Saturday, November 27, 2010

While I Was Away... A Plagiarist Came to Play!

It's unfortunate that I had to interrupt my blogging break for this. But, yes. My words were violated…  stolen from my blog… and posted on someone else’s blog as though they were their words. Plagiarism is a plague… a disease… and it is more prevalent than you can imagine.

I recall… just a few weeks ago… when Rick Moore from The Writer and the White Cat was blogging about the plagiarist who was stealing his work. I remember reading his words and thinking, He’s very very very angry. And he has every right! I remember, also, wondering to myself how I would feel if the same happened to me, and acknowledging that I would be equally angry.

Imagine my face when I went to my computer yesterday morning, logged in, went to see about emails and such, and found myself with a fishy feeling in my gut. My gut feelings are never wrong. Something inside me told me to randomly check on some of my work. And I started to do that… found something that looked odd on a search… clicked on a person’s blog… a person I had been reading on and off for a while… while thinking to myself that this writing lacks voice. Those of us who write know about voice. We know that every writer has an unmistakable writing identity… and we also know that if that voice is missing… this is not a true writer.

I found myself looking at my words on that blog, and my initial reaction was shock! How dare!!! That’s my poem! And I immediately remembered Rick, and his agony, and his anger. And I got ANGRY!!! I said I was taking a blogging break, but I didn’t say I was going to be dead while doing that. I have to protect what’s mine, so I watch what’s mine.

Please click on the screenshot to see the full image, including my poem posted on her blog, and my two comments to her immediately following my discovery: 

My poem, Supplication, was published on my blog on January 10, 2010. You can still find it there, in my archives, along with all of your and my comments, with dates and times.

Over the course of the day, I tried to sort through my feelings about the whole incident. And my overwhelming emotion was pity. Pity is one of those unfortunate emotions, but it overshadowed all other emotions… even the anger. I felt pity for this person. Because those who feel they must steal what belongs to another in order to feel complete… never feel complete. She didn’t even bother to take the time to change the title. That was my supplication, felt by me, bled through my heart and my fingertips, and no one will take it away from me. If you want to post my work on your site, please ask me first… and credit me if I say it’s okay.

In National Poetry Month, Khaled from Khaled KEM asked me if he could publish one of my poems on his site. Of course, I’d be honored, I said. A few months ago, Owen from Magic Lantern Show posted some photos that made my mind spin, and I left him a comment that I was “stealing” his photos, though I had no intention of posting them anywhere. He said, Sure, I’ll send you the originals by email. A few weeks back, when Rick was blogging about his plagiarism issue, he published a post titled “How to Catch a Plagiarist” with invaluable information for any writer. I copied and pasted the entire post onto a Word document so I could have easy access to the links, but not before asking Rick. This is the right thing to do. We all come across artistic expression or other media that we admire. Every so often I read something and I think to myself, I wish I’d written that! But do I help myself to it and post it on my site as mine? Never. The English language is rich with words… both beautiful and despicable… and the combinations are simply endless. 

Anyhow, the plagiarist didn’t remove the post as I requested. I asked politely, and issued a warning, but I got no response. And so, I filed a complaint to Google. She went through my archives that diligently and... I suppose I should’ve been flattered. After all, “Imitation is the sincerest flattery." But then, I really wasn’t flattered at all; I was disgusted. People who write don’t just sit there and catch downpours of words and ideas and put them on paper. It’s a tough and demanding and taxing and grueling process. But she wouldn’t know that. And someone who doesn’t write thinks she can invite herself over to my blog and copy and paste my words right on to her blog and then say Posted by So-and-So. But... if you try to steal my words, I will find you, even if it takes forever.

And that’s all I’m saying about that… because… I think I’ve said enough.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Cosmic Sky by Monica Shelton

... and... take a deep breath...

... sometimes… this is something i have to remind myself to do… because i don’t know how… to just pause… without contemplating it.... running and running… and never stopping… i run out of breath… run out of steam… run out of everything... and there must be time… to recharge…

… it’s that time for me… again… when i must pause… and catch my breath… catch it slowly… and let it out slowly… so i don’t start a storm around me… a storm in my breath in my heels in my wheels that are constantly spinning and spinning and never... stop…

… besides… it’s the time of year for more wining… and dining… and entertaining… it’s the time for hanging out with hubby… and friends… and chilling… and chatting.... it’s the time for shorter days… and longer nights… when we have… simply… less time… to do what we need to do… before the time for doing what we want to do… descends…

… night falls… sooner… and tempts me with its starry skies… starry and sparkling before my eyes… and behind my eyes… starry and beckoning me to pause… and look… and maybe catch some stardust in my hands… with which to adorn my body… and enflame my dreams… and illuminate my soul…

… and i can’t look… at that enchanted… enchanting sky… when i am occupied… still… with things pressing to be done… i can look… but… i can’t look… and see…

… and so… the dreaming continues… but the expression stops… for a while… pauses… to catch its breath… and refresh itself… and capture some new stardust from those starry starry skies… to capture … and perhaps… to keep of it… what i can… in a tiny little box… because… truly… stardust is the stuff of dreams… and is so very hard to capture… but… if i can have of it… even a shimmer on the insides of my hands… i will be happy… and satisfied…

… so now… i go… to allow my gaze to linger… and linger... and stay… in the stars… for a while… to allow my hands… and my Self… a little sprinkle of magic…

… and i will have joy… and easy breath… and fullness of soul… when i return…

… pause…

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bounteous Alchemies

Soulmates by Lynette Marie

we see ourselves in a twinkling past
where we were magicians
(or were we alchemists?),
with tricks transforming
the ordinary to fancy
and dust to gold.

And I made a stiff cane into billowing silk,
and you made crimson flowers appear
like flames rising out of clear water held
upon a table by perfect but invisible hands.

And I made the peeling walls
of an ancient castle seem
like rose petals floating through air,
and you made the sea
drape and twist like a golden mist.

And I made the vines of grapes
entwine and pause and lean,
and you made the simple sounds of town
drone like a fluent orgasm in a vivid dream.

And we melted into amber and alabaster
the clamoring afternoon,
and I made your choked and hoarse
laughter soften in its flight.

And all of this we did before night.

But then came the violent rains
and in my sleep you spoke to me,
and your words fell soft and blue
upon my blurred and somber face.

And the rain washed your words away
while the moon hid behind the clouds,
and we walked the forest floor
and dawn did finally unfold.

And the sky was lit,
and morning arrived.

And you said,
Look, a new day has begun.

And I remembered
what it means to be alive.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

of secrets... and scars

Woman's Back by Maya Kulenovic

my love… my love
i’ve something to confess
something to show
turn on the light
though you can feel it with your fingers
turn on the light… and look
here is my back
lovely… soft… silky
like polished marble
warm… smooth… flowing
like liquid gold
yet… come closer, my love
and you will see
a cut that i can no longer reach
sculpted… thin… sharp
can you see it, my love?
the blood inside it dried long ago
but you can still feel it
you can feel it with your touch, my love
touch your finger gently to it
touch your finger to… my scar
a cut in the flesh of my back
no… not where you are looking
look lower… my love
and you will see it
gentle… obscure… but present
you see it… i know you do
an electric shock has fired beneath your skin
a tension… a confusion
a throbbing in your blood
why are you silent, my love?
there is a sorrow inside your eyes
a fiery sorrow
while a chill
and blue
this november sky
your stabbing eyes
yes… stabbing, now
carry a weapon i have not seen before
a weapon that cuts more deeply
cuts… the surface of my skin… to my veins
cuts… the surface of my Self… to my soul
and my instinct, my love
my instinct is to turn away from you
to distance my Self
as you have distanced yours
what is this i see in your eyes, my love?
what is this look of… alienation?
an illusion more illusory than fantasy
and this absence of certainty
i don’t know…
a secret, perhaps?
one i should not decipher
one you will not confess
but, look… look, my love
i know you don’t want to
but, look
you have been expecting… and denying
at the very same time
look… and listen
i could have fabricated one million lies
but i am filled with truth, my love
my truth might have one million colors
but it is mine, my love
i do not disown it
does this not matter?
does it not absolve?
oh, no… my love
do not open the door
i will open it for you
for… should you open it yourself
you would slay me
you see... with your love
i felt as though i was remaking the universe
but, then
even the omnipotent are imperfect
and i
i have revealed my imperfection
to you
but, no
do not turn off the light before you go
truth is more acute in the darkness
come, my love
here is my back
my back that once surrendered to your hands
do not say that, my love
do not say that my back has surrendered
to illicit hands
for full surrender was to your hands
and to your hands alone
bring those hands, then, my love
you have seen… but not touched… my scar
it is too late to try and heal it
it is too futile to try and erase it
but maybe… with your hands… you can caress it
and bless it
with forgiveness… and absolution
i have danced with fire
and my body was licked by tongues of flame
but… my body… is still whole, my love
and here… i am showing you my scar
does this not matter?
does it not absolve?
i beseech you, my love
come to me
and lay with me
we will but speak, my love
my lips do know how to speak 
without caressing
and, though i have a scar
my back is still
lovely… soft… silky
like polished marble
warm… smooth… flowing
like liquid gold
can you not forgive one scar, my love?
it was a miscarried intention
a superficial incision
your cuts go wider
your scars go deeper
not the scars your hands implanted upon my skin
but the scars another has implanted upon yours
yes, i have seen them
but… please do forgive my tears
they are miscarried intentions, too
i do not mean to confuse
i do not mean to deceive
i am not crying
here are my eyes
dry of tears
can you not forgive one imperfection, my love?
i have forgiven so many scars
but, no
do not open the door
i will open it for you
i am not crying
here are my eyes
dry of tears
here are my lips
trembling with truth
here is the door
open for your denial
and here is my back
imperfect… my love
but yours