This prompt is taken from “Five easy pieces” in The Practice of Poetry.
Choose someone from your event. It can be you, someone you’ve already written about–including the black sheep–or someone new. It can be an imagined someone, but take time to get to know him or her well. Number your page 1-5, and then follow these steps.
- Describe the person’s hands.
- Describe what the person’s doing with their hands.
- Use a metaphor to describe the place of your event.
- Write what you would want to ask the person, based their hands and what they’re doing (1 & 2).
- The person looks up, or notices you, and answers in a way that reveals they heard only part of what you asked.
That’s a start. Feel free to riff on it, expand it, mix it up, make it yours.
Really, my favorite lines didn’t make it into yesterday’s poem. I know they’re a little snarky, but I think that’s what I liked about them:
Find a more delicate dosimeter,
a better bullshit meter.
Now, for my favorite line that’s still in the poem:
listen closer than a river stone to water
What’s your favorite line from the poem you wrote yesterday?