Joseph Massey: Language Without Limits

Cool Continuum
3 min readFeb 16, 2024
Joseph Massey and his cat Jarvis

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Joseph Massey is a poet from Western Massachusetts who uses personal experiences and life events to connect with his audience through his unique perspective. Despite having no formal education in poetry, Massey has published several books and runs a newsletter to stay connected to his readers. Massey, a devoted music fan, discovered poetry through Jim Morrison, known for his work as the lead singer of The Doors in the 1960s, not to mention his poetry. Morrison was a huge fan of people such as Rimbaud, Huxley, and Blake, influences that Massey took on as well, as he traced the footsteps to the poetic and artistic roots of one of his artistic heroes. Massey isn’t only concerned with the meaning of words. He also loves the musicality of words and phrases. Inspired by lyricists such as Morrissey (The Smiths), he learned all about how vowels and flowing combinations of words can truly transform the evocative power of a turn of phrase. In much the same way, he cites poets like Ezra Pound or Emily Dickinson for their ability to write words almost like still images, capturing a feeling in a deeply rooted way.

In his work, Massey advocates the idea that strict stylistic rules should not limit poetry but instead be a means of expressing something profound and meaningful. To achieve this, he adopted a spontaneous and emotive approach to language. Massey is known for his ability to use evocative words to create vivid and colorful scenes that captivate readers and make them think and react emotionally.

His poems often explore spiritual themes, encouraging people in the audience to look within themselves to find a deeper connection with God. Through his writing, Massey reminds us that the divine is not something external to us, something unattainable. Instead, his writings remind us that we were made in God’s image, and as such, his higher power is indeed an essential component of our own being. Ultimately, Massey’s poetic style shows readers that the divine within us is something that we can tap into through poetry and other forms of creative expression. Massey is very prolific, and he believes in the importance of writing something on a regular basis. He writes something each day, even if it’s only a line forever destined to remain in his notebook. As someone who relies on his self-expression to make sense of the world, writing is a very important task for the poet, who always approaches everything with a very observant mindset.

Massey stands out among other poets for his use of social media, particularly Twitter/X. Many poets avoid modern digital media, but Massey embraces it as a way to reach a like-minded audience. Despite some controversy and negative attention in the press over some of his interactions online, Massey’s contribution to the modern poetry scene is undeniable and very personal. In light of these experiences, Massey experienced today’s dance culture first-hand, which inspired some thought-provoking and insightful takes on modern society, which he also expressed through his work.

While modern digital communication offers increased visibility and makes poetry more accessible, many poets find it distracting or even superficial. Some might feel that the oversaturation of content makes it difficult for individual poets to stand out, leading to sloganeering rather than making actual poetry in order to reach people more easily. However, Massey showed that it’s not about the medium but the heart of the content itself.

Overall, Massey could be described as an Outsider in the Cool Continuum. His lack of a formal academic background and willingness to use modern media to great effect have allowed him to create something remarkable and continue to inspire people.

Cool Continuum is a collaborative effort by Jason S. Comely and A.I. For more artist profiles and ideas on how you can make your mark on the art world, follow me on Medium.