the poetry that matters

Micheal James Martin

Michael James Martin superball’d around the US, from Northern/Southern California to New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi where he was born. Recent and not so recent work appears or will appear in Dogzplot, BlazeVOX, Caveat Lector and Mythium. Author of two obscure, limited-run chapbooks and an unpublished book, he’s currently writing a new book of poetry… among other projects.

Lowered Expecations

One man’s head while on a family vacation

Eat me photosynthesis, chlorophyll stem to roots — soil oiled soiled now ill from the
repeated hmm-hum of after-death of the negative outcome beer run, manifest destiny
preserved sour, artificially desweetened Smuckers is what this devouring tastes like

Tentacles swallowing baby seals is what this rapture looks like; curious kid dropping
seltzer into Old Faithful, pill by pill, pellet by pellet, picture perfect zyzzyva — copious
lotus porous opiates coarse choir chorus alarm clock!

Pants one leg at a time unless rigor mortis grew more since the convertible crashed, ear to
blue tooth cordless: filmically quicksand kills, real pitfalls float buoyant victims. While
there victims die from exposure, nature’s halitosis, nature’s decorum-crimp



Vegas to the drunk-sick

The system and its crooked dealer; deal a new set he's flipping from the bottom of the
deck, deal again sir. The person who swallows the lump forming in their throat never
worries about it being cancerous or tumorous, never thinks maybe to not swallow but spit
instead. (Oh Monica). Swirling cigarette smoke coating his uvula Da, Da, Da — him he
groves Speakeasys’ speaking harshly sultry Billie Holiday tunes stumbling on the words
from Strange Fruit, visual pain in his teeth



… on Odysseus

“Scallywag,” young fools protest, the pink rose positioned in their lapel fails, dead-flesh
stenches like tulips attracting inadequate-minded horseflies as their moniker does not fit
physiologically. Hitchers flag frantic off East Atlantic where the boys flip coins seeing
who will mutter-muffle their voice and ask the guy who looks the part if he’ll buy some
swag hundred proof. “Huh?” They ask again without flipping the coin and he grins 
                                                                                                                                                    “Pay me some.”



… really on Odysseus

                                                                                                                                                  “Slay me hon,”
she says louder than she should rolling stockings up over the calf, her John (she paid him
so she is his Jane) groans, hand toying between his legs with his particulars, flirting, 
                                                                                  trying to spark lift off.     “Fuck,” he cries—                                                                             
                                                                                                                                   “You can’t,” she chides
fixing her flatfoot Naturalizers gazing past dusty windowpanes. The rain building here is
the same expected rain loitering in the hills. Within the mildewed comfort of Candyman’s
shack salt-water brims his glossy globes like eyeliner, preparing early precipitation. He
repeats “Someone say my name say my name please say — ”



We slept through the apocalypse

Induced soulful disparity began once the billion-year sunset lapsed
lost its color and blackened the whites of our eyes, we observe children
being gleeful idiots hanging from glimmering      whirl o’ whirls
hurl oh hurl one definitely will. Once the horizon’s transmission eclipses
even children understand spin is spin, and know while watching TV sets
sway to local media newsrooms and silent radio clefs,      spun’s spun.
We’re still dizzy as dizzy gets immature lobbyists sitting in hotels (goliaths beside
small bottles of shampoo) sniffing rails through dollars mined from federal tax:
when the white strikes the sinus the head’ll snap back “Now that’s that fire!”
he yelps to his assistant, his assistant who stares towards the playground over-looking
California’s nova sunset after smog amplification ample suffocation curling in
through air vents choking, causing A.M. wakefulness pontificating an hour pulled
added annulled sleep underrated in this time of cellular celluloid, SUV headrest Tele’s
four layer chicken-flu mad cow meat Delis. Not with a bang… Who prepares
for the whimpering end other than continuously stockpiling
conspiratorial Agoraphobics? … The bang bit of it is simple to preempt
~~shockwaves ripple yes sure “Whatever,” a generation says the apocalypse
lips red will be televised rather than read



the male feminist

Fashionista, Fashionista can you write me a Sestina? Chica, Chica
does your marido demean you? Could a gringo please you?
A dark brown man with panties between his teeth?
Could a Bollywood producer seize you for the right price?
Could an Irishman drink you under your acre adobe?
This heels-toward-the-ceiling lovin’ isn’t agape, but can it heal the broken?
Skin sweaty, oven smoking can a fly-by bastard seal you? Tell him your
Expectations, observations: a spationaut lifting his helmet-visor
Trying to taste black space is a wise one: a grin
Without the meat in the cheeks is a shark fin without the streak
Of saltwater sweet, a thumb deep medium glass swishing Brandy
Containing glass eyes, false teeth: marriages tend to end as false everything
Falling to the floor in groups of who-the-hell-knows
And if it hurts, it will always hurt
But hurt slow.



since the seed their son was doomed

Fingernails birthed for biting; perfect twang of pleasure and pain until vinegar-dipped by
the Misses. No not Daisy, the ex-nun
-now Christian pregnant with twin miscreants
though that is what every insignificant on Earth once was: a nuclear family
bastard hell-baby, the mother, swell lady except when she writes Content children often evolve into malicious militants — which is utter bullshit
which is the poet after-midnight pontificating on the existence of happy endings, a fetus hearing the womb’s hum, secondhand drinking, smoking, smirking, growing,
living the Starbucks Executive life:
                                                                  trips to islands etched Croatoan, crow a-towin’ one soul per eye.

History, the  status of things a fling repeated sledge-hammered concreted yet ever changing like Pi tapering off where the calculator stops. The Executive isn’t autistic albeit he misses repetition’s rearing   :   twin infants in the bends of his elbows   :  genetics hugging genetics his smile widening eyes bulging aorta thinning near-mortem legs crumpling infants dropping from iris-view toward beach sand grains size 900 ASA 16 millimeter film filming dust caught in the gate disturbing the reel ( flicker flick flick ) whiting-out the scene perforated film click click clicking click clicking click



the answer is yes

Primordial goo, collections of teeth, lips
Pffts gurgling “Primordial fool”
Did the Pangaea period have fools?
Fools in palm-leaf chairs, fools with flu’s
fools in the air? “Fools who mewl?”
mewls the fool


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