(Denise Duhamel, from “Kinky”) Notice not only how imagistic these examples are, but how specific the details are, as well.
And in “Kinky,” Denise Duhamel attends to the small details of a Barbie doll—“the small opening under her chin” while Robert Evory in “Garlic” brings our eye to the meeting of the delicate paper of a garlic clove and a fingernail.
Under the arch of heaven The fisherman travels smoothly in his blue skiff.
(Georg Trakl, from “The Sun,” translated by Robert Bly and James Wright) They decide to exchange heads.
(Aimee Nezhukumatathil, from “Gulabjamoon Jar”) I loved him most when he came home from work, his fingers still curled from fitting pipe, his denim shirt ringed with sweat and smelling of salt, the drying weeds of the ocean.
(Dorianne Laux, from “The Shipfitter’s Wife”) On things asleep: No balm : A kingdom of stinks and sighs, Fetor of cockroaches, dead fish, petroleum, Worse than castoreum of mink or weasel, Saliva dripping from warm microphones, Agony of crucifixion on barstools.
With the text message, its purpose is its one-time use of sharing information: In our above example, this person is going to be late and arrive around . With the diary entry, the information is more complex.
It asks you to create with an attention to the concrete, physical world rather than telling with abstract words which produce thoughts about the speaker’s experience or ideas instead of feelings in the reader’s body through the five senses.
Barbie squeezes the small opening under her chin over Ken’s bulging neck socket.
His wide jaw line jostles atop his girlfriend’s body, loosely, like one of those nodding novelty dogs destined to gaze from the back window of cars.