19: Use One, Get One Free Prompt!
Using synesthesia to create surprise:
Synesthetes are people whose senses cross over one another. They see music as colors, feel tastes as touch, etc. Practice describing a subject with the wrong sense(s); describe a smell in terms of how it sounds, describe a sound in terms of how it tastes, describe a taste in terms of what it looks like. You may need metaphors and similes to get your point across flowers that titter like middle school girls or the smell of diesel as hot as August sunlight. Try creating a few synesthetic descriptions and see where the writing takes you.
Writing with texts:
This is an exercise I use myself when generating new material; I often use texts I’m reading as inspiration for my own work in a variety of ways. This is one of them.
Grab whatever you’re reading at the moment—poetry, literary prose, and good journalism are my favorite textual sources, but even the language in an instruction manual can be fodder for the imagination. Scan back over 1-2 pages of the text looking for interesting words and language. “Interesting” can mean a variety of things: words that are unusual or that you don’t often use in your own writing; words that spark your imagination in some way; words that connect with whatever is on your mind; feel free to use your intuition in making your decisions. Make a list of 5 or more words you feel intrigued by and write a draft of a poem using those words. Make a note of the source you used to give credit if needed/desired.
Karapetkova, Holly, "19: Use One, Get One Free Prompt!" (2022). National Poetry Month 2022. 28.