Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poetic License

From an article about the poet Jim Powell (no relation, sadly) in the San Francisco Chronicle:

In the tiny Berkeley apartment where Jim Powell has lived since 1992, there's a California license plate on the wall that says "POETICS." Powell didn't buy it, but found it years ago while clearing litter alongside Interstate 880 in Oakland.

"You know on the roadside you'll see a sign that says, 'This section of freeway cleaned by 'so-and-so'? So a group of Deadheads I knew decided to clean the mile beside the Coliseum. Caltrans gives you an orange Day-Glo vest and gloves. You go down there beside the freeway and everything is covered with 14 layers of diesel soot. Someone found that license plate in the ivy in one of the cloverleafs and said, 'This belongs to you.' Whoever owned that plate had their car stolen. And the people who stole it ditched the plate into the ivy.

"So that's my 'poetic license' and it's a stolen poetic license, which is appropriate," Powell says with a grin. "Your poetic license should come to you that way."