Everybody has their drug whether it’s meth, alcohol, or Jesus. We find a salve that works and bathe in it to varying degrees. For some it’s music.

Me, I like words. I swim in the cadence, the meaning, the origin of sounds and letter combinations on the page. I love the varied nuances of words making meaning as they are strung together in sentences, stitched into paragraphs. Make a cross stitch sampler as haiku or a tapestry of an epic novel, a prayer shawl of gratitude, or a blanket of grief. Sometimes a crossword puzzle is enough—deciphering definition, rolling back thought in its opposite pattern.

I eat words, smoke books. I cough them up into the air. They can be diseased or purifying. Words have power. Words always make me stronger. With words I can turn my mistakes into art. That said, I have no excuse not to be prolific. Iron bitter grief flat with language. Float elation like a balloon in a blue sky. Make all experience good. Turn fear inside out so the seams show. Show the dark side. Show the bright side. Expose everything. Do it poetically. In a poem, even the ugly is glorious.

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