Sarabande Books, 9781936747771, 95pp.
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
"David Martinez is like an algebra problem invented by America--he's polynomial, and fractioned, full of identity variables and unsolved narrative coefficients. . . . Hustle is full of dashing nerve, linguistic flair, and unfakeable heart."--Tony Hoagland
The dark peoples with things:
for keys, coins, pencils
and pens our pockets grieve.
No street lights or signs,
no liquor stores or bars,
only a lighter for a flashlight,
and the same-faced trees,
and crooked bushes
staring back at me.
There is no path in the woods for a boy from the city.
I would have set fire to get off this wilderness
but Palomar is no El Camino in an empty lot,
the plastic dripping from the dash
and the paint bubbling like a toad's throat.
If mountains were old pieces of furniture,
I would have lit the fabric and danced.
If mountains were abandoned crack houses,
I would have opened their meanings with flame,
if that would have let the wind and trees lead my eyes
or shown me the moon's tiptoe on the moss--
as you effect my hand,
as we walk into the side of a Sunday night.
David Tomas Martinez has published in San Diego Writer's Ink, Charlotte Journal, Poetry International, and has been featured in Border Voices. A PhD candidate at the University of Houston, Martinez is also an editor for Gulf Coast.