miércoles, 7 de junio de 2017



J. Michael Martínez nació y creció en Greeley, Colorado, EE.UU. Graduado de la Universidad de Northern Colorado, y George Mason University, con un MFA en escritura creativa. Actualmente está cursando un Ph.D. en literatura en la universidad de Colorado en Boulder, y enseña literatura y estudios culturales allí. Premio Walt Whitman 2009.

Su trabajo ha aparecido en New American Writing, Five Fingers Review, The Colorado Review y Crab Orchard Review.


2006 Five Fingers Review Poetry Prize
2009 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets.


Heredities , LSU Press


Junta: Avant-Garde Latino/a Writing.

J. Michael Martinez. De un verso que crea una tensión poderosa entre el silencio y el habla en clave negativa, Martinez juega con un discurso que a momentos parece místico, yendo sin miedo al dominio de la teología lírica. Su poemario Heredities recibió el premio Walt Whitman, un libro que el juez Juan Felipe Herrera describió como un “exhilarante descenso a lo no enunciado”. Martinez actualmente trabaja en su doctorado en la Universidad de Colorado en Boulder. 

Las traducciones corren a cargo por Esteban López Arciga.

Rosary (Prayer One)

Wherein she martyrs the mirror:
this carnival of stone,
her lips dilate
the negation—space into starpoint

Wherein she, to be both sacrum & wrist—
neither the fugitive epidermis,
nor the unlocked ashblack—
sovereigns the shadow swell as love

Wherein she ardors the emptiness open,
proof the unanchored
Spirit of my silence,
her revisions clothing my brightest orgasm—

Wherein she says, I can hear you,
the seed under the belly’s flesh—love the far shore,
she says, For She withdraws the Spring wild

Thrust in her mother’s surrender,
iron ocean blackened to aurora.

Rosario (Primer oración)

Donde ella hace mártir de espejo:
este carnaval de piedra,
sus labios dilatan
la negación—espacio vuelto estrella

Donde ella, siendo sacra y muñeca—
ni la epidermis fugitiva
ni el oscuro abierto y cenizo—
hinchada gobierna sombra como amor

Donde ella vehementa el vacío abierto,
prueba el espíritu
a deriva de mi silencio,
el manto, sus revisiones, de mi orgasmo fulgor—

Donde ella dice, te escucho,
la semilla bajo la carne de panza—ama la costa lejana,
 dice, Pues ella retrae al empuje salvaje

De primavera en caída de madre,
mar de hierro negro hasta la aurora.


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

held to the ivory of oxen hoof
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


como la carne
de cascarón

como el cascarón antes de graznar

la hierba blanca
el higo
empolvado hasta dulce

clara de huevo pavorreal

con la mano en el marfil del casco de res
entre pecados                          soy

como soy por
el huésped                          de lengua
Dios de pan

complexión de conquista
la sal de lot

como Dios es
corona de espinas
diadema de trigo

yo también soy eco
llamando al fósil al nombre

ceniza amaranta             dispersa entre luz

J. Michael Martinez

J. Michael Martinez was born 1978 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 writer for Harriet.

The Gospel of Ometéotl, the Brown Adam 

People walk through you, the wind steals your voice, 
 you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat,
forerunner of a new race,
half and half — both woman and man, neither —
 a new gender.
                          —Gloria Anzaldúa
Jasmine garlands thin
             for the rib’s cartilage ring.

The heart shudders with pure mission.

                                                         She spreads
                                                         & knows herself as Adam,

                                                         but through himself,

                                                         he is Eve.

            He knows but what the garden gives:

                        the garden’s soot
                        awakened tongueless in root.

            Cerise chrysantha
                        coils around his leg.

            Gathering the tides
                                    of the seas to his side,
                                    she conceives

                                    where impossibilities seed.

            Clarity burning coal,                he takes two knots

                                                of grass
                                                & strings

                        four birds-of-paradise

            through the ceiba’s rotted leaves:

                                    she fashions the sorrows
                                    from winter’s purse,

                                    & sun

                                    sifted for sum.

                        Entrammeled, Ometéotl rises
                                    one among one

                        body stitched in strange altar.

Water Poppies Open as the Mouth 

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.

Heredities (1) Etymology 

When she was seven, my grandmother suffered from fever and swollen glands. The doctors believed her tonsils were inflamed, that she needed surgery. Instead, she went to a curandera. The curandera divined that a jealous relative had cast a curse on her and, now, her language of kindness was bound to her throat, the unspoken swelling her glands.

As a child my grandmother spoke to santitos with a voice like a chestnut: ruddy and warm, seeds dropping from her mouth. The santitos would take her words into themselves, her voice growing within them like grapevines.

During the tonsillitis, when the words no longer fell like seeds from her lips, the santito's vineyards of accent and voice grew vapid, dry as a parched mouth. They went to her tongue and asked why silence imprisoned the words of the child, why lumps were present under her chin, why tears drew channels down her cheeks.

I asked my grandmother how her tongue replied. After touching my cheek, she told me she had a dream that night: She was within her lungs and she rose like breath through the moist of her throat. She remembered her tonsils swinging before her like fleshy apples, then a hand taking them into a fist, harvesting their sound. She told me her throat opened in two spots like insect eyes and the names of her children came flying through her wounds like peacocks.

Patting my thigh, she said, "That is why the name of your mother is Maria, because she is a prayer, a song of praise to the Holy Mother." She told me this, then showed me two scars on her throat—tiny scars, like two eyelids stitched closed.


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