Speech Writing 101

It is so very difficult to feel safe right now, when there is still so much virulent plague running rampant in our streets.  And when we see that our cities are still burning.  And that divorce and separations are unspooling the very fabric of our social unity.  And when a war that threatens to be anything but civil threatens and taunts from a not too distant future if we do not shift our course. People are understandably scared in these unpredictable times.  People are undeniably hurting.  People are becoming lost, struggling to find their way amidst all the confusion and disinformation that feed the cancer of a disenfranchisement festering at our very national core. It often feels nearly impossible to find a solid footing in the …

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Confessions of a Broken American

It is the kind of late summer night that feels overly ripe for confessions. It is the kind of night that lingers and churns, as the bitter words balk and hesitate on the tip of a dry tongue.  Words that yearn to be screamed out from the very rooftop of a small blue house cornered nakedly in the broken heart of a City of Wayne.  Words aching for the altruistic freedoms promised by honest artistic exclamation.  Words that instead inexplicably cling tenaciously to the last gasp of decent decorum and the inherently flawed rules of a supposedly polite society that was anything but polite to me, in all the years spent in this shitty little flyover town so full of fucked up perspectives and priorities and …

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Loathing the Fear in Wayne’s City

The Republic is undeniably burning tonight. And all the accompanying fears seep in hard and unrelenting through the smoke, probing and penetrating daily against secretive hushed boundaries in  surprisingly offensive retaliation for our uniquely dysfunctional national immaturity still unraveling nightly on the world’s stage. Fear that is never quite fully mitigated; an underlying uncertainty that never seems rationally moderated.  The terror that is neglectfully left unrestrained and unsupervised on the naked battlefield of our pandemically tainted zeitgeist.  The constant unchecked gluttonous extinguishment of weary victims keeps occurring, even long after that supposed final shot.  Or that untrained uniform squeeze.  Or the metallic click of unjustified handcuffs.  Or an unmasked cough’s wet rattle. So the cities are caught in the grip of violent protest tonight. Citizens march …

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Day 100: End of the Line

100 days. 50 bottles. And a typewriter. From those seemingly innocuous things arose these many words written to share with the rest of the world my little part of the national quarantine experience here in the supposed backwaters of flyover country. Despite the fact that I often complain, to just about anyone who will listen, about how hard the writing is and how exhausting and draining it can be constantly chasing down the words, I am proud of what I have here created.  Where once there was only an isolated emptiness, now there is something else that helps fill that space.  I unflinchingly stared down the worst that a global pandemic, and accompanying civil unrest, could throw at me and I fought that shit back with …

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I Am Harboring a Fugitive

I am harboring a fugitive tonight and it is the weight of social consciousness weighing heavy upon my soul. I am scared. Everyone is scared. Hurtful and hateful things are being said everywhere, constructing emotional tinderboxes that are just waiting for that spark.  Insults and derogatory remarks are printed, posted, and shared in a seemingly ceaseless stampede of social notifications.  Tragedies are daily unfolding in our streets, streets that for so long have been insulated from the scourge of violent rioting and protest, but are now left burning and curtained in the choking veneer of tear gas clouds hanging low. Even here, in this little flyover City of Wayne, usually so conservatively polite and deeply steeped in hesitant Midwestern reserve, I was tear gassed and shot …

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