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Two poems by Joshua Martin

The geographic center of an onion

oxygen boils anti-memoir

          questioning hollow snow covered

          a loom in darkening compact

                  , pounce::::: Alone &


, last known poised root canal   ,

                             stiller peaceful

                             height        ,

                        advantage cosmos:::::

     At time

            wild beasts burst. But

        profounder they are NoT

little pre-warrior site

                         An OvaL

                   ToWeR      ,

                dream a      grass   ,

fence                 tho        SHIPwreck

             & in remaining legions

         these slates tarnish



Sheba turned back.

       Crust obsidian legend.

   Dagger ramparts fathom


                          Pools! Lands!

                     Scales! Collected trays

                     juggle café leeches

                                           , observatory

                                   like the anamorphous

                                   commonality behind

                                   facets of the valley.


        left eye     bursting

exaltation completed tearing

                     hailstones      ,

                 dancing needles = 

windowpanes of steel ricocheting

grooves          ,          cyclone shutters

          busted ennui


                 90 degree      TuRn =

      signaled bean grim combat

                                Untested circle

                        an entire body. Crater

semifriendship merging

dead anachronistic mahogany

,          piercing situational:::::

        Hard forgotten shadow

        scrutinizes intersections

        at once proclaiming

        baffled aircraft carrier

        in vogue   ,   in steam

“calm       drops       of       nose

    bathes       reptiles       long-awaiting 

complexion       whoever       dislodges

    evening              sculpture       &

federation       expedition       race       ”

. Single idol vexes

                          scent & no monkey

                 , zine wafer desert   ,

adjusted stellar insect names.

       Phantom coin dislodges

                   inscriptions flowers disseminate

                   sacred under ashes

,   cisterns primrose orchid

                        , rat loosening


             Bearing effigy surrenders

reminiscent                        ambulance

                   a shorn shackle   ,

              pierces flying veins of

              earth    ,    asked a

              curators point       ,

              destruction on budget.

Constellations absorb

almost corrugated

equally industrial

disappeared heat


             , lavender steppes

         coated foothills

etc. suburban purges

                     & guards

                sparkle meager

                boiling   ,   route


  written     =     shrub

          worth a corridor

:::::        roofless chin   ,

              elbow fort       ,

              pavement humor

      , pressed perched

    boulevard nothingness

. Mile long sleepwalking


                      inspected slates

submachine subterfuge

                behalf of task

          spent                inflation

asked                  spite          dawn

      ,     occupation forces

                  invulnerability. Banal

             concurrent                    wallet



         , a mouse ,

     beginning clever onward

     daze         ,       escorted


a radiant vaginal tunic.

                           Breezy doors

                     swing                hinges

             flood              secretary


                exaggerated                  summary

of                      TeN       minutes


                    opponent               of    No

Importance                  ,

                              shadowed false

                        commandment :::::

   “Thou Shalt Not Assume

   Expected Rags or Elsewhere

   Crosscheck Fins.”

asked & everlasting under torture.

Protagonist inherits a Branch

luxuriate twisting seaweed encounters

riddled euphemistic provenance lightbulbs

              skiing seldom buried atrophy

              wary inside cloth armories

              fading masturbatory paradigms


,       top spun ,

linger as squirming miserable lampshades

                         : encrusted

                                 , symbolized

                             , reinvented as safari telegraph wire

interrupted hitchhiking spear

requested biographical bruisers

riding concussive photographs

            (‘series hark a loss O! avoided festival’)

( - - - / / / / /

        takeoff splinter re-ordering hyena

        a cot fumigated aircraft mine

        killing elephant teeth in grimace

        centralized joke store correspondence

        among passive ancient volcanoes

                     (‘shiver blanket raiser wounded knife’)

| nod | , | pierce | , | pleasure | , | retain |

( . . . ) \ \ \ \ \

broken essays steal backdrop euphemistic maps

characterized among tourist libido narratives

justified happenstance gap lunged constraints

                 intermittent child allows rent

                 postwar routes fulfill psychosis

                 displaced iconoclast triggering

                 classified regardless futile preface

      (‘mania respected minimized mustaches’)

( , , , , , , )

hapless voyage rendered lard an alchemical paradise

strutting poinsettia parachute underwater scab

listened at door to submarine industrial pinnacle

crumbled as thorough nightmare crisis solitude


Joshua Martin is a Philadelphia based writer and filmmaker, who currently works in a library. He is member of C22, an experimental writing collective. He is the author most recently of the books peeping sardine fumes (RANGER Press) and [Ruptured] >> Schematic <<  MAZES (Sweat Drenched Press). He has had numerous pieces published in various journals. You can find links to his published work at

Joshua Martin is on X @jmartinpoetry

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