the word

there is a piece of data
I am not able to obtain
that would be relevant
to my interests, were it readily
available: what word
(or phrase) did a visitor search for,
to find that poem
they remembered and
wanted to read again?
of all the words
I strung together, which
were the one(s) that
spoke to them and
were unique? this is a secret
that is surely known
to some entity or
algorithm, other than
the querent themselves.
WordPress, Google, hell, I’ll even
ask Jeeves.

I remember when
a young writer plagiarized me
and someone else
– I daresay a fan – wrote to me
to tell me of the theft.
they said, “I searched
for the phrase ‘made me feel
six kinds of suspect inside’
because I always remembered it
from your story. that’s how I
found this jerkoff who stole
two chapters of your work.”
(I am paraphrasing
my informant here.) but what
stuck with me
about that experience was
that something I wrote
mattered to someone.
(arguably it mattered
to two people, one of whom
liked my writing so much
he wanted to claim it
as his own, plagiarism
being sort of the ultimate

and so
I ask for the good word, the
knowledge, the power
to know which words
made it happen:
to see what I did right
in the hopes of writing
more like it
in the future.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

One thought on “the word”

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