After a few days of trying not to compare things for the purpose of poetry, I have come up with some more refreshing sorts of contemporary comparisons, so that poems may still be written by me.
1) Comparing within the world of nature, but only with things being compared to things they are not at all like.
The sky, like a curdled fish. (This is even better because fishes can’t curdle.)
The cat, like a tectonic plate.
2) Comparing without reference to the world of “nature,” such as technology or human construct being compared to abstract concepts.
The window-panes, like a heap of syllables.
The Xerox machine, like a theory.
I must purge all common comparisons from my prose as well! This syringe of thought led me to a new discovery today, at lunch.
This train of thought
I was sitting on a bench, eating a sandwich, looking at a tree. I started to reach for a comparison, and instead, I suddenly thought of this as a first line:
I am sitting on a sandwich, eating a tree, looking at a bench.
It’s perfect. It’s like a kind of word-level anagram. The right placement of nouns instantly flashes into your head. And through juxtaposition, somehow all three things are compared.