confront me with words
when there’s every reason
to do wrong, or worse, or nothing.
when every emissary
of other
is around me chanting
beyond chant with
even the rhythm of natural
life itself.
there speak to me in language.
explore for me perception and wood-smoke,
linens and pepper corns.
show me new things in old ways
and old things in new,
speak as solemnly as a child.

when I’ve set myself up
some mock of God
to fix me through the moment,
there speak to me in language
using writing to unbirth
everything I knew but never thought of.
build strong words up like bridges to me
plasma-fitted together arching
even slightly beyond intention.
speak the possibilities of spacing inside paradox
speak beyond possibility and construct
for me a logic of love.
speak to me with the words spoken
confront me with the words of
rappers, slam-poets, and mothers.
speak to me in the language of tree-work
roots and pen strokes.
write for me in booklength,
speak longer to me than a brother.

confront me with words
as soaked and wrapt
and all-encompassing attention
as dawn warm rain on early
winter-ending mornings.


Obi_ProfileObi Martin says that the times he feels most alive come often when reading or writing.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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