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Author Information

Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Synaptic Jazz

One of the best things about being a writer is having writer friends. This week’s guest post features one of my outstanding writer friends: Jean Cook and her Synaptic Jazz. I trust you all will enjoy it as much as I do! Please keep in mind that All Rights are Reserved on this poem. If you’d like to contact Jean about her poem, you can find her at her website.

October 28, 2010

(in honor of Rosanne’s signed book contract)

(edited version)

 Synaptic Jazz

by Jean Cook

Each neuron

in your head

aims to stop dead

your saboteur.

Ganglia thick like

Medusa’s snake hair

their dendrites lively, aware

aquiver, writhing,

release, receive enzymes

time and again and time

firing with willpower

every minute, every hour

firing, conspiring,

aspiring to inspire to aspire.

Never flogging your noggin,


your impulses don’t stop

rapid fire rat-a-tat-tat

whadya think about that?

about this?

snapping across the synapse gaps

across the abyss

nerves with verve and flair

analyze, improvise

how to get from here to there,

from there to here?

Brain smiles and waves

staves off the fear

strolling la-di-da

past the amygdala.


A shower of brainpower

lightning paths cutting swaths

across your gray matter

connecting a smattering

of what’s mattering,

of this, of that,

so much going on under your hat

brimming full

of natural chemicals

of dopamine,

know what I mean?


are the norm.

Your methodical plotting

not plodding

around the writer’s block

steady as a rock

steady as you go

the ideas flow

axon to axon, flow on

past snake brain

the electron convoy conveys

an energy load along vertebrae

neverendin’ at the tendons

now going far

going intramuscular

through bicep, tricep,

funnels into the carpal tunnel

through your finger,

through your pen

and then

ideas swirl

into the world.


It’s cerebral, baby.

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  1. Synchronicity at Work « The Bane of Your Resistance - January 26, 2011

    […] with an email I’d received from my writing buddy Jean (the one who wrote that outstanding poem Synaptic Jazz). She’d attached a New York Times article with this note: “Made me wonder whether the […]


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