Posted in art, poetry, writing


Static 	 	 If we moved millimeters we’d touch, strangers on planes forced in proximities reserved for intimacy. I keep my arms crossed, compacted in self-inflicted binding, hands to myself like they taught us in preschool. I shift a little, stimulating blood flow to my tingling feet, but in the move our skins meet, that man’s and mine. I perceive of his flinch, the jerk away masked in the stealth of reaching for his drink, his repulsion of contact, one second that makes me question  why I fear physicality.

Happy Friday!


Poetry and music.

15 thoughts on “Static

  1. Reminds me of me often times. Not you, but the guy who cringed away at contact. Sometimes though, it doesn’t bother me at all, and I don’t immediately notice that the person next to me has accidentally made contact with my body and not broken it, and it doesn’t matter to me when I realize it. It doesn’t have to do with my comfort level with the person. I suppose I am moody and inconsistent in what I am comfortable with, a hot mess of contradictions.

    Enough about me though, I enjoyed your poem, and appreciated it’s rhythm.

    I hadn’t thought about this before, but I suppose some people who have made contact with me, have noticed my flinching, and may have wondered at it, as you did the man’s in your poem. I wonder if I have ever provoked introspection by my neurotic behavior, in contact cringing, or any of my other eccentric tendencies that I think fly beneath the radar of people I’m around from time to time…

    I know sometimes human touch is part of some people’s conversation. Touch is a curious thing to me. Sometimes I wish for human contact, a hug or a handshake, some kind of expression of human compassion to make me feel like I too am a human. Sometimes I want nothing more than to be alone and untouchable and not feel human, or feel anything.

    Sometimes I’m on the fence, and want to be around people, but want to maintain what feels like a safe distance and avoid actual contact, and even any kind of conversation. It sounds like the man in your poem might have been on the fence, as he was self-conscious enough to try to mask his flinching and not just let it pass out of mind as a mere jolt breaking him out of focused thought, which would have been understandable I suppose, as people who drink often do it to help escape heavy thoughts. I know that if he really wanted to be devoid of even indirect human contact, he could have chosen to drink in the privacy of his own residence, or if he doesn’t live alone, could have have found some other private place if he put his mind to it.

    Perhaps you did the right thing, whether making contact was entirely purposeful on your part or not. Sometimes I think people, even me, need people to trespass into our bubbles, and remind us that we aren’t invisible ghosts ignored among the living. It sounds weird if you think of that as may saying “Go out and touch strangers!”, but in some sense it is good for some of them. Two nights ago someone introduced herself to me, and invited me to sit with her and her husband, when I was secretly wanting human contact and not wanting to sit on the fringes by myself at the event I was attending. Socially anxious people often dwell on what more socially relaxed people don’t even notice, and do so at length at times, dwelling even on such little things of what could be perceived as accidentally making contact to a degree that it makes an actual difference in their emotional health. I believe in Chaos Theory and the butterfly effect. Your contact may have been the flap of butterfly wings in that man’s life that creates a cumulative effect that keeps him in some kind of emotional balance, or helps/helped him get out of bed the next day and face life and go to work with the weight of his life burdens lessened to the extent that he is able to show some kindness to another that he might not have, if his life burdens were heavier and making him less attentive to others, which could have the same effect on people that you may have had on him. You never know, there is always so much that goes on in the human story of everyone’s lives that goes untold, and unnoticed…

    I suppose your poem has led me to introspection, as your contact with the man in your poem led you to introspection, as I guess is obvious by this long comment on what was a short poem. I guess I came across it at the right time, and you wrote it in the right words. It’s always a compliment to a writer, when they see their work has stirred actual thought, and they aren’t left guessing if likes on their blogs without accompanying comments were made merely out of fishing for dishonest “reciprocal” attention, which is why I chose to share my thoughts at length. Sometimes people need to be touched in intangible ways, needing their souls brushed by another soul, their minds bumped by another mind, stuff like that, so I try to sometimes, as it’s easier for me than making physical contact with others. I’m silly like this, leaving comments on blogs, that could be blogs themselves because of their thought, time taken to compose, and their length – I did say I was neurotic! 🙂

    Here’s a quote I like that you may appreciate as well, as it suggests that introspection stemming from people-watching, like the premise of your poem, is a wise practice for personal growth:

    “If we observe the relationships that go on between human beings, we will receive a graduate-level education. Watch, for example, how much of our speech is aimed at justifying our actions. We find it impossible to act and allow the act to speak for itself. No, we must explain it, justify it, demonstrate the rightness of it. Why do we feel this compulsion to set the record straight? Because of pride and fear, because our reputations are at stake!… This compulsion is particularly easy to observe among sales-people, writers, ministers, professors–all those who earn their living by being good with words. If, however, we gradually make ourselves one of the principal subjects of study we will be delivered from a haughty spirit.”
    – Richard J. Foster

    1. Wow, I’m honored by this comment and wish I had time in the present moment to respond with equal measure. You made my day with your response and I love the quote at the end!! Am I correct in remembering you are from St Louis?

  2. I like your thought process. Something you don’t think about until you come across something like this. 🙂

      1. And I love abnormal thinking. 🙂 I had to share this on my twitter feed by the way. Consider it as my motivator for today.

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