Chris Martin






The Hornet

for Tyler Flynn Dorholt


Nervous pennant

bodega shade

hornets don’t bite

too alive still

notched by today’s caustic

sun’s slop-glutted face

and tearing pieces of crown

to forge taste and jewel

night into an endless prolepsis

I think I want too alive

like a surge of hornets

cloud to form nuptial flight

these are scientific terms

and we are ethologists

and all that

we lust after

will animate

in curve

from one pheromone

to entire syntax

garish pockets of light

in someone else’s pollen

so in frenzy we’d know

just how ancient we’ve grown

seething with the light of friends

who did never stop for law

I read all the directions

backwards to stave off logic

and claw each sunny

curl as it breaks

against the beachhead

of my face

to breathe

new pollen

on the telephone

everyone loves cancer

we should talk hornet

if by talking hornet

you mean dance it off




The Trash

for Zachary Wollard


Learning too

hard really

claw broken open

I sniff fringes

as they happen here

a little forest breathing

over the neighbors’ new trash

as it crinkle crinkle shines

like I’m saying to the children

you have to feel the shadow

of this plane’s loaded escape

like you were its planet                               

nose folding tomorrow’s weather

into a candy wrapper-

like eye patch

to block hubris

can I

I can’t

believe the sun

just fucking disappeared

into that flaky building

new tenant no keys

driving toward the other’s language

or just humming trash again

I got down on my knees

which crinkled slightly forest breathing out

like that haunting Zombies chorus

I can’t stop shaaaaa-kiiiiing

and instead just up

and disappear into finance

trash breathing in

the tremor’s double

at night

in July

like that Larry

Rivers’ painting on

the fourth floor of

the Brooklyn Museum where

the eyes of the picnic

cross and blur to bring forth

more family and then more family




The Opening

for Erica Svec


Roses seep

a beach

black paper elbows

and keep John

on ceiling little smirk

for curly detergent readiness

he wants us to break

open heart cookie cloud day

to simply crowd out lack

until it rides tireless and bare

and a quaint Bud sprouts

in the deep plastic black

where our hands meet

our forever suffering nightlife

to charge victorious

in blue char

so summer

subnormally wrecked

as many petals

sleeping over as

we can find beaches

to write our names

mine is trash and forest

full of alias rich trees

but the only reason I came

here tonight is that you’re here

like an aura that’s stuck

in the blue-green position

we’re already so stoned

on the faces’ architecture

so look dangerous

for a moment

look sexy

for peace




The Face

for Will Edmiston


Will you

still hear

me can’t you?

waking wet eucalyptus

in a crumpled horn

the interface is sacred

can the interface be sacred?

is it still a séance

if you can’t say it stopped?

the rain is in the mail

my face is on call

there’s interference to think of

and it’s all just

a kind of cursive

that keeps belongingness

swept in abeyance

of holy

honeysuckle but

can honeysuckle holy?

I can helicopter

mosquito from the office

so that all hymns

are a form of expectation

I can loss block fever

on the verge of going white

if that will feed the eucalyptus

it’s like one coffee and 

my face is on call

ready to mask out

on a drowsy coworker

or beam honey

into daybreak’s latent

blood crust

swallowing face

under street’s amber

dial tone I

can see the end

beg the beginning’s return

can see the face’s ghost

tread past in traffic’s grin



Chris Martin is the author of Becoming Weather (Coffee House 2011) and American Music (Copper Canyon 2007).  He is also the author of several chapbooks, including How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem (Brave Men 2011) and the forthcoming enough (Ugly Duckling 2012).  After editing the online journal Puppy Flowers for its entire 11-year run, he is now an editor at Futurepoem books, where he curates the response blog Futurepost.