Jayson Blair was supposed to be a talented writer gone astray. But perhaps his only talent was for sucking up. Jim Treacher links to Smoking Gun, which found Blair’s college poetry posted on a web site.
Blair plagiarized lines from himself. He should have stolen from someone who could write.
In one poem, which includes a dictionary definition of “kaleidoscope” and “brown,” Blair appears to confuse love with bunions:
One look into those burnt sienna eyes
Quickly forgetting all the others’ lies
Trying my best to glance at my feet
Running away from their radiant heat
I thought this poem was daring, till I realized that he meant “waist” rather than “waste.”
Can’t escape thoughts of how I love the curves on your body
From your waste to your eyes
Her flesh craddling against mine
Thoughts of your skin . . .
In Heathery, the green sparkle in his love’s burnt sienna eyes “illicits a smile.” In some contexts, that would be a clever play on words; here it’s just subliterate. You do have to feel for the poet, however. His heart has been burnt, amputated, splintered, exploded and “worn on my vest,” where inevitably it’s going to bleed all over the cards held “close to my chest.” Messy.