Here at Manic Expression, people present us with all sorts of wonderful and entertaining slices of themselves. Some review movies and games. Some tell us about their childhood. Others write for or perform in Podcast Plays.

There is one person here who has dedicated herself to bringing beauty into our lives on a near daily basis, and our community is better for it. I’m talking, of course, about T-kun Unusual Wordsmith III.

T-kun joined Manic Expression just this passed August. Very early on she emailed me and asked me if it would be okay to post her poetry here. Maybe she thought we only allowed reviews or geek related material. “Of course,” I told her. “I’ll even give you your own blog space.” And my god she’s put that blog space to good use. As of the time I’m writing this there are 112 entries in T.O.’s Corner, with much more promised to come.

T-kun doesn’t play it safe with her poetry. We’re not talking unicorns and mermaids here. Take her poem “B.I.T.C.H.,” a terrifying examination of a woman scorned. She knows, as all good poets do, that the format can be used not only to glorify romance but to examine the disappointment we all feel when romance is exposed as the fraud it is. There is honesty in her writing, truth in her words. She sees the world not as we want her to see it, but as it is: a place where love can be fickle and pain is a constant companion.

That doesn’t mean her poetry is all bleak. On Thanksgiving Day, T-kun published the poem “Being Thankful 28 Ways.” She asked many of us to contribute, to tell her what we were thankful for, and out of those random thoughts she wove a moving piece about taking comfort in what we can. Life is made up of little joys, she reminds us.

Our community is strong because of our diversity. Young and old, male and female, gay and straight (and yes Creepy, bi too). Every race. Every religion. Autistic and neurotypical. We aspire to be writers, filmmakers, critics and creators. Our diversity makes us strong.

T-kun has dedicated a large portion of her life to bringing us beauty. Not a faux beauty, made up of sentimentality, but a beauty forged in truth. We’re better off for having her as a part of our lives, and we owe her our thanks.

Thank you, T-kun.

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