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White

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            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
            pulling
            the space

between sins                    I am

            as I am so

the host                             on the tongue
            God of Bread

complexion of conquest
            the salt of Lot

as God is
            a crown of thorn
            diadem of wheat

so am I the echo
calling fossil back to name

amaranth ash                    spread across the light
J. Michael Martinez, "White" 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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White

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  • 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 buried long ago.” Martinez is also the author of the chapbooks Pinned to a Quail’s Wings (2006), The Care With Which There Is (2007), and And also a Fountain (2008), with James Belflower and Anne Heide. The Autumn Orchard, an opera for which he wrote the libretto, was performed by Colorado University’s New Opera Workshop.
     
    Cofounder and coeditor of Breach Press, Martinez is currently pursuing a PhD in literature at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

    In April 2014, J. Michael Martinez was a featured...

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