Art is about people in one way or another. In this experiment, by having an immediate source of inspiration, you will be able to note direct observations about someone else as well as grapple with your own process of observation.
Find a partner who is willing to pose for you. Like a painter, you may wish to have them pose in an elaborate position or simply have them look in a certain direction. Consider arranging objects around them, or having them sit in a particular setting—a kitchen chair, a park bench, the back seat of a car. Or allow them to determine where and how they would like to pose. In any case, treat the scene as a medium itself for your poem-to-be.
Your partner needn’t pose in front of you for a very long time—just long enough for you to jot down some notes. These could be phrases that come to mind, simple or scientific observations. Or you can try writing down the emotions you have for the person you are observing, or ones they have for you.
If you want to push further, try composing a poem on the spot. Like a Japanese court poet, you could compose a haiku/senryu for the person you are observing. Or like a freestyle rapper, you could compose an improvisational rhyming rap. This might be a new approach for you, and feel intimidating, but give it a shot! You may surprise yourself, even if you come out with just one very good line in the end.
Things to consider: