1. pregnant with [something non-baby] — i.e. pregnant with understanding, rain, possibility, kittens, you name it.

2. empty womb — nice complement to pregnancy (see above); readers don’t need to be female to feel the pain of one of these suckers, or see them everywhere there’s something hollow.

3. dead deer — hit one of these with your poetic car; nothing like roadkill to make your readers think about humanity/global warming/art/artifice/etc. etc. … the list is as endless as the entrails of that deer.

4. ennui — Killer word. Killer spelling. Enough said.

5. rhizomatic — this one’s more to describe your ars poetica. Feed it to the critics to sound swanky.

6. miasma — this guy’s for any time there’s a smell/odor in your poetry; ditto fog, steam, ghostly aura, and especially cigarette smoke.

7. punctuation marks — use these handy shapes to describe anything but themselves: comma of her lips, parentheses of her hips … you get the idea.

8. birds — overhear them outside your window and/or use to describe actual punctuation marks.

9. divine muse — always a good idea to credit your sources.