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  • Writer's pictureColin Phelan

In Desperate Need Of: A Coffeehouse

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

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We need:

A coffeehouse

To: my generation, and the generation above, and the one below.

We are in desperate need of a place for public discussion,

A public forum.

Gradually stripped of our soul, of our right and ability to think,

We take to, and are manipulated by the technologies

At our finger tips.

Social media surely has utility,

Of course it does,

But we are all learning

How to effectively use it in moderation.

We are headed down a dark path,

And have been for a while.

We need conversation,

Real conversation,

Conversation like,

And don’t call me a luddite for this,

Conversation like the old-days

We are in desperate need of a coffeehouse.

No, not a Starbucks or a Dunkin,

A not-for-profit place

To gather,

Phones placed in lockers upon entrance,

Cheap Coffee

Or Tea

Or water,

Whatever you please.

I’ll repeat, cheap.

Tables, lots of them.

A perimeter lined with people

Demonstrating and articulating their cause

And their beliefs;

Opposite them, maybe someone whose convictions

Fall on the other side of the (aisle) room.

Or aspirant artists, promoting their writing

Or painting,

Or voice.

A place with a balcony,

Providing a birds-eye view

For the newcomer, the intimidated

But brave soul

Who wants engagement

And personal betterment.

We all know we need it.

And the youth, we need to rectify

Our mistakes, our excessive consumption,

Of, what a friend so accurately pointed out this evening,

Many of today’s ‘content creators’

Are in fact creating the opposite of real content,

Often stripped of value

And help.

We never seem to learn from our mistakes,

We continuously eat the junk food,

For our heart, tummies, and mind,


Let’s stand up.

True democracy,

And our humanity,

Dies when we are trapped,

Unable to comfortably express our

Thoughts and opinions,

Our voices.

We all,

At least allegedly,

Had revelations last year.

Bound to our homes, stuck with our thoughts, Within our deepest depths,

We recognized the things we

Need to change,

And many of us made vows that we would.

In the past,

A wake-up call, global pandemics,

Have yielded:

Following the Black Death,

The Renaissance,

And the Spanish Flu

The roaring 20s around the globe.

We need encouragement,

We need to follow up

On our promises,

And follow through

With ourselves.

A coffeehouse.

Like the ones which the British spread

Through their colonies,

But ironically became places

Where such colonies hatched

And supported

Ideas for independence;

Unadulterated, collaborative, productive


Nowadays it seems

We all strive to return

To the office,

Remembering those days when,

And many have heard this logic by now,

Instead of sending an email,

One would

Run down the hall,


Or just open a door,

Bursting with an idea,

A critique,

Some feedback,

Or encouragement.

So then why,

Have we not yet come to our senses,

About the need for true discussion

Out of the workplace?

A coffeehouse,

A place fostering

Our desperate need for thought,

And bravery

To where students,

And adults,

And vendors,

And peddlers,

And all,

All flock,

To share,

To see,

To hear,

To form




And off script

This comes to me


That the coffeehouse is actually at

Our fingertips

We just need

To learn

To use it.

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