Fluorescent Truth

I just finished week one of a new school year. Everyone is writing. My creative writing students are (re)establishing their writing practice with timed writing and go-to prompts (like I Remember…) but I fit in one exercise with a group.

As You Like It from Room To Write by Bonni Goldberg

Today draw comparisons between two things. Choose at least one from your surroundings. The other can be an object, a person, or an abstract concept like love, jealousy, fate. How many ways can you compare them? Go for at least twenty-five. Stretch yourself.

I looked up at my classroom ceiling. I wasn’t going to compare a ceiling tile to anything. I wrote down Fluorescent Light. Then I cheated a little, thinking of two or three immediate comparisons, and wrote Truth. We gave ourselves fifteen minutes. I got to number five in my list and blanked. It got easier around number fifteen or sixteen, until I got to number twenty-four.

  1. glaring
  2. can be harsh
  3. brings clarity to a situation
  4. not shy
  5. unavoidable
  6. hidden until a switch is thrown
  7. runs on a current
  8. can prompt finding a softer alternative
  9. sometimes unwelcome
  10. long lasting
  11. hums under conversation
  12. made strong through/ by reflection
  13. sees the way flesh goes: cellulite, bruising, pores, lines, veins
  14. can yellow
  15. not always everywhere we go
  16. may cause a headache
  17. wakes you up, ready or not
  18. knows not everyone is a fan
  19. offers no apology or excuse
  20. can change the atmosphere of a room
  21. conserves energy
  22. eliminates shadow
  23. necessary
  24. blinds
  25. restricts what happens next

Try it. Turn it into a poem. Or explore a comparison from your list.

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