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Memorial - Jess Tapper


We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jess Tapper (weirdelf). Jess was a founding member, a former member of the Board of Trustees, the first ever Neopoet AEC Chair (in addition to being an eight time AEC/AC member), and most recently, the Director of Workshops and a member of our Cabinet.

I hope we can come together in this forum to mourn as a community.


I am at a loss of words. Know that I will do all in my power to keep this family together even though we all lost our brother. Rest in peace my friend. Know that you are not gone to me just a star shining in my sky. To all the members of this site please this is the place to tell all you feel. Trustees AC members advocates greeters cabinet members first we are family members and we are here for each other in the honor of Jess.

When I first came here Jess and I fought a great deal and I thought I'd never like him. But over time we both realized that the other had valid points which led us, at first, to grudgingly respect one another and over more time to become as close to friends as one can become via a keyboard. His passing is a great loss to the site but also a great loss to me personally. RIP Jess

Jess Tapper, to me, was a highly intellectual player. He gave his time freely to help and advise all here at Neopoet. He had a special way of commenting on our work and I know people listened to him.
We talked a lot from opposite sides of the world, he in Sydney, Australia, and I here in Yorkshire, England. We had a different lingo but I looked forward to our conversations a great deal. I enjoyed his 'dingo lingo'.
I hope that I am in order to request that we all be positive and propel this unique concept of writing and helping each other forward. To write finer and more explosive poetry is a goal I am sure Jess would have wanted.

Because stars are not visible in the daytime doesn't mean they are not there.

My thoughts are with him at this sad time and my sympathies are with his family and friends.~ I am sure that he is not 'down under' as we British say.

Requiescat in pace.... Alan Stuart Jeeves (AC chair), friend and admirer.

Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan

The loss of another Brother, not only in the poetic world where he was one of the very best,
But as an addition to my family, as I have over the years come to treat him as a proper brother.
He will be missed, for all differing reasons but in his heart, he was one of the best.
Love and miss you My Bru, have a safe journey and please be good to the Angels,
Yours Ian xxx

Words can build a nation

and silence in my heart.

We had many private messages back and forth, we were fans of each other's work and passion for poetry. He often took my poems and made them alive by his brilliant recorded readings.

This is the second death I have experienced here at Neopoet. Here is a poem by Esker, who passed a few years ago.
Jess, who was a great friend of Esker, I know you would approve our reading of it.

and if we think
that death is rest
and final end
the one last breath
at least the life
of love that’s lost
lives on in us
that lives and walks
and in the spirit
of exchange
that not replaces
but only gains
memory lives
of those remembered
for those who
feel the threshold
of the waves
that fall upon the
endless beach
like grains of sand
and precious
while we be carried
in the hearts
when we too
take our time
and felled
by mortal hand
to rest upon


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

remained a friend through years
of ups and downs ... he will be missed.

I only knew him for a few months. He was ferocious in his love and belief in Neo and when I didn't take to Neo in the way he thought I should I was subjected to a dose of Jess at his best or is that worst? We survived that and our belief in learning and poetry kept us talking. I think its typically antisocial of him not to see my first workshop through so he could tell me I got it wrong.
I think the only legacy he needs is for Neo to continue to flourish and nurture poets.
Maybe a Jess Tapper contest once a year or a lecture would keep him firmly amongst us?
RIP Jess Tapper you carried many burdens may you be reunited with those that love you.

His slightly erratic behaviour this month is now explained: medication/illness can make you behave strangely. I am truly sorry to hear he has died.

Poet(ess) to the Stars

I have been a way for a while. I logged on expecting to post a poem today, not mourn a friend and mentor. Saddened for his families loss and ours. Saddened that there will be no more spirited exchanges between us. Jess was an outstanding mentor for me. He challenged me at most every turn.Thankfully, I was always able to understand that, no matter how harsh the words, it was always for my benefit as a poet. I certainly will treasure his joy (and mine) at his excitement when I was able to turn that harshness around into quality poetry. And I most definitely will never forget the times I rendered him without critique. It mad me mad that he wouldn't or couldn't critique, but I also knew what an ultimate compliment he was paying. He will truly be missed.

Selfishly, I wanted one more conversation.


In cases such as this (if I can express myself so), words are truly meaningless, only the deepest silence brings us together from wherever we are, whatever the background or nationality and compels us to take a moment of silence. I feel that our love for literature brings us closer even if we haven't exchanged words or interacted with each other. I feel deeply saddened to find out that Jess Tapper (weirdelf) passed away. I used to speak with him and gladly take his advice and embrace his critical comments in 2008-2009, when I posted several sonnets of mine on the old website. We weren't strictly speaking friends, yet we were two human beings brought together (thanks to the Internet) by the love of poetry and literature, as all of us here are. I remember that his suggestions helped me a lot, especially that I wasn't (nor am I today) a native English speaker.

May his soul rest in peace.

We live only hours away from each other. There were times we fought like demons but always 10mins later speaking as friends/family do. I remember his first critique he was brutal that was over 12-13 years ago. In last couple of years he spoke to me and told me why he was so hard on me. He said he saw something in me worth drawing out, like one might draw out a foreign object. There was a great tenderness he hid from most. But I saw it and called him out on it. Well you can imagine the reply I got to that lol

Please know they are overwhelmed and thankful of all the beautiful messages they have received since his passing.

I want you all to know it wasn't the illness that he'd suffered with that made him pass. It was another problem and he died quickly without suffering. I spoke last night to his sister and she told me what the coroner ruled to be the cause of death.

Jess I will miss our chats, Our verbal sparring and your constant support through my own medical problems.

Another loss of another brother from another mother.

Vale Weirdelf Rest in Peace Jess.

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

Among the other things. I know Jess professed to not believe in any life after death he might find himself pleasantly surprised

If you want to hear Jess read something really great, try "Eyes With No Girl" on my Soundcloud. Jess was a living force.

we'll keep his page up.

I have been away for a while and heard of the passing of Jess the other day. I’m at a loss for words, and that doesn’t happen often to me.

Jess has a huge impact on me here and on Facebook. He challenged me on every word I ever wrote. Made me think, made me question everything, even when I didn’t want to. It made me better writer and a better person. And for that I will always be grateful! And for as many times as he drove me nuts, in the end it was to make me see a different point of view. His knowledge was bottomless. His experiences shared were lessons, even though we may not have seen it at the time.

He will be greatly missed. There is a hole that can never be filled and weirdelf was his name.

Rest In Peace my friend! Thank you for all you taught me and everyone else here. Thank you for being your true self and teaching me to do that same.


Jess, may you rest in peace. I'm very sad to hear you're gone, may heaven be your own!


Jess, the horror of the news of your journey to a realm beyond transcends that of the worst nightmare on this planet earth. You live on, Jess.

i am stunned. the last exchange we had, jess, was some of our usual "fighting" which happened more than once. but you always told me you really loved me (you also said on here you lied but i know how you felt) and i always told you i loved you and i don't lie. i am so saddened by the thought of not being able to have anymore of our "intellectual" discussions, whether mankind is filled with potential or fucked. i am really really stunned. when you last mentioned pain, i thought i emotional pain. i tried to get through to you but failed. damn you jess!!!!! a light in my life has gone until we meet to fight again. i adore brilliant people, opinionated people, weird people. i will truly miss you so much. Godspeed my dear dear friend

Sad, sad news. Neopoet has lost a warrior of words and a very great friend.

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

I haven't been on Neo for years, but I just heard the news about Jess. My condolences to all his friends and fellow members. Jess and I argued about everything and I think we just loved to get under each other's skin. I know Neo will never be the same without him. I hope he has found peace and comfort.
RIP Jess


Reading all these comments.
Can’t help thinking what your reaction would be.
Hopefully entirely unprintable and as off the wall as you are .
Keep that original star shining my friend, you will be much missed here.
Now go fuck off and start a poetry group on the other side and don’t ever lose that passion.
Jx as ever.

Remember we are a workshop site.
Don't forget to offer critique on poems you read.

I’m gonna miss you. Jess lived up to his name as the weirdest person I ever knew and the best realest friend I have to date. My husband and four children knows weirdelf as my best friend ever in life.

There are others on here that fit that description for me as best friends for life. You know who you are.

Jess was always there in the chat to talk me off what he called the Eiffel Tower with a shot gun back in 2008 lol. I found Neopoet when I was at my lowest point while on MySpace keeping an eye on my children social media interactions teaching them and their friends how to avoid hackers and predators by making sure their accounts was safe and what to look for.

He was my mentor and taught me how to do what he call vomit out poetry. Just write it down. Then I had to figure out and learn here how to structurally revise before posting. I wrote non stop about 20 or more a day but posted one or two a day. I had no poetic education so that was challenging. I am highly creative in many things so I excelled here and helped developed the site into what it is today. My dna is in here lol.

Weirdelf did get to meet my youngest son on Facebook when he being weirdelf comment on my granddaughter spelling her name backward. (Lani) got cuss out I two letter t and f. He text me MA!!! I said that’s weirdelf and you need to apologize. He said I Remember him. He apologized without a second thought.

All my kids know him as weirdelf the man on Neopoet my friend for life. My husband don’t even get between that. My husband felt sad for me when we fell out for a minute and a half on Facebook when I pretended I didn’t care .. and he's jealous of everybody everything every idea. But we never argue about Jess till this day, or anybody on Neopoet I talk about.

You are missed Jess that includes my husband and four children 2 girls 29 and 31. Two boys 33 and 27,

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka.

Neopoet Community

He was my Facebook friend too. Supported me on atheistic arguments and poetry.

This is a real miss!

Rest on legend!


My Brother from afar,

Your words and teachings drew us close over many a year.
Talks of your wonderful family rang clear,
So many Sisters a world to share.
Each gave you a facet to the diamond you were.

Journey on young Brother mine
A sorrow you have left behind
A good sorrow in that we knew your ways
A poem here, a comment if we strayed.

These few words I just have to say
You enhanced us here in the UK
And that’s half a world away.
Rest now your work is done.

One day in a far-off place
Where we all gather in a world of grace
I will whisper your name to let you know
That as a Brother we loved you so.

Yours as always, your Brother, Ian T Howard, UK

Words can build a nation

It finally came after so many years
of paddling on a disturbed sea,
the perfect wave to break his fears
and carry him to eternity.

This breaker rolled Out to the deep
and he caught its rolling pipe
where his form joined its liquid motion
which he touched with a quick hand swipe.

Then the wave crashed and broke
into a foamed face flat and wide
and he was gone like a wisp of smoke
as he surfed on to the other side.

It was nothing new that Jess and I had a love/hate ype relationship. But despite it all I loved the man as a fellow human. I was in disbelief at the news of his death and it still pains e to think of it. Yet I know that somewhere up there he and Lon are going head to head lool as tey always did and yet they remained the best of friends. I recall the time I had to ban Jess from my chat room hated to do it but Jess was being is lovingl disruptive self two days layer we were the best of friends. I have been a member of Neo for 12 yrs now and Jess was always there so I know that he will alays be there looking over my shoulder either cussing me out or saying TA well done. I will sorely miss him

Our chat room is not only there for Thursday afternoon chat 3:30-4:30
but it is there and ready for all to use at anytime of day come often and hook up in conversation to those across the globe

who held a position at neo over any length of time wound up having to slap Jess back to his senses at some point. I had to suspend him for a few months once as well as inform him that his next digression would likely lead to a permanent ban. I didn't Want to just as I didn't Want to permanently ban a couple of previous members. But Jess understood and upon his return we slowly became friends. And now he's gone................

Hey there!
This I think, wasn’t in the plan!
The days before you left the sky went mad
Forked lightning, rumbling grumbling thunder, wild winds and slashing rain
The heavens either preparing a light show for you, knowing you were coming
or perhaps forewarning the angels – Watch Out – the Weirdelf is coming, batten the hatches, prepare ye the way!
When you went the storms had done their work.
They had cleared the skies and returned the light to us and to heaven – ready for you my friend. I cannot imagine you floating ethereally towards the light but knowing you, rolling and roiling, being buffeted and surfing the wind currents, yelling as you go
“I’m here, I’m here come and get me!”
No raging against the dying of the light here, but instead a gleeful cackle, pushing through the cracks and revelling in a new light
A new freedom
A light that fills your senses, fills you, surrounds you with all knowledge, all understanding
Where there is no dark, no pain, no regret, no shame, no judgement
Enjoy it! And know
We loved you ~ always and will love you ~ always and forever.

I'm so sorry to hear that a dear brother and poet has died. I'm fairly new here, so can only say R.I.P. dear poet friend. Condolences to his family and everybody at Neopoet.
Love, Gracy

"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

Jess your departure saddens the heart but I know we shall still meet again in the afterlife.

always remember to make a critique of other poems
using the hoe is not madness for nothing

The nail has fallen deep in the sea and noon can find it, a hero has fallen again.jess in our hearts and minds you shall forever remain and unforgettable you will be until we shall all meet again, fare well and good night.

Brother, you and I have been sparring, debating, dusting up, and writing magic together for almost 12 years on here.

I'll never forget you.

Carry on, you legend.
- the other Jess

"Weird"... Sometimes. Steadfast, brilliant and forthright? Always!
Travel light wherever your are... Gone but not forgotten!
Cheers mate.

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