Water Poppies Open as the Mouth

By J. Michael Martinez b. 1978

The Body as Nature, History

All motivations intermingle as the core of history, the internal becomes external... all as parts of the body.
maurice merleau-ponty

i.               the positing of space, corporeal history

medium of my body

bent to narrow rivers,

         touching of the touch

totem to shape:

           jasmine buds,

    water poppies            open as the mouth.

                       Propolis and juniper oil

             resinous   viscera
             embowered in trees,

              life wholly aware of itself
              unbound and unsealed.

ii. into the language of seeing

eyes gather seed—

                  perception as hive
                  a bud of gold, a gold of blood

                  apportioned in time

four wings fastened      by a row of resolutions

                  reeved through revelation,

                  place-world awoken,
                  obscurity bonded to light.

J. Michael Martinez, "Water Poppies Open as the Mouth" from heredities. Copyright © 2010 by J. Michael Martinez.  Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: heredities (Louisiana State University Press, 2010)

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Poet J. Michael Martinez b. 1978

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, The Body, Nature

 J. Michael Martinez


J. Michael Martinez was born in Greeley, Colorado. He earned his BA from the University of Northern Colorado and his MFA from George Mason University. His first collection of poetry, Heredities (2010), received a Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Judge Juan Felipe Herrera chose the book for its “exhilarating descent into the unspoken” and noted, “[Martinez] gives voice to a dismembered continental body . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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