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About this poet

J. Michael Martinez was born and raised in Greeley, Colorado. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and received an MFA from George Mason University.

His poems have appeared in New American Writing, Five Fingers Review, The Colorado Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others, and the anthology Junta: Avant-Garde Latino/a Writing. He is the recipient of the 2006 Five Fingers Review Poetry Prize and is coeditor and cofounder of Breach Press.

In 2009, Martinez's collection Heredities was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera for the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award and was published by Louisiana State University Press. His second book, In the Garden of the Bridehouse, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2014. His third collection, Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books, 2018), was selected by Cornelius Eady for the 2017 National Poetry Series and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry.

About his debut, Herrera wrote: "Heredities breaks away from four decades of inquiry into cultural identity. 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. This body, though flayed and fractured, rises and sings."

Martinez is currently pursuing a PhD in literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is the poetry editor for Noemi Press, and lives in Denver, Colorado.


Bibliography

Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books, 2018)
In the Garden of the Bridehouse (University of Arizona Press, 2014)
Heredities (Louisiana State University Press, 2010)

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

A candle: presented in the water

Shall the boundary: seen before the boundary: lift the law:

To the end as may be: to the end as first the fountain of a lower key: the
guaranty the virtue behind clarity which I make you: for this where

	neither dove nor crow has flown:

As the now to ascertain, in the yet obscured: we speak juxtaposed: in the
juxtaposed: without knowing what wills the ruins.

This treaty shall be: this treaty shall be: the boundary seen before the
signature: we speak now: the fountain of a lower key: the guaranty: the
greater wilt the virtue behind

	clarity: with bells on his ankles in the margins of story:

The treaty of amity, commerce & navigation: the treatise to fortify: in the
name of you: through virtue: in the near as you: the wilt which is body: a 
candle in water

With the now to ascertain, with it ever yet: shall the boundary be the
boundary not the treaty: we speak the yet: a single candle: where the
context exceeds the phrase:

We speak the candle: we speak water to announce the end:
to sincerity’s calamities: desire the end as may be:

	with it every yet, as the snow is to ascertain in it:
        near as you: the ruins where the will is free.

From Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by J. Michael Martinez. Used with the permission of the author.

From Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by J. Michael Martinez. Used with the permission of the author.

J. Michael Martinez

J. Michael Martinez

J. Michael Martinez's collection Heredities was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera for the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award and was published by Louisiana State University Press.

by this poet

poem
A hollowed singularity exists in flowers 
like pathos in a dandelion: 
an eddy of fate, degreeless, 

silvering through memory.
A scabbed consonant departing
the sentence: locust petal, bromeliad, 

a surfacing shame, lightless, beyond hearing.
Solitary, the clock circumvents sound
and a horse importunes 

a
poem

               as the meat
               within the shell

as the shell before the caw

a bleached weed
               a fig
dusted to sweet the skin

egg albumen of peacock
               butterfly

held to the ivory of oxen hoof
               

2
poem

The     crisis     crown.     black     thorns     piercing.     for     of
inviolate     flesh    a     replica     of     flesh.     dioramas     of     bodies.
lashed     &     stretched.     trunk       opened