J. Michael Martinez


from Aporia


[1] The Signified Seeks the Body

I said, The Chicano shapes identity like an icicle fingering down from the roof’s edge. Pushing the hair back from your face--You said, Yes, translucence freezes about its own boundaries, declaring the noun from the water. I said, The name seeks to root in the arterial cavity; the tendons turn from the blood like foreshadowing.


[3] The Mirror-Image is the Self of the Visible World

Drowning adjectives in verbs--I said, Flee through freezing, folded, untangling red. I said, I burned the skin to possess the self in the human. You said, Origins complete themselves in each other. I said, Origin: the rattling of a mirror not quiet firmly fastened to the image of the person before it. You placed the word “margin” in whiteness on the table between us.


[4] The Word is the Gaze between the Body and its Listening

Margin is the whiteness in our silence. I said, Difference is already spread between the body and the gaze. You said, We lament the name we give; we give word to find respite from the shallows between. Your iris’ close, black flowers folding toward the silence of their beginning. I place a cup of coffee before you. I said, The noun never sutures to the named body.


[7] History gathers in the Name we never are

You said, An infinity with origin is the speech you foster. I said, I don’t speak Spanish, I am Hispanic. You said, Pan hisses in the center, the Gods rise like bread from the noun; our syntax is the bond to the divinity we are. I said, sin taxes the soul, the name; our grammar is a construct of guilt. You said, teach the children to read the sin. I pick up my coat, empty the pockets of lint, pennies.



Meister Eckhart's Sermon on Flowers
and the Philosopher's Reply


A hollowed singularity exists in flowers
like pathos in a dandelion:
an eddy of fate, degreeless,

silvering through memory.
A scabbed consonant departing
the sentence: locust-petal, bromeliad,

a surfacing shame, lightless, beyond hearing.
Solitary, the clock circumvents sound
and a horse importunes

a wasp bowing before significance.

It is in fact doubtless a wasp bows before significance
degreeless in a dandelion.

It also stands to reason that, in a clock, locusts circumvent memory
in order to depart through fate.

And anyone can see that singularity exists lightless
like an eddy of pathos surfacing beyond hearing.

In conclusion, however solitary ( & you know this as well as I),
a consonant will always depart

the sentence before shamed by a horse.