Brain, Creativity

Things I’ve Forgotten

Conjure the nouns, alert the secret self, taste the darkness. . . speak softly, and write any old word that wants to jump out of your nerves onto the page. . .

-Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

The mark on the door jamb. The combination. The locket. The circle on the calendar. The taste of his mouth. The recipe. The receipt. The dice. The route.

Changing the filter. The menu. The tooth. The thanks before dinner. The linebacker’s name. The sequence. The shoes. The envelope. The year. The rules.

The phone number. Her favorite song. The breast exam. The pull-out couch. The green felt. The tickets. The Frontline. The stamp. The 29th president. The repairman. The will.

That I’m not straight. The French for erase. The first knot. The neighbor’s wife. The soup pot. How to change a tire. The promise. The lyrics. The sound of his snoring. The pattern. The painter. The cat. The buttons. The lie.

How deep to plant them. How hard to press. The hip. The question. The punch line. The yes. The penguin. The turn signal. The fry oil. The way in. 

The landing gear. The solar panel. The chickens. The paint. The storyline. The crease. The mold. The library. The root cellar. The electric fan. The meat.

The hidden bills. The record player. The soldering iron. The rust. The shell casing. The coffee can. The toilet. The stone. The leaf. The culvert. The hole. The danger. The baby.

The night he was here. How quickly he fell. The bottle. The bin. The eye. The last time.

The clock. The capsule. The molecules up close. His neck. The knife. An onion. Tissues. The expiration date. The tap. The temperature. The tincture. The zucchini. The bucket. The ink.

The wallpaper. The porch. His birthday. The streetlight. The timer. The diamond. Which side. The chord. The salt. The price.

If you are a writer, or hope to be one, similar lists, dredged out of the lopside of your brain, might well help you discover you, even as I flopped around and finally found me.

– Ray Bradbury gets both the credit for this glimpse into a marvel of a mind and, alas, also the blame for my bumbling response to his suggestion.

2 thoughts on “Things I’ve Forgotten”

    1. What a cool practice! I’ve been trying it over the past few days whenever I hit a wall in my writing. It’s cool to open a flow in a new direction, but it also occurred to me that some of the lists can be pieces in their own right. I’d love to see what you have (or will) come up with. Thanks for reading!

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