Exercise 1: Describe the place you select, using your five senses. The only stipulation is that you write your descriptions using one sense at a time. I want you to describe the place using sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, but you will be writing five separate descriptions.
Convenience Mart at Midnight
1. Sad souls meandering the aisles
2. Woman in tattered blue bathrobe with Sexy Queen emblazoned across her back.
3. Jittery cashier watching the immovable hands of the clock.
4. Rows of processed food, cataloging sweet and savory tastes.
5. Neon lights harsh against the black of night.
1. Jingle of bells signal the opening of the door.
2. Slurred giggles of stumbling sorority girls.
3. Mumbles of erratic homeless person hanging outside of the door.
4. Shuffle and clink of aimless coins pushed across a dirty counter.
5. The rip and crackle of a cellophane potato chip bag.
1. Stale coffee burning on the pot’s hot pad.
2. Cigarettes wafting from pores and clothes of the truck driver.
3. Strong smell of oil and gas floating in a cloud around the man in leather.
4. Fresh doughnuts, sugared and doughy trucked across the dingy white floor.
5. Opening of bathroom door, overflowed toilet leaking out fetid waste.
1. Salty peanut butter mingling with cardboard crackers
2. Frozen red slurpy freezing my throat and stomach, simultaneously stabbing my forehead.
3. Plastic tasting sandwiches, not revealing promised contents.
4. Metal tasting blood from a cut lip.
5. Salty tears and bitter black mascara running into sad lips of broken hearts.
1. The rush of freezer air hitting face and chest/
2. Checking firmness of the waxy apples in the lone fruit basket.
3. Bumpy pork rinds popped between yellow teeth.
4. Jagged beer bottle cap twisted off.
5. Tickle of shavings beneath fingers scratching off lottery boxes.
Exercise 2: Write the poem using any form you choose. I want you to write at least fifteen lines. That should be enough space to show me this place. (Look below to see how I used the first exercise to write my poem. I wrote it in trochaic hexameter.)
Conveniently Marketing at Midnight
Sliding into petri existence, essences gather
‘Round refined concoctions. Bumpy pork rinds gobbled.
Greeks and Geeks commingle, slurping slurpies. Laughter
Tickles scratched-off shavings. Drunkards open bottles.
Transient trucker’s coin collection paid to captive,
Checked-out clerk. Across the endless bins of candy
Lie the broken hearted, women drinking massive
Cups of sadness. Dreams forgotten, torn and bandied.
People brought together, huddled under neon
Lighting. Midnight dons its formal wear. Convenient
Heroes summoned, called to temple. Lone pantheon
Left ajar. Eclectic souls do roam; those genius
Wasters drift the aisles. No night or time can hinder
Aimless quests. The waning dark is barely lingering.
Morning claims its right. The creatures know to scatter
Conveniently Marketing at Midnight
1. Slid/ing into petri ex/ist/ence, es/sences gath/er a
2. ‘Round re/fined con/coc/tions. Bump/y pork rinds gob/bled. b
3. Greeks and Geeks com/min/gle, slurp/ing slurp/ies. Laugh/ter a
4. Tick/les scratched-off shav/ings. Drunk/ards o/pen bot/tles. b
5. Tran/sient truck/er’s coin col/lec/tion paid to cap/tive, c
6. Checked-out clerk. A/cross the end/less bins of can/dy d
7. Lie the brok/en heart/ed, wom/en drink/ing mas/sive c
8. Cups of sad/ness. Dreams for/got/ten, torn and ban/died. d
9. Peo/ple brought to/geth/er, hud/dled un/der ne/on e
10. Light/ing. Mid/night dons its for/mal wear. Con/ven/ient f
11. He/roes sum/moned, called to tem/ple. Lone pan/the/on e
12. Left a/jar. Ec/lec/tic souls do roam; Those gen/ius f
13. Wast/ers drift the aisles. No night or time can hin/der g
14. Aim/less quests. The wan/ing dark is bare/ly lin/gering. g
15. Morn/ing claims its right. The crea/tures know to scat/ter a
Exercise 3: Complete the metaphors and similes. (My answers are in italic.)
· Trina kissed like a hesitant child.
· I walked into that bar like tilt-a-whirl.
· Like a jittery rabbit, I ran from the house.
· Jeff was as crazy as a delusional lover.
· His hair is like sheep curls.
· Her arms are two limp noodles.
· His teeth are interrogation lights.
· She snores like repeatedly started car.
· Writing a simile is like leaking out brain juice.
· A metaphor is a temperate day in July.
Assignment: Choose five of the following ten objects, and write a list containing as many images as you can think of for each object. Complete your lists in no more than five minutes. The time limit is there to keep you moving through each of your lists. If you are allowed too much time to think about what you should write, the responses often seem stiff and lifeless. Be spontaneous with your responses, and you will create some wonderful surprises.
- A scoop of strawberry ice cream
– mounds of sweetness
– temptation to tongue, waistline’s folly
– cold silk, tickle my belly
- A car
– jalopy joy ride
– vibrating freedom
– hot leather searing my skin
- A cat
– indifferent friend
– supple floor mat
– talons sharpening my flesh
- A knife
– flash of steel
– lifeless weapon cutting into life
– wooden handle smooth and firm in my hand
- A pair of earrings
– trinkets of love
– glittery ornaments
– twin embellishments
- A necktie
– neck noose
– man’s dangling humor
– peppered with stain remnants of meals’ gone-by.
- A banana
– curved, yellow-spotted fruit
– hard, sweet meat
– bread’s clandestine ingredient
- A ball
– childhood bouncing
– summer field fun tossed
– squeeze of victory, caught in a glove
- A drinking glass
– razor thin glass cutting my lip
– quench goblet
– liquid leecher of dreams
- A telephone
– incessant demand
– addictive device
– life line to distant loves