writing poetry is like craving coffee. one bad cup, one bad line and the day is ruined. and i hate knowing that in order to love that first sip i gotta drink like 15 cups to find it. and the problem in processing caffeine is that everything starts happening at the speed of sound. shit gets missed. light becomes leaden. time blinks in and out while my senses try and make sense. noticing focuses then snaps like an oversharpened pencil. yet i keep writing with that hobbled tool making word shapes and letter sounds and sentence pictures. i once cut the line of a funeral procession because of over caffeination. i felt so bad that i wrote a poem about it. but i never apologized to the family in the lead car.  i keep looking for the line that was waiting in line. scanning for a raised hand at the back of the stanza. for the voice simmering just under the noise and the scribbles. coffee in coffee shops is easy, asking someone else to grind it out and brew it means that you are in their hands for the gift of the sip. hell you can even hand it back and ask them to make it again. and again. yet when these ridiculous dancing ideas meet dark roast and accepting paper, i light up. and if it rhymes easily, everything stops. and i stop. my heart stops. my coffee cools and i wonder if i should rewrite the whole piece around it.


Greetings Creatives,

What is noise?


I remember working in a classroom where adaptive technology was used. The students would speak using the voice assistive software on their iPads.

If the students spoke to me while my back was turned, I could not readily distinguish the ‘who’ behind the voice or where the voice came from. Mentally mapping the room helped me to locate the speaker sometimes.

We hadn’t adjusted the synth voice in any customized way. All students sounded the same, all the time.

I have often thought about the missed opportunity to explore the identities of our students.


Over the course of the last year my auditory memory has been wiped.

I have difficulty bringing to mind some of the sensual indicators of being in a school.

Yesterday I went into the school to gather my last bits of office miscellanea. I figured it would be a quick in and out since most of my gear had already come home before the April break.

It wasn’t quick though.

The smells and sounds and absence of sounds slowed me. I noticed a deep difference between what I knew about school and what I now understand.


A friend was telling me about her garden. She was recounting how spotty her success had been in actually growing plants.

She attributed her results to lack of watering and bad soil.

I asked her which plants do you spend more time with? Which do you listen to more? Which plants are planted close together? Which are further apart?

She laughed and said that she rarely spends time in and around her entire garden. But noted that the plants closest to the deck seemed to be more healthy.


I am not a great listener.

I tend to do it way too fast. My monkey brain is constantly chattering and prompting me to jump in instead of waiting my turn.

This has an impact on my memory. Most times because I am not actively taking in and beholding what is said to me, I miss the point and I lose important parts of what was shared.

Being in time, in tempo, in the moment is constant work for me. But when I get it right the sense of wholeness in the moment can sometimes be breathtaking.

Be well,


If you are interested in attending a monthly Words Keep Wolves At Bay meet-up, please drop a comment below and we can make arrangements for you to share your email with me.

The link for monthly digital meetups will be shared on the day of meeting. 

Meetups are on the 3rd Friday of each month at 8:00 PM.


May 21 - Secret stories. Private pieces in public.
June 18 - Light and Dark. Creating balance.
July 16 -  Loved and Lost. Pieces that broke, burned, or bothered you.
August 20 - Supporting people who don't support your Creative.
September 17 - Can I have more ham? Eff you it's called Prosciutto. And other misunderstandings.
October 15 - Ozymandias
November 19 - Baring bones. The structure of a Creative.
December 17 - Polymath

All past prompts are posted here. 

Post your work wherever you feel most safe and tag it with #wkwab.

Feel free to let other peeps know about our circle.

This circle is not just for words, feel free to explore any element of your creativity. Consider the 'Words' in #wkwab to be our ongoing conversation and fellowship in this space.


What does it mean to follow someone?

Really, break it down for yourself. I do, often.

If I go literal on this, I would stay close, pay attention, mirror this or mirror that.

But what else is it?

I trawl for purpose, wisdom, truth, and throw back wishful thinking. A fresh view can often benefit from a few more laps around the pond.

Sometimes ‘like’, sometimes just smile. Though my smile these days pushes the limits of my mouth guard. I am all back teeth and cheek and head shaking most times.

I force myself to stop scrolling the minute my kids walk in the room, but leave my thumb on the screen to hold my queue in the feed.

There once was joy in following. You know finding the gold, sharing the gold, seems like there’s not much ore left in some spaces, they are almost completely mined, like me, tapped out.

But what else is it?

I am a someone that follows and unfollows. I am a headache causer. I don’t seek permission to make you wonder about me.

I have been blocked for messing with an algorithm. An algorithm! Not a person, or a heart, or someone’s life thank god.

And I block every ad and promoted tweet in under 2 seconds like a carnival game and the big pink gorilla is up for grabs.

I have sub tweeted when I should have DM’d; DM’d when I should have not. Done nothing and missed my opportunity to be human.

And I have been called out as rude for giving no notice before I leave a feed. Its all good though I did notice that you did not notice. Thanks for that.

But that is me, I’m in the parking lot and hitting the freeway before last call. Lights up brings too much reality for my taste.

But what else is it?

I have questioned questions and then waited for answers.

Given the answer that was asked for. Withheld when I did not trust. And expected trust in full payment. Ironic, idiosyncratic, and insecure.

I often pushed topics back and forth, like the moment was a swing for my enjoyment only.

I have erased all of you from my feed, started over, only to add you again. Some noticed, some did not.

But what else is it?

I have wondered why someone would say such a thing, then wished I’d said it first.

Then realized had I said it, I would have wished I hadn’t, but then still claimed victory for liberally thoughtful bystanding.

I have erased hot blooded posts to a single letter, thought better of it, rewrote, erased, rewrote, erased etc.

I have joined your bandwagon. And waited for you to join mine. And waited. And waited.

But what else is it?

I have wondered what would it be like if I took my tail from my mouth and stopped swallowing. But sometimes it is easier to keep chewing than to stop and gag.

I wanted to drop socials altogether, but then my mother would never connect with me because I don’t call her much.

In truth the last time I left socials, it took her 4 weeks to notice. And she thought I had blocked her. 4 weeks?!

Digital debris, shored up with hubris, is like that megaball rolling towards any explorer willing to try spelunk my thoughtfuel. So recounting me through every bit and byte is dangerous or not if you didn’t follow.

But what else is it?