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OUR VERSION


On the Train the conductor tells us ‘We're experiencing some turbulence’

if we die lets return as the faulty lynch-pin in some bomb we built for another country Copyright © Michael James Martin 2008


the dossier: much to see


TEXAS; SPRING SNOWSTORM

Snowflakes; bacteria amalgamated nucleus of altitude where the intangible grows palpable. and in extreme cold nothing survives—the earth is one large petridish beneath glued on plastic astrology—shut off the lights doc, please, or play a tape from speakers to let us know our dimensional positioning… we may not be alone

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We find the sky absent, black and closer than it should be—the stars don't mention the stars and how they burn through you, rather into you and the nebulous isn't nebulous at all, it carries form like a brick wall and we're a porche going a hundred plus or a nissan with poor structural integrity: this might hurt whatever is buried beneath all this heavy skin and meat and bone, buried beneath all these grams of collected life weighing what an Olympian could not lift, oh it weighs something fierce.... one big heave, the femur snaps, the knee collapses inward but buckle isn't a word we know. so when the pain cuts through the body from between the soft skin next to pinky toe up under the jaw and crink-cracks the teeth spilling cavities onto the tongue, into the saliva, the throat, into the stomach deconstructed recycled enzymes: we're building blocks building downward: up is only up when you know that down is down— we're talking semantics but semantics is all we have. squiggly lines containing meaning pressed from the void of consciousness onto atoms (no, no, smaller, think smaller) you'll miss us when we're gone. UNTITLED POEM 1

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Driving out of California through the mountains

How the clouds curl the visible mountain slopes, like filtered smoke from earth’s invisible barbeque drifting closer to the foothills; impossible to touch... Nature, you're such a tease.

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UNTITLED POEM 2

Hi ho Hi ho Off to work I go Hi ho Hi ho Exalt the cubicle Hi ho Hi ho Off to work I go Hi ho Hi ho The strings will snap I know

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TCN

Typewriter computer networks typewriter computer Networks typewriter computer networks Birthed unpredictable, Burp infamy through a horses nostril. The only certain: the biodegradability of the soul Like pipelines running desert GWP clerks timecode the exhaustion of fossil fuels poised by optical fibers to slightly entertained computer screens and inbelievably unmaginary underpaid technical support—we can hope a poem secrets the juice which struggles to breathe botoxed pores at the desk, at the desk checking reports 'We're in the black' one of the few times black is considered powerful in Euro-America’s Typewritered Computered Network Where does the paper go

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this machine all its moving parts door to the streets, Mormons are whispered weird. Poets are Mormons. No, poets are poets, literary police; If poetry is 'et al' and more, Are sheep Poets?

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OH HOW THE WRITER HAS FALSELY FALLEN She bends mango bubblegum over mercury painted molars with a swiftness her tongue learned from early internet porn access. She flips open a cell phone eyes rolling simultaneously—first sign of higher brain function: "Writing is stupid," she says bluntly her friend holds up a finger glamored out in rings and glitter and nail polish, then "Like I know, writing is so stupid." Their conversation halts as if planned, they tap and text using no fingers, only thumbs—"Why do we even need to read? It's just like math, you know?" "You're so deep Tiffany." Air brakes exhale, her eyes scan bus advertisements perfectly phrased: "I sooooo wanna see that movie. Everybody says he takes it off. Like. Off. " Another pause in the exchange, this one unplanned. "Fine, whatever." An engine revs, revs hard for attention— symbol on the carhood sheens, word on its bumper bulldozes Bluetooth radioactivity and her friend's glossed mouth gapes, "Oh. My. God. I sooooo want that Mercedes."

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THE MAN WITH THE RED EYES

There was a man with red eyes who blinked and saw the world in manglo-globe hues— he had never seen this color before so he quit his job and stayed up long hours trying to achieve bulging, heavyset dry eyes that could barely stay awake, because the color told him if he did not sleep nor eat nor have sex (but he could cheat) he would be introduced to an even more beguiling color, and they would live happily ever after. He sat on his back porch, his tan Dockers wet on the butt pockets from pre-dawn slickness, and rocked, knees huddled in his chin, eyes wide as quarters, voice strong and thick, muttering about "Manglo-globe... manglo-globe" — a color no one has ever seen.

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I MARRIED JESUS IN A PARKING LOT

looking Feng Shui gloomy like December Mondays; I divorced Jesus in a seedy bar Full of wormed muffin tops; he despised muffin stumps— we remarried on an island, maybe Pora Pora, before he playfully called me Delilah and I called him Samson's hair: all strewn severed strength. Jesus drank in moderation, even moderate drunks do not moderate their tongues, so we loudly redivorced In a transatlantic flight over my stealing the bedside Bible. He did not care I had stolen it —The Word read by a criminal is still The Word—no, we separated because I stole the King James version, as his pet peeve was how they got it wrong, that is not what he and his Father had meant, not what was meant at all. We buried each other beneath the sands of our discontent; we scorned, seared one another's flesh until sinning was sustenance, until our stomachs strained, bulged, until We apertured.

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KISS ME WHEN MY LIPS FALL OFF

Kiss me when my lips fall off and my ass begins to sag, when my left eye droops from too many double cheeseburgers and bucket o' fried potatoes—sue me for alimony, touch my thigh, squeeze it and don't let go until i come down the stairs awkwardly, from cosmetic surgery to increase the size of my brain to match your smarts, kiss my lips before they fall off so i know what lied-love must feel like, kiss me when my lips fall off so i know you don't want me for my body, buy me muscle-cream, the stuff which makes skinny arms look like Arnold's in his prime—step on my foot so it does not thumpthump against the ground like Thumper. i am very much twitterpated. a benign roadsign without lights, hiding in cold shadows struggling to live huddled beneath dry brush, spit on me when i wear ponchos, just to let me know you care—i don't care, lick the air, sigh deeply, take me in, i think i'm human cyanide.... But kiss me when no one else will. blink and miss me.

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ALIEN HEAD I think I need a new head. One more suited for long, cramped trips which swell the feet, one which doesn't aggravate the celestial bodies decorating my retinal cones, One that doesn't sap the saliva from my enamel— I think my new head should sit closer to the earth, less towards a television selling me new faces— creams, cover ups, various oscopies— I need a new head to fit all this newness— do your crunches using that new machine and I will dance headless to scare you into over eating. See how fancy the bells and whistles are? The many danglies unmangling the ways of my old Alienhead? My bobbles cannot be bottled now that I am too sexy for my previous existences. Too on the go for the multiple tiers of after-life. (If we die lets return as the faulty lynch-pin in some bomb we built for another country. They can build them faster Better stronger, and we cannot let them keep up). My new head is so gorgeous, my old Alienhead

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wants to kiss itself pretty. My old head is too stupid too realize it is no longer a part of the bigger scheme, it has a cinnamon pink slip in its mouth, papercutting‌ I can't see the stars through my new head, I can't see the meaning of a poem, or the serendipity of an apple falling into your hand when it feels damn ready. But I can see how eminent domain, and rewriting history books to remove accounts of drunk sex between a priest and a nun, makes sense. Doc, is this normal?

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In my Jr. High yearbook I looked like an angel

An all white tee shirt A dark chocolate brotha plus A pure white background And the chemistry for angelface Is in your face. Maybe the photographer popped more than flashbulbs, 'cause honestly, everyone else had the blue backgrounds with the softest, most interactive clouds this side of Mario bros.— I'm tellin' you, that's some shit ...still got me girls though.

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DEAR BOMB,

Your electrical evanescence seethes black powder, chemical chowder, you cover my extremities in film my dear, you are impossible to remove. When we sweat the shiver traveling my spine is controllable, as you dislike uneasy hands, the memory of you ignites me; your exposed wires tread golf spikes across my arms like shock-plug ant legs. Rumor is you tick-tock and cause men to gulp vodka rocks, but rumors are only rumors. You are church mouse quiet And think I lie when I say you blow me away, you always are on par to prove me wrong— Don't hurt me, don't you do to me what was done to the others, those souls who are now crows perched on the arm of a scare-not-a-crow; don’t take my fire away. I know your blood temperature, how you watch the pythons, wondering how they deal with the infinite still: From far away a fire is a spark as an ember is just the twinkling of some star a billion years dead, a whimper vacuum of space in the Big Bang’s eyes. I doubt you know what you do to me. Sincerely, a congressional bullet

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I WANT TO BE A SOCKET I want to be a socket, A knuckled, hammered Garroted pit, Abused roughly, Unhandled unless new. I want to be a bone-joint— Organics under the meat Pickled juices Held in place— Quad-directional, I want to be a plastic fastener Preferably on a pair of White pink panties That scathe and cause Thigh rashes— Excuse the sad look during this Celebration Of how I want to be some electrical Pig snout socket aching For the tongs, an energy god A new soul battery, Our spiritual reservoir, Ah, how I want to be

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WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE

I apologize for the order of things For their unnamable nature For the bamboo shoots splintered Throughout my midsection And for the way which I speak: Intelligible like church pipes Spewing air music into the pews But to actually grasp the music is an internal act— So I do not apologize for the way I speak, Perhaps for my lazy tongue— It fears pronounceable words, Able-bodied accusations… truthness I am metaphorically blunt, And I apologize for the inconvenience I cause— Such as a natural born stress Like accents in various languages— You call me purgatorial Latin beneath your heavy, Under-sexed breath And I apologize for 10,000 million neurons Colliding, reducing themselves to actions,

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attitudes, eye-rollings. You will find no scathing sarcasm in the way I am apologizing for the existence of self, For the heated hands Gripping Heated fans yet generating a negative cold. But I do not apologize for The real estate of the soul, The quick-sell nature of morality, And how the world changes moments After you understand what its all about as the earth begins to quake

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THE BRICK

The brick Has bullet holes, And underestimating A lead cap aimed at The general radius Of the soul is Quite a stupid Thing to do— The distance walked Into social unrest Takes but a word, Yes. Yes may be the greatest word ever Spoken, but believe it leads to brain trickling brick built for sustaining, and after half a clip —someone is happy And needs another mag— After all this I becomes we One, three If you can picture being Separate from the earth Then set back Into the womb, a before birth state… Maybe I've gone on too long.

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WHAT IS YOUR NAME? Call me a recollection of infection, a glimmer of gangrene and now you’re healed stiff. Call me asphyxiation ’s connotation lacking atoms and a rib thanks to Adam though there is no phone, call me calcified nerves tangled … Alois’ disease, before we knew it is in the genes; found lost fear drowned upstream, call me a bolt without washer screwdrivers screwing scraping metal but, do not call me a ghost.

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POEM TO MYSELF & OTHER KIDS 15 YRS AGO

To a kid A place is always a place— Peeling lead paint Or a burned out stripped down VW bus in the yard Is a burned out stripped down VW bus in the yard… but its normal: the destroyed beauty of a mother's face as a father plays hide 'n' seek with his tears in the mirror, sans the seek, as a kid everything is what your born into, —doesn't make it any less refluxed—to cope you gotta become or flow against like how not to hang you become the rope

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FINGER POINTING

Call things by what they are Not by their actions. The sky is A chasm Waiting for me to jump And fill the void, A grin The sad truth Of something That probably wasn't worth a smile To begin with, a smile Is a smile Because there isn't anything Like it, except The smile of a killer Which is called a killer's grin*. And you may call yourself An action…

* the phrase a ‘killer’s grin’ originally written by Michael Gutierrez

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DIAL A POEM for John Joiner

I call to hear why my girlfriend tastes Like fruited vinyl & latex During conjugal, I call to discover if Pi means oui… live forever. I understand beforehand Einstein’s equation squared impedes my fear of death 'cause I call to hear how the bad things I do won't catch my Achilles heel & slice like a rusted jailhouse razor (which, isn't even a razor). Jesus, I call for a spider's thoughts hours after leaving it a quiet struggle within halls magnified by smudged glass, silk thread threading valleys of pocked tablewood. I call to hear my dead friend Greenfield tell me it's always sunny over here, the women're real women, thick, gripable, Marilyns? to die for. Hungry, I dial until numbers affix my no nail fingertip—dislodged typewriter keysets a panting sweat sluiced something scratching the brail of my tongue anxious for the all waking voice of a poet, I call & hear busy signal

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5 6 2 . 2 57 . 8 3 0 4

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Addendum

Addendum

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UNTITLED POEM We are awkward silences Lingering words in negative space The phone does not ring to disrupt

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AFTERBURN Sorry, we’re open— legs wide young ladies outspoken, can’t tell their daddies what they’re showin’ to the men who deal in poison; some girls love it though, it isn’t that gray of an area.

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Cottonpicker! There is red soil in Texas, In Texas the soil is red —Reddish.

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CRYBABY “there wasn't a mole in earth that could dodge the spikes of the machine those machines breakin’ down the forests ripping up roots once the father of the land some old settler with scars to prove his existence once he died and soaked up the soil he told everyone in his obituary he didn't fit his suit, he'd never fit the suit, shoot, we all fit the suit,” brenda said her baby hung lopsided like a Monet, couldn't be fixed, just didn't go with the decor, the pride it takes to leave priceless art for garbage day, none of these fellas could describe the essence of a peanut shell, they couldn't understand the beauty in a half crushed snail all slimy in recent rain, how the house cat let lose in the wild winks at squirrels and bunny rabbits roaming, the house cat which slinks down from couch to outside hill would hunt its owners but can't because any animal worth its salt knows when its kill-chance is reduced hell, even alligators known when you're big you're big and maybe a tad too much—so the house cat won't hunt its owners but it’ll nibble at the corpse if you happen to die undiscovered for a few weeks, it’ll do that and curiously dogs cry, parrots speak but monkeys stare at us like whales held in zoo water realizing they’re mammals too, so this person abducting them, ya know, is their cousin “i carried fools gold around with me until my fingernail scratched the glimmer off and it became a tainted gray-black color, my parents carried their marriage with them in rings, bracelets and diapers until their eyes deceived them enough that they needed nightvision goggles and warpaint, they grinned at motion sensors, melted through security, they found theirselves a niche which expanded to include sex at the top of a dime, my parents discovered prenups

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have loopholes and lawyers have a single interest—money and the safety of the child, so i went to live with a different family, a family who knew about rabbits feet and meals at six o’clock in the evening with the TV off and the radio saying radio-things up the stairs, second floor landing where dogs wagged their tails and did not whimper hiding them between their legs they knew about workout sessions with punching bags, and not work sessions with nothing amassed,” he rambles : Oh how they ramble and it makes me feel like a bad little human to be hating them so perfectly in a secret good-feel friday morning wake up fuck type of way it pains me to be the doctor scribbling nodding doodling thinking how much i want to punch the crybabies right about their right eyebrow, knot it alllllll up

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We’re here

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END OF DOCUMENT ...

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michael.martin.j@gmail.com

{book 1 of 3}

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If we die (edition 2)  

a book of poetry, edition 2

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