Friday, August 28, 2009

Bad Google and bad language

Just read this about google trying to steal NZ author's copyrights. Don't be evil, my arse!

I hadn't even heard about this but it makes me fucking angry. Why isn't this all over the news? Authors are going to end up like Hollywood scriptwriters before we know it. We'll be underpaid (even more so) and completely undervalued.

Deep breath...OK...

Back on the Michael Palmer buzz which is good I think. He's so dreamy.

Wrote my fifth poem for the week and quite possibly the only decent one. So five more next week and that's it. Or maybe not? Maybe I should keep going and do revision in the afternoons? I think that could work. Anyway my goal is five more next week. I'll be in Rotorua visiting my parents and mountain biking, so hopefully I can fit it in between soaks in their geothermal spa pool. Oh yeah, that's real art.

And something nice and ironic to end on from Mr Michael "McDreamy" Palmer (Company of Moths, New Directions, 2005):
Your Diamond Shoe

Don't write poems about what's going on.
Murderers and liars, dreams and desires,

they're always going on.
Leave them outside the poem.

Don't describe you sad-eyed summer home
or wide-eyed winter home.

Don't write about being homeless
or your home-away-from-home.

Don't write about war,
whether you're against of for,

it's the same fucking war.
That's the only time I've seen Palmer use an expletive I think. His language is usually so much more refined than that. I guess he was being ironic there too. Quite a different tone, objective and form from his usual stuff. I read in an interview of him the other day that Your Diamond Shoe was inspired by another poet, so I guess that explains that, but one of the interesting things that has plagued me since I read that interview was his objection to what he calls 'bad language' in poems. Which I couldn't figure out what he meant and obviously if he could define what exactly bad language is I could then stop using it. I don't think it is simply things like expletives or non-musical language though, but I guess it'd be more cliched or boring language maybe? Although perhaps there is something of a smoothness element in what he was saying - a beautiful language? Most of his poems seem to share that kind of ephemeral, languid tone that comes from the language he chooses, although I would hope he wouldn't close his reading to that.

So, Mr Palmer, explain yourself please, what is 'bad language' and how do we avoid it?

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