Dude, That’s So Meta

From Urban Dictionary.  Meta:  a term, especially in art, used to characterize something that is characteristically self-referential.
“So I just saw this film about these people making a movie, and the movie they were making was about the film industry…”
“Dude, that’s so meta. Stop before my brain explodes.”

So I sent out a bunch of emails, Facebook messages & Tweets inviting people to participate in my klepto-collaborative poetry project for TEDxYouth@TheWoodlands.  (You’re all invited, by the way, so send me your words/images/video by midnight tonight!)

An acquaintance who’s both a writer and an attorney sent me a message last night in reply to my invite and it was marked urgent.  When I saw the little red check next to his message in my inbox I thought, Wow, he must be really excited by my project – and/or with his words and ideas – to consider his response worthy of the Danger, Will Robinson!-esque distinction.

Well, he was excited, but his email didn’t hold any word offerings for the poem.  What I found inside was indeed a Danger, Will Robinson! hands-waving brand of warning.  He’d read the klepto-collaborative poems and excerpts here on my blog and was alight with how “inventive and original” he thought them.  But, he cautioned, “You really need to get a patent of some kind on that form of poem so somebody else doesn’t take credit for your idea. Especially given that you’re Tweeting and Facebooking about it. I mean, anybody could steal your idea and run with it.”

At which point I began spewing SILK chocolate soy milk onto my computer screen.  Because, hello, the very essence of a klepto-collaborative poem is, well, STEALING.  Being warned about a swarm of nefarious potential somebodies out there in the world just waiting to pounce and poetry-form jack me is absolutely guffaw-and-silly-giggle-inducing.  I adore this guy’s well-meaning and protective intentions, I do. But, lordy, having someone steal your poetry process of kleptoing other peoples words and pharases is about as meta as it gets :0)

Beyond that, nothing would thrill me more than having anybody and everybody lifting text willy-nilly, right and left, to use in their very own klepto-collaborative poems.  So, y’all, in case I haven’t said this already – though I’m pretty darn sure I have – please, steal my klepto-collaborative poetry form to your word-lovin’ hearts’ content.  Nothing would make me happier, I double-dog swear.

Details and more examples can be found in the post How To Steal Your Way To A Stellar Poem.

PS, wasn’t Lost In Space the best?

PPS, aren’t patents about rights to ideas that are going to make money?  Poetry = $ = even more silly giggles & guffawing

PPSS, my writer-lawyer acquaintance gave me permission to share this story, so don’t worry, I’m not telling on him in a blog-gossipy kind of way. He asked me not to name him, though 😉

Last but not least, I always thought it would be cool to name a dog Double, just so I could holler Double Dog, I swear! whenever he rankled me with his ways.

About deniselanier

I am an educator & advocate, poet & performer, speaker & storyteller who believes in the power of narrative to transform & transport, create & connect. I was the shy, awkward girl who didn’t fit in, was often bullied, happiest with my nose in books, whose best friend was my dog. After being cast in a play in my teens I discovered a way to be comfortable in my own skin, bringing to life the words of a character. Costumed in make-believe I dared to be more of myself than I ever allowed off-stage; I claimed my voice. I spent most of my adult life teaching others to raise their own voices, through acting, creative writing, even slam poetry. When the diagnosis of MS intervened in my 30s I had to let go of acting, which is why most of my storytelling is now expressed through page and less “formal” interactions with stages. I devote much of my time to kids, teaching them to use words & imagination, developing authentic, resilient, remarkable voices. I endeavor to grow in my students the belief, the truth, that we are all artists & the change-makers in our own stories. My best friend still has fur & four legs. My mobility assistance dog is my constant companion, teaching assistant & muse to many. Luke is also chief partner in crime; I’m getting a reputation for stealing things. As inventor of a poetic form called klepto-collaborative, I pickpocket words & phrases from others, reshuffling & reshaping the puzzle-pieces into a colorful, storied mosaic of diverse voices. Taking something from every speaker at a conference in real-time, I craft a collective poem that highlights the messages of the day, repurposing ideas & refashioning stories, weaving them together in a manner that never loses the originality & spirit of the speakers’ themes. So while I may be a word thief, I figure being eco-conscious makes up for it. I’m available to facilitate wordy goodness in your community, school, workplace or play space. I like to think I have way of transforming annual meetings into something interactive, cooperative & memorable. Through my klepto-collaborative poems I aim to delight, to ignite conversation, and maybe even incite innovation. I earned an MFA from Florida International University, where I edited Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. I’m the founder of WordPlay, a poetry-in-the-schools project inspired by Dave Eggers. My poetry has appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Cake, Luna, Best American Poetry blog (a collaborative poem with the phenomenal Denise Duhamel), Wicked Good Life, and various anthologies. My non-fiction has appeared in the Miami Herald and my fiction has been nominated for Best New American Voices. www.deniselanier.wordpress.com & www.wonkybent.wordpress.com

One response »

  1. Pingback: Welcome « metamishnayic

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