New ways of looking at old- Prompt #247

If you have been writing for awhile, you might notice that you keep writing about the same things over and over again: how Aunt Luella always sticks her nose in everybody’s business; how Uncle Ray tells those awful jokes and doesn’t seem to notice that no one laughs; how Nonna’s getting on everybody’s nerves, should Aunt Silvie be put in assisted living and what the heck is up with Joey’s latest tattoo?

Mr. Ed The Talking HorseWe all have our stable of characters that we dwell about incessantly. Here’s an opportunity to look at old things in new ways. Inspired by the poem, The visible and the in-      by Marge Piercy

Read the stanza below (or the partial stanza), then quickly make a list of everybody this reminds you of. No prolonged thinking. You can always add names later.

Ready? Go!

First stanza of The visible and the in-:

Some people move through your life
like the perfume of peonies, heavy
and sensual and lingering.

This reminds me of:


Some people move through your life
like the sweet musky scent of cosmos
so delicate if you sniff twice, it’s gone.

This reminds me of:


Some people occupy your life
like moving men who cart off
couches, pianos and break dishes.

This reminds me of:


Some people touch you so lightly you
are not sure it happened.

This reminds me of:


Others leave
you flat with footprints on your chest.

This reminds me of:


Some are like those fall warblers
you can’t tell from each other even
though you search Petersen’s.

This reminds me of:


Some come down hard on you like
a striking falcon and the scars remain
and you are forever wary of the sky.

This reminds me of:


We all are waiting rooms at bus
stations where hundreds have passed
through unnoticed and others

have almost burned us down


This reminds me of:
and others have left us clean and new
and others have just moved in.

This reminds me of:


That’s it. You can leave this as-is. Or the next time you write about Sophie and how she stole your lipstick in seventh grade. . . use some of these descriptions to expand upon her character, to draw out this experience with specific detail.

Of course this will work for fictional characters, also.

Have fun with this. Recreate the characters (real and imagined) who populate your real estate.

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