Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a poem by David Tomas Martinez for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.
* * *
I’m still unsure why the phrase is breakup,
makes language and experience more intimate,
which really isn’t the purpose of language,
nor a relationship, though we’re instructed so
by dusty books and dustier
denizens of dead religions and lost languages,
and what is love but a tongue taught
to us by our grandmothers,
brought to us from their shores, echoed from
shells they prayed into as girls
as they watched sail
their love, their fortune. Our eyes have lost their luck,
my friends. We are not lent a tenth life. Only single people
need pets. And children.
See the similarity? Notice what we have
been made. And unmade,
laid alone in the sun, called an albatross. My life was alive.
She was a knot. For many of us, to get anything of life
we must forget. But we cannot forget
our fathers’ straw sayings, their broken camel backs,
their sparrow winged shoulders straightened
from saying nothing. I am a man,
said silence. I only break
my lips to lecture
on elbow patches. I am not even.
My haircut is asymmetrical. Call me Friday.
I’ll call you Ishmael. I wear anchors
and pig skin. My diet
and butterfly. You smile.
is my only emotion. My arms remind you
to sketch me alone, draw and quarter me home, though
I sit on a plane, shifting in my seat, wanting to take my shoes off,
and try and talk to the person sitting next to me.
I am constantly trying to talk to the person next to me.
Usually the person next to me is someone I love.
Normally I wont know them.
Always more and never less but fewer moments snuck alone in Brooklyn.
Mal de mar.
Shoes of mediocre quality will never date.
Those who look for hooks of love,
kissing wolves, search for pairs
of socks by making puppets,
forging rings, waving trembling
will stay unstitched.
* * *
David Tomas Martinez’s debut collection of poetry, Hustle, was released in 2014 by Sarabande Books, winning the New England Book Festival’s prize in poetry, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and honorable mention in the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral prize. Features or reviews have appeared in Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, NPR’s All Things Considered, NBC Latino, Buzzfeed, and many others. He is the reviews and interviews editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. He has been a Breadloaf and CantoMundo Fellow, and is finishing his PhD in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing program. Martinez is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of creative writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
Scores of cultural heritage sites have been shelled and looted amid an ongoing war of narratives.
Jafar Panahi was arrested last July, after he participated in protests at the notorious Evin prison.
Designed by artist Christine Egaña Navin, the items will be offered by Project Art Distribution at this weekend’s NADA Flea Market.
The French painter felt he had to rise to the challenge of one question above all things else: What exactly is it to be a modern artist?
Join the New-York Historical Society on February 10 for a virtual conversation about our changing relationship to the natural world with Julie Decker, John Grade, and LaMont Hamilton.
Philipsz’s haunting sound and video artworks serve as a poignant witness to the lives and artistry of victims of the Holocaust.
The artist’s site-specific museum exhibition Three Parallels glows with choreographed colored light.
In an open letter, European institutional leaders defend Manuel Borja-Villel, who has faced right-wing attacks for his progressive programming.
A new study posits that rising smog levels in 19th-century London and Paris likely played a role in blurring the lines of realism.
Presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum and McCormick School of Engineering, this new exhibition seeks empathy at the boundaries of life. On view in Evanston, Illinois.
In Seongmin Ahn’s paintings, it is not our past we are looking at but our possible future.
Born in Shiraz, Sokhanvari fled Iran as a child a year before the Revolution and has devoted her artistic practice to the country she left behind.