lister

 In the drinking-well
(Which the plumber built her)
Aunt Eliza fell,
We must buy a filter.

Col D Streamer,
Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes

The original Ruthless Rhymes (Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes or check out the ruthless
rhymes web page) were written by Col D Streamer, pen name of Harry Graham.
These were published in the early 1900s at a time when dark and sinister humour
was prevalent in the pages of published works. Graham is also the name most
commonly associated with the poetry phenomena of Little Willies. Little Willies
are poems that catalogue the dark catastrophes and grim activities surrounding
the eponymous Little Willie.

Little Willie from his mirror
Sucked the mercury all off,
Thinking, in his childish error,
It would cure his whooping-cough.

At the funeral, Willie’s mother
Smartly said to Mrs. Brown,
”T was a chilly day for William
When the mercury went down.”

Samuel Reynolds Hole
A Little Tour in America

Poetry pages soon became replete with Little Willies,
produced by a broad variety of authors and written to varying degrees of
success. These set a precedent that paved the way for the line drawings and memorable
couplets of Edward Gorey with works such as his delightfully deviant Gashlycrumb Tinies.

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs
B is for Basil assaulted by bears…

Edward Gorey
Gashlycrumb Tinies

What does any of this have to do with writing erotica? Well,
that’s your exercise for this month. Produce quatrains or couplets that are
delightfully deviant. Write something that blunders into rhyme and tells a cold
and brutal story in the shortest and most simplistic manner. Dare to be vulgar
and write something about little willies.

They climbed the hilltop just to have sex
Did the nursery rhyme Jackie and Jilly
But she pushed him down and made him her ex
Disappointed by his little willy.

I won’t write any more here this month. I’ll simply end by asking
you to share your little willies in the comments box below.

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Oh my! Time to put on my thinking cap.

    Maybe I'll do something involving Independent Body Parts. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, I guess you're not subscribed to the Writers list…)

  2. Lisabet Sarai

    Up Lizzie's blouse crept Willy's hand
    In quest of boobies soft and hilly
    Liz pulled out her hatchet and
    That hand was all she left of Willy.

    (I can hear the groans echoing through the Internet…!)

  3. Ashley R Lister

    I am impressed with this one. You've taken the high ground and not gone for the obvious little willy puns.

    Excellent as always.

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