Tips for Aspiring WritersAugust 11, 2015
PoetryAugust 19, 2015
On July 25th, you strolled 36th street in an early morning haze, juggling consciousness like apples. You hailed a cab up to 63rd and camped for the night under blue blankets and white paper lamps. You expected to be on 11th, but learned earlier on to never expect anything. You expected a call, later, but were let down too. You wake up with black fabric draped over your eyes, to block a sunlight that would not be there for another hour—peak out the window and think of all the lights that would not be there, and all the lights that are there and how we are all just ricocheting between the red and white headlights of cars, swinging between streetlights and lamplights, under the neon glows of nightclub signs and the austere blush of upscale hotels, The Plaza, The Pierre—things you could not afford, but once you lived on fifth avenue in a college dorm that was renovated from a luxury hotel—it’s the closest you’ve ever gotten. You think of how all the lights in the city could be seen from outer space and whether or not the small lamp beside his bedside table made a difference in that astronomical discovery. It probably doesn’t, but you like to think it does, and as you wander the streets of K-town after a cherry-colored evening of Karaoke you wonder about the people reverberating to the silver sliver of moonlight on the fingertips of waves in the Hudson, and the faltering streetlight beside it. You think of how we are all just skimming across the water’s surface, recoiling from the larger waves, bounding between the lights and taxis and 3am Halal and hope. Yeah, hope.
Concrete evidence is so important for development of a piece, however, in parallel to your concrete details and specifics, it’s can be a nice touch to add some metaphorical, over-blown, whimsical musings. It’s a stylistic touch that has been popularized more so in recent decades, perhaps most notably by post-modernists. Turn mundane events into something representative of a larger meaning. Take one motif (lights, in the case of the expert above) and stretch it till it encapsulates the entirety of the piece, then branch off allegorical themes from it. This adds to your piece and gives it some whimsical air that otherwise boring writing would not contain.