we are all connected (or, the softer side of obsession)

for tjr: today and every day


it happened while i wasn’t looking;
it happened while i was in pretty deep—

trying to climb up and out from that steep
dark that meets me even in my sleep.

but this time, you. you were there, too,
saying, yeah, i feel it; it’s true

but, it will pass. hold on, like the last time;
hold on, and it will lose its power,

and you will
rise.

it means every thing to have another
being there to say – i’m here

and not
much else.

it means every thing to have
a hand reaching out, an ear opening,

a heart-mind waiting to
wrap itself around you.

even across the creeping
light-years, miles, blues, trials:

we        are        all        connected
and that has made all the difference.



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Painting of Tommy Joe Ratliff by Olivia Santiago

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holding on for life

they call these stretches

episodes,

as if they only last a brief spell,

and wrap themselves up tight

at a definitive end:

into a meaningful

conclusion.

 

really it’s just hell getting through

each hour,

and then,

more confusion.

and you really don’t want any one watching.

but often you need some one watching

to help pull you out the other side.

 

believing that coordinates can lead you

to the center

of the universe

is saying you know the way to the edges,

to the end of the world.

there is no end; therefore, there is no center.

it’s just spinning and falling and flying and holding on for life.

café

some people sit

squarely in the

 

world, an umlaut

atop an accolade.

 

it strikes me suddenly as

i flit on this splitting branch

 

that i know    nothing.

 

i watch people watching

me watching them:

 

a wizened man cursing the

maze he must maneuver;

 

a leering lit professor,

emblazoned.

 

i wonder what they see when

they    look-glance    through me:

 

the nesting couple

kiss-whispering;

 

the absent-minded mother

gripping the hour.

 

the über-weight of the rare

gaze-landing, the heady fleeting

 

feeling that    we are one.