John Martone, Two New Serial Poems: “Gamma” & Juniperus Virginiana”

[To describe John Martone as our greatest living miniaturist, as I have in the past, is to go back for me to a time many years ago when Ian Hamilton Finlay & I corresponded about a poetry of small increments (one-word poems & other such concerns).  For Finlay, I believe, some form of minimalism was at the heart of the concrete poetry he was then exploring & developing, & for myself it entered into aspects of ethnopoetics & appeared most clearly in the numerically based poems (gematria) that I was beginning to write.  It’s with someone like John Martone, however, that this approach turns into a life long project, for which the following, newly made & often self published, can serve as a presentday, irrefutable witness. (J.R.)]

gamma

light in your handwriting’s loops
light in your body

 ~

the retina’s a sail

 ~

 infrared
even as you lie there sleeping

 ~

a frequency
at which the body is see-thru

 ~

they hammer together
a wooden stairs
you read about photons

~

shouting vulgarities
a roofer stands in the light

~

it’s weeding or roofing these days & both

~

photons

the pea flower’s
whiteness

~

photons

you pick
pea pods

~

the wind’s direction today all those photons

~

in a photon
in the light
more light

~

wouldn’t mind
just being
photons

~

gamma rays

right thru
mirror

~

gamma ray burst lighting up all can’t see it

~

your body
this room

this room
full of light

~

radish plants
shot to seed overnight
you climb the roof

 

Juniperus virginiana

nothing to do
old man
red cedar

~

room enough
for me in you
red cedar

~

a brief nap
a red
cedar

~

people have two lungs — red cedar

~

nights
that interstellar form
red cedar

~

another
sleep walker
red cedar

~

come autumn
a cedar chest
full of bedding

~

having no one
the smell of a cedar hope chest

~

cedar tree
the soul is always something else

 

summer, 2013