Take a book you are reading and choose a passage that you like. From that passage, pluck out 25 imagery words that stand out to you. Write something that contains those 25 words.
I did this last fall with my juniors. I wrote while they wrote. We pulled the words from the book we were reading at the time, The Things They Carried.
Here’s what I wrote:
Nalgene, new canteen:
It’s said that our bodies are mostly water,
and water is a symbol of life, of purity,
the deliverer of all things,
so I trek up this loose-rock incline
relying on balance, repetition,
and vanilla cake goo.
Buddha blush in my cheeks,
I stop to drink in the smell of lavender,
tilt my head back to look at the sky,
wonder on the necessity of things.
By dusk, I am home,
fatigued, a killer ache in my legs.
I have not washed the dust off my feet,
because I am ignoring sensibility just now,
like when I was four and used to give my older
brother the silent treatment because it drove him mad.
There’s nothing on TV but premium rubber,
so I fantasize about throwing my shoe at the finger-smudged screen.
Boom. But I don’t.
I click the screen to black, stand up, the burn in my legs
traveling into my spine, up through the top of my head.
My posture’s been rearranged and
I can’t think of anything I can know with certaintly—and that’s the beauty
of this other trek I’m on.