Denton, Poet, Poetry, Poem, Spoken Word, North Texas, Writer, Denton Square


A short man wearing all black and a white fedora over his red hair, vapes a designer eCig. He walks up to greet Myles Wood the musician. His name is Poe and that’s actually his real name.

“My parents, there’s a lot of poets in my family down the line and they just poet, poem, Poe- which was cool,” Poe said almost inaudibly to a laughing Myles. “Not after Edgar Allen Poe, just that there was poets and stuff in my family down the line for just generation after generation.”

Poe, and avid writer, has been writing since he was 8 but now does spoken word, performing local, paid shows like at Andy’s and Abbey’s. He’s been doing it around here for about a year and a half but personally likes Dallas and “other places like that” a little bit more. It’s what he does for a living and he’s been doing it for more than five years.

At the age of 16, Poe started going to open mic nights and competitions outside of school. When he was almost 18, he was asked to be on a poetry slam team for Dallas.

“I did that for a couple years and that’s what got me in to it. Just so many competitions and shows and loved it,” he said all melancholy with not a twinge of excitement.

Poe will have music behind all his stuff, whether it’s the guitar, piano or violin, or just two other instruments all mashed up together. It keeps the poets and musicians interesting.

“Who wants to hear a bunch of talking?” he said with his first smile.

Poe and Myles chat for a while about a possible collaboration in the future, with a natural lyricist and a natural musician- both lacking a lick of talent for the other as they claim. The two part ways, Myles striking up another upbeat tune, Poe walking off into the sunset.

Barista, Coffee, Coffee Shop, Denton, UNT, Big Mike's Coffee, Texas

On a Cold Day

On a cold Monday in February, Jenna, my girlfriend wakes up at 6:30 to get ready for work in Denton and wakes me to get ready with her. It’s our normal routine. Today I’m headed up to Denton though my Quantitative Research Methods isn’t for another 12 hours.

While we eat breakfast, she says it will be cold today, but I don’t listen to her, she’s always cold. So I mistakenly wear a light jacket, not anticipating the wind and shiver as I walk around the university area to grab some interviews before finishing some assignments. A light drizzle wets my hair and I can hear my stomach growl over the cold. I forgot to eat breakfast.

I pass Big Mike’s Coffee, and realize I have never been in before, so peek inside. It looks empty. I step in and ask what’s good, planning on ignoring their recommendations anyway. I know what I want. Since nobody is behind me, I realize now would be a perfect time for an interview, if only I can have a few sips of that coffee.


Sadie Ryckoff, a barista at Big Mike’s Coffee on Hickory in Denton, shows up for work at 5:45 a.m. She turns on the espresso machine to get it heated up to temp and begins to roast the coffee, the same way she has for the past three and a half years.

Sadie continues her routine as she goes around and make sure everything is clean and organized, straightened up, ready for a super busy day here at the coffee shop.

“Monday through Friday is pretty hopping,” she said as if she had four cups of espresso herself. “Usually when you get set up you are really efficient and it makes for a smooth morning and a lot of fun for everyone.”

Sadie’s morning is going really well. The weather, when it’s rainy, can be hit or miss. Either people sleep in or the shop will be slammed as guests seek something warm and cozy to drink.

“I love making espresso, to be behind the machine is where I’m most happy,” she said. “I love serving people.”

On cue, a swarm of young men enter the shop seeking refuge, pulling off their gloves to order drink that will warm them more efficiently.