I recently attended a workshop with poet Kimberly Johnson at the Sanibel Island Writer’s Conference. She challenged us to find words that are “ours.” She said:
Words are the interface between the deeply particular and the general world.
I wrote about the word “pop.”
POP. A signifier. I moved to Florida and was attending college. Someone was looking for something to drink. I casually said, “There’s a pop machine around the corner.” Heads snapped.
“Are you from up north?”
How did they know? I was clueless.
Then they told me.
I had said POP.