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Joshua Martin Nov 2013
I come outside
at the wrong time.

My brother, shirtless,
bakes under the Mississippi

oven sun, tosses
a frog into the air

and watches
its eyes pop

as it nears the concrete,
grinning as it splatters

and looking at me
for further direction.

I nod and watch.
Inside I cool

and await the
coming guilt. I start

to feel my skin itch
and I scratch madly.

I transform into
a stick held in

the sweaty palms
of my brother. He

skins my bark with
a knife, rubs flint, sparks

me, burns me. I crackle
in the fire. In another life,

another world, I’m
fashioned into a spear

by tall Mississippi frogs who
like the way humans

sound when they fall.
I’m impaled on a stick

outside of the frog temple
and long frog tongues **** me.

I’m never offered
to the gods.
Joshua Martin Oct 2013
If lyric could **** I’d want every one
of my poems to be a Walther P38 w/
a silencer, the kind of gun protruding
from Bond’s pocket like
the metallic ******* p-shooter
he’ll stick into some Russian
beauty by the name of Svetlana
at the end of the movie. The poem
would be **** (right?) bc everyone
knows a big gun translates into a
bigger ****. I’d whip it out when you
least expect it and blast a full
chamber of multi-syllabics into
your cranium. And the best part,
bc it’s so silent, you wouldn’t even
notice the eruption from the barrel.
Your last thought would be, “how beautiful.”
Then blackness.
Afterwards, I’d remove your brains from the piece,
and watch as the words trickle from your
wounds. I'd leave the poem at the ****** scene
and call it art. Surely then it would draw an audience.
Joshua Martin Oct 2013
For Ricky

*Ricky Williams, Miami Running Back (2002-2003, 2005)

When the news broke and the camera pointed at a torn tent
on the outskirts of Miami where you sat knees-up-to-chest

professing enlightenment, the football world sacked itself
wondering how good your *** really was. Must have been

growing straight from Buddha’s back yard because to give
up 16 million like that, to go from bachelor pad demigod

to hippy hero of the pimply *** smokers, requires some
kind of unfathomable spirituality. I wonder if the Sadhu

could even find a desk big enough for your frame. All 230 pounds
lurching forward with brittle bones towards some kind

of endzone sanctity not represented by a smiling porpoise
but a transcendent 1st and ten where maybe you’d be happy.

After your final game I imagined you’d do what so many
washed up athletes do: find meaning in the parking lot

of a used car palace or open up a Dairy Queen, maybe
join your kids PTA and tell fourth graders stories that

you now half-believe. I didn’t think it be like this: you smoking
****** under a mauled tarpaulin, brushing fly’s away from

dingy dredlocks, running forward, exasperatedly free,
while a nation wonders why you’ve failed us.
Joshua Martin Oct 2013
Who knows if Werner Heisenberg
rammed his head into the wall
after discovering the uncertainty
of the electrons of his lover.

Imagine having a brain the
size of Utah and not knowing,
with certainty, where to find
her nucleus.
Joshua Martin Oct 2013
And only when every prison
in the police state has
an art gallery
only when hip hop
sounds like a revolutionary
only when Congress disbands
itself for lack of moral conduct
only when condoms
are jammed tightly
into high school backpacks
only when free speech
isn’t subject to search
and seizure
only when housing projects
get gated fences
only when college
athletes use pi
to find the circumference
of a basketball in their spare time
only when food pantries
exist in old NRA hangouts
only when Monsanto scrubs clean
every black cloud
only when Noah comes back
and transports
two of everything to
a protest movement
only when a protest
movement morphs
into a diversity celebration
and only when the U.S. government
writes a 5,000,000 page
apology for every ****,
******, and Bill O’Reilly
sentence uttered

will I even consider having
a picnic.
Joshua Martin Oct 2013
And although
they’ve spent
nearly 25 years
cleaning the same

***-less bed sheets
every two weeks
and have used
the same blue soap,
the same rusted spoons,
both believe
another’s body heat
may be more comforting.

To her the morning coffee
cools quicker
than it used to.
His conversation
reminds her
of unsalted grits.
She sees the lines
beneath his eyes and
wants to tug
at them like zippers.
She’s contemplated
******, even.

At night he touches
himself. He moves
blankets off and on,
side to side.
He awakes wet.

In the morning
he looks at her and
wonders why
she stabs at her eggs.
Joshua Martin Oct 2013
The representative from Ohio
wipes his *** with Jose’s brown
palms after a bout of verbal defecation.
Luckily, Jose’s food truck houses

a small sink in the corner where
he can wash his hands in between
baskets of chorizo prepared
for rich politicians.

Sometimes Jose scrubs so hard dream flakes
rub off of his skin and he throws them
into the wastebasket to be picked
up by the sanitation workers who

eagerly jump like frogs in orange vests
into the waste of Americana. When
the Representative stops by for
a plate of carne asada, Jose’s

dream specks pepper the beef
and his salty sweat flavors
the inside of the burrito. He grills
the onions and green peppers with

a dash of minimum wage and
boils the rice in a mixture of blood
and pieces of his heritage.
He serves the meal in a white Styrofoam

tray and drizzles it with cheese flowing
from an open wound. The receipt is an unpaid
medical bill, the drink an icy reminder
of his future sipped through a straw.

The nightly news tells Jose
the Representative is bedridden
with a stomach infection. He
complains his insides feel like

a million ***** feet kicking the lining,
like unheard mouths with rows of
sharp teeth gnawing at the liver.
Jose to the tv: tonight we’re not starving.
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