I like simile. In Stephen Burt’s new piece he considers the fact that to say something is like something is to say it is mostly not like it (otherwise the comparsion would be ineffective, or near-identical). It’s something I’ve noted, possibly lies behind the lines he quotes (from A Translated Man, with all its managed unlikely unlikenesses, as it were). Here’s a fragment.
You can find negated similes elsewhere, too. Consider Prince’s love song “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which most of us know only in its second version, a cover by Sinead O’Connor, both like and unlike the original song.
Here’s the rest of the online excerpt. It's from American Poetry Review.