Issue 158, Spring-Summer 2001
Describe a scene from your daily life.
The sky has come down around us like a shroud.
Use plain language.
It is dark. An old man comes toward me.
He is smoking—no—it is cold out and that is his breath.
He walks a big dog.
Eliminate all adjectives.
Slowly he coughs into his sleeve.
What could be the reason for my fear
now that he is just a man with a dog?
Think of yourself as a reporter.
I am standing at the intersection of Blankity and Blank.
The air loses its temperature.
I have often wished for someone to attack me.
Each time the character wishes, hopes, dreams, imagines,
it robs the action.
Closing in on me now, his white breath, and a girl
has appeared on the outskirts of my eye.
Do not rely on odd syntax.
Her shoes look like small puppies
helpless at her feet.
Remember: overusing simile and metaphor
weakens the prose.
While the man looks smack inside my face, the seconds
flee to their respective minutes. Is it possible,
I mean to say, that you are making a mistake
and I am not the woman you despise?
Speak with authority.
Yesterday on my way home from school
a bat fell out of the sky.
Try to think of an emotion that represents your world.
Often I become sick in social situations.
And also when I am alone.