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Joshua Martin Jul 2013
And when fate pitted the two colliding
gods in battle, the outcome
was what you'd expect:

both rising up from
the cracked asphalt, one light
the other dark, one evil the other
misplaced, the earth split apart
and the trees bowed their heads
in silence for the figure
laying on the ground with a glock 9
bullet in his temple and a smashed
candy bar in his palm.

How senseless
the war between ideas, between
wrong and inconclusive. That afternoon
was a crow frying itself
on a power line.
Common decency and respect
were lost tourists who
couldn't speak the native tongue.

And now, in the wake of the colossal battle,
the entire country washes its
hands in blood and pauses to weep
for the martyrs
who continually rise and fall for
After following the Zimmerman case for a few days, I felt compelled to write this poem. An unarmed teenager is dead from a form of domestic terrorism concealed as rightist ideology.
Joshua Martin Jul 2013
There are many many people
who do not feel as if they have to
write poetry. They are not moved
by the smell of black coffee and
cigarettes in the afternoon sun. When I pass them
I can tell that 5 angry men with
machine guns do not have them
pressed up against a wall demanding
they dream. They do not feel the unrequited
desire to run their calloused hands
along city pavement and smear the
black smudge on the cups
and plates of their solitude.
But they are the lucky ones I suppose.
They may not be invited by the muses
to the party,
but they sure as hell
can never be kicked out of the bed
once its finally over
and the city has
buttoned up its jacket.
Joshua Martin Jul 2013
Some days I wish I could just
crack my head open with
a monkey-wrench and let the words
flow out of my split cranium
like alphabet soup. If I'm lucky
the letters will coalesce into
sentences and form something
someone will call genius.
People will look at my body
and call it poetry.
They will see the monkey-wrench all covered
in the soupy denouement.
Joshua Martin Jun 2013
The neighborhood's gone to ****
and no one seems to care    the doors

are blown off from the tempest
blackening the air.  Swanson sleeps

with Harbors who takes Johnson in her mouth
while Johnson picks spare change from

the cushions in his couch. Brinkley's
unemployed but subservient to Mrs. Langer,

while Desmond reaches for two shotgun
rounds and places them in the chamber.

Boom went the weasel and Jill's on

while the neighborhood we knew and loved
went harshly down the stream.

The months can be a ***** and the year's
have been a *****,

the neighborhood's gone to ****
and I'm finally crawling out the door.
Joshua Martin Jun 2013
Believe it or not,
there are men who shriek like
banshees at the deathbed of a sickly dog,
and women that remain impenetrable
like the broadsides of an iron ship
at the prospect of loss. Not all
executives wear the silk tie
of haughtiness, but bump shoulders
with the rounded backs of street beggars.
And just as the moon waxes and wanes, organizing
the stars into a symphony of light, so too
do the clouds occasionally close the curtains
on the whole performance.
I am a poet but I do not cry.
I am a man but I do not push nor pull,
throwing around wantonly the weight of the cosmos.
I like to think that each of my billions upon billions
of atoms move as gracefully as swans
under their own microscopes,
forcing each and every onlooker to stare
and pick at their own skin
in a search for uniqueness.
Joshua Martin Jun 2013
Father, it's been quite a while.
I can see the long hand of the clock
stroke your face,
and although there are no
numerals, the monotonous
tick of the second hand beats against your brow.
Father, you are nothing but an exoskeleton
of your former self.
The soul trapped between your
crisscrossed face lines
is not your soul.
The hands that wrinkle
like underwater mountain ranges
are not your hands.
I don't believe it's you, father.
You were once a great rumbling earthquake
with enough force to shake
laughter and happiness into the concrete
bones of whomever.
That was then and here you are now-
a quiver, a ripple,
nothing but a humming aftershock.
Joshua Martin Jun 2013
My city's face is blemished
by the clogged pores
of black asphalt
and motor oil.
Her naked, metallic body
repeatedly burns from cigarette
ash dropped upon
sidewalk cracked lips.
Her teeth are disjointed metro rails.
Her hands stand arthritic and proud,
balancing skyscrapers on
broken finger tips.
Breath like
black smog
she coughs blood
and inhales the broken
english of her immigrant workforce.
Yet when I get the chance to bed her,
the city and I become one
continuous concrete paradise.
I gently kiss her and tell her that she's beautiful.
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