Author’s Note: Once you’ve read the piece, you’re more than welcome to listen to an audio recording of it as well. Just click here.


For those born with a radarless heart, destined to wander in worried circles while others walk a truer, straighter path, I wait for you. Guide you.

For those failing students of the streets, playing losing odds against the laws of gravity, I wait for you. Change the rules for you.

For those between thoughts, between breaths, between life and death, I wait for you. Fill the silences for you.

For those always ending up last in the soul’s inner-beauty pageant, I wait for you. Crown you.

For those who brave the sun, brave the deoxygenated black-hole dark to write epic poems in the vast spaces between glittering stars, I wait for you. Collaborate with you.

For those who speak from the heart, even when it is broken, knowing that cracked words are better than know words at all, I wait for you. Honor you.

For those gone so ghost that it makes invisibility seem visible, I wait for you. Long to see you.


Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one. Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one.


For those who’ve had all the wars of the world written into the lines around their eyes, I wait for you. Bear that history with you.

For those whose lives have been relegated to the B-side of that number one with a bullet hit called “My Gunned Down Life,” I wait for you. Write a better song for you.

For those who work the graveyard shift in the morgue of loneliness, I wait for you. Work side by side with you.

For those who go through life saying, “Here is a map of my spine available to all thrill-seekers—course this pained and treacherous terrain if you dare,” I wait for you. Walk that path with you.

For those who can barely speak or breathe for all the sadness crowding their lungs, I wait for you. Revive and alive you.

For those fatal optimists, hope flourishing but cyanide on standby, I wait for you. Offer taste of faith to you.

For those who consider their existences nothing more than mundane elevator Muzak in the soundtrack of life, I wait for you. Electrify and turn it up to 10 for you.


Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one. Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one.


For those whose love has been scattered from halo to horizon, I wait for you. Feel for you.

For those anchored by a failing conviction barely rooting them to earth, I wait for you. Hold on to you.

For those who’ve long since pulled the plug on their personal freak machines, I wait for you. Funky chicken, krump and downrock with you.

For those educated at the finishing school for choked tubas, I wait for you. Sing loud and clear for you.

For those with atom bombs and ghost towns encoded into their DNA so that everywhere they go shit just keeps blowing up and no one ever stays around for very long, I wait for you. Rebuild for you.

For those who’ve shipped their lives off to fictitious addresses hoping to elude reality once and for all, I wait for you. Pick up that mail for you.

For those who voted Nihilistic and got their President of Nothingness, I wait for you. Dream a better world for you.


Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one. Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one. Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one. Make one.



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RICH FERGUSON has performed nationally, and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, Stephen Elliott’s Rumpus, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured at poetry film festivals throughout the world. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.

54 responses to “I Wait For You”

  1. Stefan Kiesbye says:

    Listen to Rich and turn it up to 25 and let your neighbors think that for once in your life, you are alive and well and full of energy!

  2. Lara H. says:

    Going a little less ghost today and showing up here to say that I enjoyed this, Rich. It’s great to have the audio link too. To hear you breathe life into the words, as you once described it to me.

  3. Dana says:

    “For those who’ve shipped their lives off to fictitious addresses hoping to elude reality once and for all, I wait for you. Pick up that mail for you.”

    “Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one. Gather fractured raptures, make whole, make one.”

    Loved this, and the quoted text in particular. It was fun bumping into the funky chicken too…

  4. Christine W. says:

    You have a beautiful mind, thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  5. Judy Prince says:

    Beautiful, engaging, mesmerising, rocking, and powerfully spiritual, Rich.

    I echo Dana (as always!), her pointed-out faves.

    And I’d add these faves, too:

    “For those fatal optimists, hope flourishing but cyanide on standby, I wait for you. Offer taste of faith to you.”

    “For those whose love has been scattered from halo to horizon, I wait for you. Feel for you.”

    “For those anchored by a failing conviction barely rooting them to earth, I wait for you. Hold on to you.”

    “For those who’ve long since pulled the plug on their personal freak machines, I wait for you. Funky chicken, krump and downrock with you.”

    “For those educated at the finishing school for choked tubas, I wait for you. Sing loud and clear for you.”

    “For those with atom bombs and ghost towns encoded into their DNA so that everywhere they go shit just keeps blowing up and no one ever stays around for very long, I wait for you. Rebuild for you.”

    I so appreciate your spiritual mending. It can never be too much nor too often, as you well know and therefore tell us in your word/sound pictures.

  6. Ah, Judy, thanks so much for such wise and kind words. They really mean the world to me. I hope all’s well in art and life.

  7. Rich,
    Sometimes I wait for your words. And they come, and they always make my day better.
    thanks for that

  8. Zara Potts says:

    Oh Rich. Your words fill up my heart.
    You speak truth and wisdom and love.
    To know that you are waiting and giving and loving, makes me smile.

  9. Jennifer,

    Wow, those words really mean the world to me. Especially coming from you. It’s such an honor to work with you as a member of the TNB Poetry editorial staff. Can’t wait to read another one of your pieces, too. C’mon, give it up, give it up!

  10. Simon Smithson says:

    No man is an island.

    And a rising tide lifts all ships.

    As you shine brighter, Rich, so too do we all. Always a pleasure to read something by you, brother. Next time I’m out, I’ll be sure to raise a glass to changing things for the better.

    • So nice to hear from you, Simon. Can’t wait to see that gorgeous mug of yours one day, hopefully sooner than later. Californication can’t get enough of you. Peace.

  11. JulieK says:

    You have come a long way from Tammy’s on the Telephone and I love you more now then I did then. And that’s a LOT. I am going to read this or listen to it whenever I am feeling blechy and alone.

    • Thanks for reading/listening, Julie. Yeah, I guess I have come a long way since “Tammy’s on the Telephone.” Those were good days, learning days. But I definitely appreciate where I am these days, artistically, humanistically, you name it. Guess I needed those “Tammy” days to get here, though. So, I’m not deriding them in the least. Hope you’re well, and thanks for hanging with me through the years. Peace.

  12. James D. Irwin says:

    This is as beautiful as always man.

    Look forward to listening to it in the morning. Something to look forward to…

    • Thanks for reading/listening, James. And glad to hear that David Bowie helped to save the day on your birthday. Yep, over the years Bowie has definitely saved my ass from time to time as well.

  13. D.R. Haney says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing this performed live, when you, Rich, punished me for having the gall to read on the same bill as you. It was one of the rare occasions that I’ve enjoyed being punished. Please, sir, may I have some more?

    • What a pleasant surprise to hear from you, Sir Duke. I really enjoyed your reading that night at the 24 Hour Marathon. Heck, I enjoy hearing you any time and every time I see you. Hope all’s going well with the new novel. Can’t wait to read it!

  14. jfreidog says:

    Rich,

    Wonderful and inspiring words for those who have wander the “road less traveled” . Thanks for the words, makes my personal path a little easier. Peace.

    Jack “Mr. Fry”

  15. Jeffrey Pillow says:

    He strikes again!

    You need to collect this all in a book man.

    For those born with a radarless heart, destined to wander in worried circles while others walk a truer, straighter path, I wait for you. Guide you.

    Pure thumping rhythm of words, this is, to quote Daffy Duck, “SSstupendous!”

    • Wow, I don’t think anyone’s ever quote Daffy Duck before when referring to my work. That’s hella cool, Jeffrey. Thanks so much for reading/listening. You’re the best, my friend.

  16. kristen says:

    Wonderfully uniting. Love the soul that colors bright your work, Rich. Such hope.

  17. New Orleans Lady says:

    I sent this to my mother.
    she cried.

    she needed to hear these words.
    I did, too.

    thank you.

    love.

  18. Daphne Jolie Zacky says:

    Wow Rich, very nice. What a beautiful piece and so well put. For all us floating souls, may our paths only continue to enlighten us. Daphne

  19. JM Blaine says:


    & Moses said unto the LORD
    send someone else
    for I am just a man
    flesh & blood
    and troubled days
    a striving against
    the wind

    & the LORD said unto Moses
    take off your shoes
    for the place where
    you stand
    is Holy Ground

  20. Matt says:

    Rich,

    I’ve listened to the track you sent three times so far. This is simply splendid…love the beat and rhythm of the music, loved the flow of the words on the page. Chaos and optimism all at once. Fine, fine work.

  21. Irene Zion says:

    My heart
    has ambled
    aimlessly,
    constantly searching,
    searching,
    searching.

    My soul
    faded
    so that it could not
    be seen,
    and the words
    it spoke
    were inaudible.

    I would not
    like others
    to know,
    yet I am
    familiar with
    the land of the
    dead
    and
    dying.

    There are times
    I could
    scarcely breathe
    because
    my love
    had been scattered,
    hopelessly,
    landing on
    barren
    soil.

    I have
    cyanide
    on my bedside table.

    It is I
    who wait for
    you.

    • By all means, Irene, please allow me to offer myself up to you before you go for that hit of cyanide on the bedside table. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Happy travels, my dear.

  22. Tracy Basye Hale says:

    As usual, you have stimulated and provoked some deeper thought in my usually distracted mind. Thanks!

    • Hi Tracy:

      Glad that I was able to provoke some thought and get through to your usually distracted mind, as your comments have gotten through to my usually distracted mind. Take good care.

  23. Lisa Brende says:

    “For those born with a radarless heart, destined to wander in worried circles while others walk a truer, straighter path, I wait for you. Guide you.”

    Rich, what an absolutely brilliant piece. So powerful and moving. May we all be that person to someone or everyone…guiding them, showing love through our actions. We have so much to do in this lifetime. Thank you for sharing with me.

    • Thanks for reading, Lisa. And yes, you’re so right. We do have so much to do in this lifetime. But it’s all such good work, right? Take good care, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  24. Joe Daly says:

    Rich, with this piece you have tapped into a spirituality almost entirely ignored by the major religions of the world. Love, compassion, empathy and non-judgment. If the souls of the world followed these qualities, that you have so perfectly laid out in your peace, maybe I might be inclined to start reading newspapers again.

    Well done, Rich. With your writing before me and my coffee beside me, you have started me out on a very nice path today.

    • Wow, Joe. What profound comments. Yes, you’re right. Love, compassion, empathy and non-judgment are definitely hard to find these days. Every day I have to remind myself to embody those qualities as best I can. It’s tough sometimes, though. Not because I don’t want to follow those traits, it’s just that I sometimes lose track of that mindfulness if I move too quickly through my day.

      In a perfect world, all those qualities you mentioned should come naturally to humans. Because really, at one time or another they were at the core of our very beings. Children embody those qualities quite naturally. Often without even being told to do so. But as we get older we can really lose touch. As you said, every day the newspapers show us how far we can get from our compassionate selves.

      Take good care, my friend. And thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      • Laura Alonso says:

        ~ agree with Joe and your response, too, Rich – we should all be more like children in this way!

        This is lovely, lovely stuff – heartwarming, heartfelt, and heartbreaking . . . *sigh*

  25. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    As you know, Rich, I love this. You always hit the mark. Real beauty, as ever.

  26. Jovanka says:

    “For those who’ve long since pulled the plug on their personal freak machines, I wait for you. Funky chicken, krump and downrock with you.”

    How wow is that?!

    …….I love the way so many people commenting cut and paste things from your piece because it’s just that good. Everyone has a particular line which hits them right in the soul. This one is mine.

    J-Vonk

    • Hey Jovanka:

      So great to hear from you! Hey, if your ears were burning yesterday, it was because Burdick and I were hanging out, working on the new video. Oh, and we only said the nicest of things about you.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, my dear.

  27. bcoulter says:

    More words from the heart that i well never grow tired of hearing/reading/singing as long as you keep writing/reading/singing them…love from all the family on our annual summer road trip, currently in Reno NV and sending you this from my mother ‘n law’s laptop (who also loved it!!). Can’t wait to play with you at Cal Plaza!!!

  28. Sandra says:

    A beautiful piece of writing, Rich. Thank you for sharing x

  29. megan says:

    this is a gorgeous piece of poetry. thank you for brightening my day, i felt the empathy in every one of your words. this is too poignant.

  30. Gareth says:

    Hi Rich. You had me with the first line, and there are some great images in here (I won’t share which one line most struck home … I have to at least maintain the facade of dignity).

    Picking up on Joe Daly’s comment: it’s clear-eyed but wholly non-judgmental. It’s the one poem I’ve read recently that I want to print out.

    I’m sorry I can’t hear you read it. Ah, the joys of interet blocks.

    Go well.

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