Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More About Where to Steal

I follow Copyblogger and this morning came across a post about the poet and the killer and urge you to first drop your attitude toward the "get-rich-copywriter" part and secondly to take the blog seriously both for what it says about the killer instinct necessary to all writers and also for the lesson that rainbows come in surprising places. That is, great ideas and lessons can come from anywhere.

First, however, however much we might like to be hob-nobbing with the gods and the greats, our craft demands that we get to the point and poets are lousy at getting to the point. We all too often fail to drive the nail into the heart, letting our readers and ourselves off the hook. We pale in the face of things. The advertising killer does not and in this has an all-important lesson for us and much as we might like to consider ourselves a tad better than the car salesman (read the comments in the above-mentioned blog) we're not.

Second, steal everywhere. Yesterday I urged theft from small, local poetry events, from other writers. Today I go back to one of my hard and fast rules: Steal everywhere; from the doctor's office ("the orbit of the eye"), from construction lingo ("fugitive dust" (what a wonderful phrase)), from the news account of death by legal injection ("He just wanted to live").

Stay open to language from everyone and everywhere. Some of the most colorful language, and I mean that in the best sense of the word, I have heard came from the tire changers I worked with in my first job after high school. They were uneducated men busting tires for a living and we talked and talked our way through the summer while we sweated our way through our clothes and I'll never forget that the gods gave them language too. Actually, I didn't steal anything from them-- they gave it to me. ACCEPT YOUR GIFTS!!!

So long for now.

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