After a recent reading, I was approached by a woman. Here again, the poet unwaveringly creates an amalgamation of two distinct entities, scientific and the spiritual, the corporeal and the cerebral, the traditional with the contemporary, moving one sect into the other, and thusly unlocking the doors of convention: The Two Lateral Occipto-atlantal Ligaments fig. This extracting and accumulating works to separate the speaker's own distinct, although still exploratory, sense of self. Martinez forces his reader to deconstruct prescribed identities, seamlessly synthesizing the many angles from which he approaches many types of colonization: of the mind, of the body, of the land. Through my own reading, I fell in love with the mythic sacrifice of Quetzalcoatl.
This speaks to my need, in editing, to address how subjectivity is constructed and how this subjectivity constructs history. But to write we must unlie. In 2009, Martinez's collection Heredities was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera for the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award, and will be published by Louisiana State University Press. A heritage sowed and, often, disgraced by a particular polis. Martinez's exhilarating descent into the unspoken—lit by metaphysical investigations, physiological charts, and meta-translations of Hernán Cortés's accounts of his conquests—gives voice to a dismembered continental body buried long ago. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and received an M.
In Chican theory, a sense of this is known as mestizaje, a relinquishing of any identity founded in any absolute way; rather, one's subjectivities are conceived as always becoming. When people hide behind their aesthetics in order to avoid the difficult conversation of our political realities, it is an act of cowardice. At the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, the poet Vincent Toro is doing amazing work teaching innovative poetry and theater to the youth on the West Side. This is not the totality of what Martinez is doing in the second and third sections of his book, but it is a major focus of the poems in how it contributes to the voice, image, and rhetorical structures. What is the relationship between form and content? A comet struck the earth turning a lake of dust to magma.
There is a concrete economic system, both monetarily and culturally, oppressing that community. Martinez's exhilarating descent into the unspoken—lit by metaphysical investigations, physiological charts, and meta-translations of Hernán Cortés's accounts of his conquests—gives voice to a dismembered continental body buried long ago. Imagine—in front of us—they pass us between nature, between history. On her bed, arms outstretched where hands had clawed, she soon slept. Stop by, recommend books, offer up poems excerpted , tempt us, taunt us, tell us what to read and where to go to read it! Who controls language or what gets accessibly published arbitrates who may claim themselves as national subjects.
They went to her tongue and asked why silence imprisoned the words of the child, why lumps were present under her chin, why tears drew channels down her cheeks. I could be wrong about this. I call this poetry not because I have seen anything like it before, but because it reminds me what it is to be human through line after line that connects merciless wisdom and stunning softness in breathtaking harmony. The great work and sacrifice of our elders has produced an audience for the 21 st century Chican. If not, we end up tying ourselves into a problematic sense of history and time. In addition, how do you experience the significations of plural namings? I said, History gathers in the name we never are. And she said: Those I love, I translate into advent and wild foxgrape, the blind staggers of water.
Margin is the whiteness in our silence. His most original work is where he leaves the explicit theory in the white spaces of the page, as I see it. His poems are maximally lyric, almost Romantic at times. She remembered her tonsils swinging before her like fleshy apples, then a hand taking them into a fist, harvesting their sound. This body, though flayed and fractured, rises and sings. As the first lemon exposed its round, she plucked it, unpeeled the fruit. Which is when the butterflies hatched from her footprint.
I pour sugar on the table. The Weaver Gods speculate that they themselves are merely images—heaven itself a tapestry hung from a wall that is a tapestry of itself. Michael Martinez's work is writerly and lush. It hits all the right chords in its topics of interest -- history, race, biology, pain, corporeality and the self. I think this classic idea also needs to be pushed and broadened: I love the idea of the borderland, however, for me, my ethnic subjectivity is more a radical excess exposing the illusion of boundaries than a fragmented, interstitial space. To call to question those politics disgracing the inexhaustible. I take a long, long time to write a single poem and the formal conceit initiating the poem begins, generally, as an exercise and almost always, formally and conceptually, ends in a radically different form from its beginning.
It hits all the right chords in its topics of in It is perhaps wrong to say that I've read Heredities and more accurate to say that I've regarded the collection. This was after dwelling on ideas of the messianic and, in messianic temporality, how time occurs on multiple planes: future in the present, past as the future coming towards the present, etc. How did you come to this title or how did it find you? There is a material reality to our social condition. Again, I think of Benjamin, his angel of history. In tortured praise, the child dreamt: the sun threw spears of flame. The girl's night-tar hair pooled around her, face haloed by torn lemon peels. Significantly he closes his book with this short work: You said, The infinite is the origin you foster.