LinkedIn feed writing prompt: remote controlled brains


[The following paragraph showed up in my LinkedIn feed. It has such insidious implications that I thought it could be a great writing prompt. I won’t say much more, as I’d actually like to see your take on it.  Please don’t hesitate to leave your idea(s) in the comments.]

Here it is:

Feeding medicine directly to your brain: Researchers at MIT have developed a hair-thin device that can be implanted deep into people’s brains and distribute medicines via remote control, a potential game-changer for patients suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s or depression. The implants can bypass the blood-brain barrier — which can sometimes block medicines from reaching their intended destination — and limit the potential for undesirable side effects. The researchers aim to connect the implant to medication pumps that will sit beneath a patient’s skin, which can hold more than one kind of medicine and be refilled with a simple injection. • Share your thoughts: #DrugDeliveryBrain


Coo coo for Cocoa Puffs


At the bottom of a spam email, probably 3-4 years ago, or so, I came across some unintelligible writing. There seemed to be structure but just didn’t make sense. The first sentence was, “At the hands of taking into consideration that missed July your Western European initiated against oriental programs many times contradropping basic steps…” For whatever reason, I kept reading. Near the bottom of this jumbled mess I came across the following text, which I applauded, at that time, the indomitably, creative human spirit of the downtrodden author, who must’ve been in a living hell, having to write spam emails for a living. Here it is (Note: The views and opinions expressed in the following article are those of the unknown author and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of any sane/rational person that I am affiliated with/know of, or have created as a fictional character):

“And then there are pigeons. Ever seen their mating ritual? Chances are you have, but can’t remember it. It never aired as a fancy schmancy Discovery Channel or Animal Planet documentary, that’s for sure! The mating ritual of the pigeon, rat with wings, and the only scavenger that has somehow succeeded in suckering hordes of people into feeding them, goes like this: A female pigeon’s trip led through some populated area…just minding her own business. Along comes a male pigeon. He starts follow her. Not at a respectable distance but within the tiniest of fractions of an inch from her feathery ass. She starts walking faster. He starts walking faster. She turns left, he turns left. She turns right, flies off, lands again, turns rightleftright. He turns left, right, flies off after her, lands again within the tiniest of fractions of an inch from her feathery ass, turns rightleftright. Finally she gives up and lets him bang her. This goes to show that what some call stalking others, notably pigeons, call courting. And if someway, somehow the pigeon society would ever evolve into a constitutionally governed state, bestowing certain unalienable rights to its citizens, such as the right to be free, and some schmuck, overly eager pigeon of a lawyer would demand a restraining order for the pigeon stalking his female pigeon client the pigeons would be royally fudged and die out in one generation. Luckily for the pigeons though, they’re really stupid and will only evolve into a society when hell freezes over, in which case fucking might be the only thing that can keep them warm.”

Curtain call


A stage



A spotlight

Center stage

A woman enters from stage left

Standing at center

She smiles

Her hand covers her mouth demurely

She lets out a quiet, little giggle

Quickly reigning it back in

Her lips curling at the corners

Lower lip quivering

She lets out a long, full-bellied laugh

As it begins to trail off

A floodlight comes on

The entire stage behind her is filled

Men and woman of all types

They join in, in the laughter

At times it’s deep and throaty

At others it’s shrill and cackling

It moves to a crescendo

When the original woman lets out a snort

Everyone falls to dead silence except her

She snorts out, once or twice, into the silence

Embarrassed, she stops and hides her face

The floodlight goes out

Her body shudders

Slowly her hands lower to her sides

Her hands tighten into fists which shake

She lets out a guttural scream

Gravelly and tearing at the throat

The floodlight comes back up

Now the stage is filled

Women on the right and men on the left

The women join in the screaming

They focus their vocal assault on the men

Fists shaking and feet stomping

The men cover their ears as their lips snarl

The women’s screams die out

The original woman holding her scream

For a couple seconds longer than the rest

The men lower their hands from their ears

Bending at the knees the men crouch low

From deep within a growling grows

As they rise the growl becomes a howl

Arms flailing about and muscles flexing

When the howling dies out

The men cock their fists back in unison

The women fall to the stage

Holding their hands up defensively

The floodlight goes out

Leaving the original woman alone

Shielding her face with her hands

Her body begins to shake

She lets out a low moan of pain

Shuddering to take in air

She builds to a long, soulful vibrato, moan

The floodlight comes back up

Only women are on stage behind her

They join in the chorus of wails and moans

This crying moves in waves

Quietly whimpering to sobbing to shrieking

As it builds to a crescendo the women fade

The floodlight dims to black

Leaving the original woman still lying at center

Her shuddering slows until she is motionless

Lying supine she is silent and still

An area light comes up

It reveals a casket

She looks over her left shoulder at the casket

Her body begins trembling

She cries quietly

She picks herself up and goes to the casket

She stands at the side of the casket

Still quietly crying

She lifts the upper lid and peers inside

Her low crying and body’s shaking builds

The crying’s staccato seamlessly transforms

We find her beginning to laugh

She throws her head back

Belting out a full-bodied guffaw

She climbs inside of the casket

Still laughing

We can no longer see her as she sinks in

Her laughing becomes a chuckle

Finally she lets out a snort

A pause of silence and another snort

Her hand rises from within the casket

Another snort and the hand slams the lid shut

The area light fades to black

Fawn by Jimmi Campkin. Another great piece of nostalgia at Sudden Denouement.

[Photo by Jimmi Campkin] Fawn We’d convinced the girl behind the screen to let us climb the church tower. We were both stoned beyond human comprehension – only nature could understand us now – but with her bored expression and indigo hair, we could see a kindred spirit. Arms over shoulders we talked about the […]

via Fawn- Introducing Jimmi Campkin — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Street Rats – by Daffni Gingerich at Sudden Denouement. A vignette of verisimilitude.

From the depths of my churning stomach, he pulls out my childhood and makes me puke so violently it comes out of my eyes. After wiping my face, he kisses my acidic lips. That’s when the world stops and the words start to fall out of me. The mustard plants in the vineyard across the street […]

via Street Rats- Introducing Daffni Gingerich — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Choose your own adventure


Page 1

You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. If you are unhappy with where you are, then turn to the next page. It’s blank. Write your own story, or a set of reasonable achievable goals that build on one another to get you to where you’d like to be. If you realize that you are where you’re supposed to be, then put this book down and go out and enjoy your life.

Page 2





















I am content

For I know there is another me

On another Earth just like this

A verse slightly different from the first

Where being a writer or a poet

Is like being a rock star or a pro athlete

Where I’ve seen the world

Welcomed in ghetto and mansion alike

Where a signed haiku gets me dinner

A signed sonnet is a CEOs annual salary

You want a personalized poem for your love?

You’ll take me into your home for a fortnight

A guest, an observer who spins tales

Recounting adventures and always listening

I can make you feel again, is what I tell them

I’ve learned to listen to divine your tale

So when it’s finally presented I’ll show you

Beautiful parts of you having never seen light

You’ll weep for a love of moments long forgot

My words bringing you closer than ever

I’ll take memories of you to keep me warm

As I sail off into new horizons

Avoiding love’s dearth

Paying my way with ink and vellum

I’ll make you feel again

The Abyss

“…And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” Nietzsche

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In the matter of a week and a half two friends, former coworkers, had taken their lives; a ripple of sadness passed through what used to be a close-knit family, one that has been cast to the four winds, nomads, since they closed the plant a couple years ago; Facebook is all a flutter, as everyone is trying to make sense of this tragedy and offering to be a sympathetic ear for those in need; and I’m just crying; when “Bob” committed suicide about two weeks ago there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it; as he had recently gotten a better job and appeared to be happy; well…he always appeared to be happy; he was the guy that you never felt the urge to avoid, that you always had a nice conversation with, as he was soft-spoken and was rarely ever without his smile; though rumor has it he has fought periodic depression for quite some time; he has been in an on-again-off-again relationship with another friend/former coworker that he has a daughter with, but whatever the reason(s) he had he found it necessary to hang himself with copper wire in his garage; and I found myself wanting, no needing to know what was going through his mind as he stood at the abyss’ edge; I don’t know if this need stems from morbid curiosity, the writer and student of human behavior that resides within or because I have been near the abyss’ edge before and needed to know just how far down this rabbit-hole goes–how much worse can it get before one takes action; whatever the reason the idea was always lurking there like the shadow behind every sunny-day thought; then a few days later my wife called me while I was on the return trip from North Carolina and told me that “Mark” had killed himself; as I was with my father-in-law and sister-in-law I bottled and buried all reaction to this news; but once I was home it started to hit me harder and harder in waves and I began going back over all of Mark’s Facebook posts; it was as if each one was a scream for help; the most recent post had seemed darkly poetic, as it spoke of the woman he lost; she held him in her arms; his cheek against her chest; lips pressed together; his need to be with her is paramount; his eyes grow heavy; he is sorry; I had lumped this post in with all of the other dark/depressing/vengeful/lamenting/antagonistic posts he had made forever, but with 20/20 hindsight it couldn’t have been any clearer to me; a captioned picture of him laying with his dog on the couch, “at least someone cares about me,” and another post asking all of his contacts to tell him something good about him; a one sentence response to Bob after his passing, “I feel you but you could’ve called me bro,” and the more I read and re-read these posts the more I despised myself for not seeing the signs before it was too late; where I once needed to know what Bob had been thinking, I found myself overcome with the raw pain of hopelessness and loneliness I knew Mark must have felt at the end; I was there at the abyss’ edge with the ghost of a friend and the familiarity of the abyss washed over me; I had to shake it but I couldn’t; we had babysat his now four fatherless children; I had given him rides when his car was broke down; I had told him in an IM when he looked for validation on Facebook that he was a good man and that I had a great amount of respect for him; it took me two days to get to the point where I wouldn’t just break down crying at the mere thought of him or at the latest Facebook posts; I had gotten closer to the abyss’ edge than I ever had before, but I learned a valuable lesson, that I remain unbroken…perhaps even stronger having faced those demons; the deep lows and the amazing highs give me the breadth of reference that not only makes me who I am, but allows me to bleed upon these pages unabashedly; life goes on;

I am


I am the undeliverable letter

With no return address

The faded love poem that waits

An eternity to be gifted

The song that sits at the edge

Of understanding never sung aloud

I am the unread manuscript

That only felt warmth in a 3am house fire

The wilted, unpurchased, bouquet of roses

That would’ve brought a smile to their lips

The fledgling that wasn’t quite ready

Left longing for the warmth of nest

The apology caught in the throat

Behind ego’s lump, that’d reconciled the two

The unsaid vow of the heart

Afraid it would go unreciprocated

So, deliver me; gift me; sing me; read me;

purchase me; push me when I’m ready; say

You’re sorry; and, say you love them.

Take the chance, be uncomfortable…that’s

Where life begins.