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Mule Advice: Who You Are Meant To Be (Without any effort)

How many of us spend far too much time, loaded down with what we did not want or plan to be doing in this life? Common, unglamorous things, we judge neither exciting, nor particularly heroic. Also, haven’t most of us concluded we aren’t as beautiful, talented, or as smart as we had hoped we might…

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Robots, Poetry, and the Future of Work

There is a great renaissance just ahead for poetry. Here’s why. A close friend of mine is a technology whiz. I mean more precisely, an MIT–educated engineering whiz. His past work in designing and creating software systems has been amazing. And yet, these days he is all about learning people and leadership skills. He has…

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Can Loss Make Us Larger?

Can loss make us larger? This was a surprising question that came up in a recent workshop I led on the “Poetry of Loss and Healing.” The first and most obvious answer to this question is… No! How can losing someone we love, or a career, a cause, or any precious thing for that matter, not disturb,…

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Poetry: What We Did Not Know We Knew…

Poetry is the art of hearing ourselves say things we did not know we knew. In this little piece from my 2014 poetry collection, I poke fun at our cultural obsession with self-improvement. Who is this “self” that can improve the “self” that needs improving? Perhaps it is better to simply discover and own our…

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POETRY IS WHAT’S THRILLING…

Poetry is what’s thrilling, while a poem is that poor thing with eleven readers, eight of them members of the poet’s extended family.–Damion Searles The above quote is funny in two ways. It’s funny (ha-ha) because it has a thread of truth. Lots of poems have precious few readers. However, certain poems break through and change lives…

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The Triumphant Tragedy of The Linear

How Language Perpetuates The Heartbreak of Ghostly Towns, Poverty, and Perhaps The End of Civilization As We Know It Within our culture, linear language is triumphant, and yet nested within that triumph is our sure defeat… In our human toolbox, language has always been the 1,000-pound gorilla. No other tool is mastered so fully, so quickly,…

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How To Become An “Ah-Ha” Jedi

The late great Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Mary Oliver, throwing down the inspirational gauntlet in a poem called “The Summer Day,” asks each of us a brilliant, exciting, and intimidating question, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” How is that for a show-stopper of a question? It brings to mind a…

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