The Poem Every Day Project

In February 2005, David Martin decided to write a poem every day for 100 days.

(Photos by Richard R. Barron)

 * * *

poem 001 02/07/05

I find it perplexing,
this corn god
How can it be so clever?
it makes us think we have progressed so far
but really we are just like its favorite Aztecs
our sacrifices are less transparent
we still rip out the
hearts of our enemies

poem 002 02/08/05

Today my shoes complain
as I walk
they voice their
skwoosh skwoosh
against the carpeted
floors as a protest
against me—
dragging their souls about
my soul is smack
against the ground too
you won’t hear me complain!

day 003 02/09/05

a fast hold
an attempted return
climbing up the incline
slipping on small pebbles
the goal recedes
smash face into rock
(maybe on purpose)

poem 004 02/10/05

This morning
my imagination led me
to the year of the rooster.
and eggs.
and the spark-of-life angel.

poem 005 02/11/05

yes, me
trudging against the format
yes, me
associating the punks
yes, me
ankles ablaze, rings of fire
yes, me
with the neck bolts
yes, me
in the success, complex
yes, me

poem 006 02/12/05

Mr. Harm-Free
doesn’t eat meat
he doesn’t use milk or eggs
he doesn’t wear leather, wool, or silk
he doesn’t walk for fear of stepping
on a bug
or a crack
he doesn’t have an immune system
–“Invading bacteria are alive and worthwhile!”
he decided one day to stop
existing for he was
taking up space
that a giraffe
or a slime mold
might need

poem 007 02/13/05

a circus too colorful
a funeral too gray
weaving to and fro
pegging the needle
on each end
the middle parts of the spectrum
only an interesting
countryside to pass through
with its cows
and old men
on tractors
slowing my rush to the cities

day 008 02/14/05

the pores of earth, wide
soaking—the warmth of sunshine
drops, given to sky

poem 009 02/15/05

it was a box of books
in my garage
and it included the coolest

I had never seen these books before
though I somehow always knew
they were mine

the smile on my face
and my super-hard dick
as I awoke
from that one

poem 010 02/16/05

a brain system fails

and leaves
all the healthy minds
reeling in its wake
like a marauding
bear’s paw
swiping in a bee hive

day 011 02/17/05

and then the wind died down
I took that little walk
and said “no” to the right guy

when the wind whipped up again
and blew the dust from my folds
I was in the clear time
the bright time

poem 012 02/18/05

in the glade of vegetarian
I pursue you
chocolate tofu pudding
will be mine

poem 013 02/19/05

in sibilant respect
a scrutiny
an honor
against the rushing
against the keening

poem 014 02/20/05

waste-of-space boy
understands so little
of what makes the
world turn
an idealist, yes
but even his ideal
is flaccid,

poem 015 02/21/05=PRESIDENT’S DAY


the manhood of our nation
sliced off by a petty grudge
where is the Malcolm of today?
would it be better
to make him bulletproof—
or are we still mired
in the necessity of martyrs?

poem 016 02/22/05

under the code
we are swept
at our feet—
the shells
of all previous lives
however hot
the pyre burns
couplets never die

poem 017 02/23/05

in a final push
to victory
we self-immolate
because, after all,
we are
the very breeding ground
for all the filth

poem 018 02/24/05

most of it is under water
the shadow thoughts
fleeting tinge of emotion
the master of the house
never leaves the living room
the muses conspire in the kitchen
and horrors cackle in the attic

poem 019 02/25/05

Cryptic Notes to a Brother Who Never Existed:

panic scrawl
the cost of resistance
even better than pad thai
pulling back the sheath
a hole in every t-shirt
and annihilate my tongue
with the bluntest of dentition

poem 020 02/26/05

Rasaan Roland Kirk
annihilating Marklars
a human H-bomb

poem 021 02/27/05

I opened up the archives
not really remembering
what to find
insight? inspiration?
in the end,
they brought me to
a tough room
(in Dallas, no less)

poem 022 02/28/05

cradled by a butterfly
my hopes arrived
on a wisp
of sweet wind
and were adroitly
on the doorstep
of my most malicious

poem 023 03/01/05

upon verifying the square
I burst through the doors
sunshine through
the miniscule gaps
in my outdated armor

the crowd’s uproar
slowly diminished
and I savored a moment, until
blasting unbidden
from my mouth
the words:
“It is accomplished!!!”

poem 024 03/02/05

green fingers explode
plant shrapnel pierces my foot
hey, Spring! is that you?

poem 025 03/03/05

my first whiff of Spring
brashly sliding through in-breath
Winter’s chill, banished

poem 026 03/04/05

I remember my kicks
Chuck Taylor All Stars
even the rubber parts
were black
even the inside
was black
(like my soul?)
coolest fucking shoes ever

poem 027 03/05/05

lithe, yet erect
moving, yet solid
every living being
reaching for the sun
while spreading along the earth

poem 028 03/06/05

rectified, I sit
with my mouth shut
eyes open
listening for
the fates to come along
and smack me across
the head again
with aluminum
baseball bat

poem 029 03/07/05

the wedge issue
rolls through us
and we titter and clap
because, after all,
gives us something
to do

poem 030 03/08/05

in the big scheme
what difference
fight or flee?

poem 031 03/09/05

open the door to annihilation
just by being born
a life—
like a bubble rising to the surface
only to POP!

poem 032 03/10/05

I lacked it today
first with the toothpicks
then with the paper clips
but I was effective
with the furnace
in a very
1950’s DAD sort of way

poem 033 03/11/05

and then, the sun
and curves
the brightness
toothy smiles

poem 034 03/12/05

hanging, as if to dry
our lives suspended
within the big blue now
the moisture of birth
finally evaporated at the end
(only to start all over again)

poem 035 03/13/05

all children
equally special
in their smiling
and milling about
cruelly interrupted
by the process
of maturing

poem 036 03/14/05

even now he tries to destroy me
that dark fucker of my mind
his latest trick:
smiting me in the knee
with a tire iron
from his cherry red
1968 Chevy Impala

poem 037 03/15/05

it’s dusty and crooked
and it will become dusty and crooked
but in the interim
I will straighten and clean
straighten and clean…

poem 038 03/16/05

I see you redbuds!
old-man jointy limbs
and pink/maroon pubescent
nippling buds of grace
can you say Spring?
can you say Oklahoma?

poem 039 03/17/05

in our little
community of secrets
a livid sun blooms

poem 040 03/18/05

in a friction-free world
all settles to
boring efficiency
and the supremacy
of bland surfaces

poem 041 03/19/05

making fun of ninnies
is so easy
but that doesn’t
diminish the fun!

poem 042 03/20/05

what is to be done
when the last poem
sucked so hugely?
write one that is
even worse
thus taking focus
off of the previous—
Mr. Self-Referential!

poem 043 03/21/05

a tornado’s instrument of fear
and God’s rebar
smash together
inside a bony chamber
this is my brain

poem 044 03/22/05

spreading peanut butter
on the exam table
so that my patients
have a tasty snack
as they are face down,
butt up

poem 045 03/23/05

in a tenuous sort of way
proffering a weak smile
and coming to the faintest of decisions
“maybe it will be OK after all”

poem 046 03/24/05

I miss the non-adherents
-the way they would
bubble up through my
neck to explode past my teeth
-the way they would
electrify my fingers
Don’t be shy, friends, muses!
Come out and play!

poem 047 03/25/05

a clean city
with Spanish words
and no-bother bums
San Diego

a town where people shiver
at sixty degrees
and the flowers of March
are just so
mountains meet sea

poem 048 03/26/05

beautiful dojo
trustworthy and honest friends
happy birthday, me

poem 049 03/27/05

eggplant town—
population 15,000
a clash
of Italy and China

poem 050 03/28/05

a homecoming not as sweet
as my imaginings
try again tomorrow

poem 051 03/29/05

let us have
a conversation with no force
only flow
and sweet gestures
of forgiveness
ripened by the expectation
of extended time

poem 052 03/30/05

abundant flesh
crawling upon
granular earth
impelling the cycles
and forward

poem 053 03/31/05

don’t show me on TV
when I’m mindless
and drooling
don’t drag my carcass to court
when I’m done eating
and I am done with your shit
down my throat
don’t stand outside my door
with taped mouths
and strident words

I know you won’t do any of this
because I am a man
and men don’t need that kind
of tumorous love

poem 054 04/01/05

rinse me clean
of daily anger
and see me emerge
from my holy shower
shining like an idiot

poem 055 04/02/05

I like it
when the people
start shimmering
and popping
in and out of existence
until the universal
vacuum tubes
get nice and warm

poem 056 04/03/05

slippery like snot
inconstant as dreams
a net in need of repair

poem 057 04/04/05

it was a clean parlor
so I decided to go ahead
and get a brain piercing
the technician was expert
and I have been happy since

poem 058 04/05/05

I love my daughter
especially the way
she gets so pissed
when a two-bit clown
calls her “cheater”

poem 059 04/06/05

I took no walk today
I had no truck with the sun
the fluorescent lights
baked me to a nice
shade of puke

poem 060 04/07/05

rolling over my shoulders
sheets of liquid electricity
directly from the sun
but no superpowers yet

poem 061 04/08/05

no attitude
no tension
slipping into
a pink
puddle of goo

poem 062 04/09/05

when god appeared to me
he said
“disable all safety protocols”
I think he’s tired
of us all being
such a bunch
of whining pussies

poem 063 04/10/05

in velvet leather lace
by the denizens
of a new rocky realm
by pangs of hard-pew guilt

poem 064 04/11/05

nature’s confetti
slicing silently the wind
as it spirals down
from high woody perches
celebrating a party
that Mama has yet to throw

poem 065 04/12/05

retrofit human minds
so that we are
not so mindless
enhanced by the spirit!
our neurons alight!

poem 066 04/13/05

every day a new test
fingers on triggers?
smiles on faces?
when to get
finally fed up
and vomit

poem 067 04/14/05

the youthful dead
always shine brighter
in our sanctioned memory
they just didn’t have the time
to fuck it all irretrievably—up

poem 068 04/15/05

the ides of April
manicured lawns of death
and Corinthian columns
waving the green flag
and imbibing vegetable spirit
expanding today—
filling with blood
and breath

poem 069 04/16/05

the Nazca Lines
the Great Wall
the Coliseum
all built to impress chicks

poem 070 04/17/05

through humid swirl
of dense dreamtime
I emerge
with a message
of mucous-y joy

poem 071 04/18/05

at exactly the same pace
as the in and out
pulsing of creation
during the rhythmic chanting
of the saints
I blow my nose

poem 072 04/19/05

I’m just waiting around
kicking the litter
and spraying my graffiti
until this whole façade
(America, reality, ego?)
crashes to earth
in a final orgasm
of self-immolation
(which is the best kind, after all)

poem 073 04/20/05

and then the pope
of my dreams
ascended to ground level
with cricket bat at the ready
a sacrament of horror
just for me

poem 074 04/21/05

in Hawaii
a spectacular living
sand and snow mixed
at the border of
sea and sky
and always
(like a drunk cosmonaut)
the looming volcano behind me

poem 075 04/22/05

in just a minute
my two hemispheres
will fit together
with an

poem 076 04/23/05

The Golden Nonsense Buddha
strode into the diner
took the barstool on the left
ordered the Mama Mc Muffin
and calculated the best way
to get under Alice’s apron

poem 077 04/24/05

heaven concept
human slavery
But Also:
a worthy obstacle
to overcome

poem 078 04/25/05

a puritanical distrust
of the spine
has led us to this
a deserted glade
where mouths are sealed
and hands are encased
in cement

poem 079 04/26/05

ambient focus
acquire target
one skin cell deep
falling like sheets of water
spiraling back to life

poem 080 04/27/05

“tired” is the operative
word of the star
crossed lovers spent
their passion into
the murky
cave of language

poem 081 04/28/05

pull the lanyard
cull the rolling stock
lull the roiling stream
bull the sweaty conglomerate
dull all criticisms

poem 082 04/29/05

and with his arms spread
feet wide
the skin on the front
of his torso
flipped up
like a rolling shade
a moment’s pause
then his internal
plopped to the ground
one by one
(slipping and slimy)

poem 083 04/30/05

Oh Dark Fucker!
you plugged my memory hole
the backlog made me refuse
that one nugget of importance

poem 084 05/01/05

a May Day of the mind
with variously-sized
telekinetically motioned
down Main Street
as the multi-hued masters
look on smugly
from an imaginary Kremlin

poem 085 05/02/05

it was a wet dream
-the fluid being blood-
Usama Bin Laden’s severed head
wrapped in linens,
shoved up a hog’s rectum
and walked from
radiologist to radiologist
so that each American
can confirm that yes,
we really did get
that donkey-fucking
(but, since he lives
our weakness is nakedly

poem 086 05/03/05

swirling adjustments
into a matrix
of effort and thought
slowly I transform

poem 087 05/04/05

it’s a graphic representation
of the Spring God
taking me roughly
by the shoulders
and yelling
“There is not a fucking
thing wrong
with a dandelion, boy!”

poem 088 05/05/05

let’s align ourselves
with the grand
of idiocy
shut brain off
charge forward

poem 089 05/06/05

Welcome to Cookietown!
the place where all desires
blend into one yearning now
and the pleasant denizens
psychically implant
pure bliss
into every whining visitors

poem 091 05/08/05

the mess
is the theme of the day
apartment squalor
a feudal boss
a nation gone wrong
when to sit inside
the mess to think
when to approach
the mess with fire
(lots of fire)

poem 092 05/09/05

if I had Jesus in my pocket
I wouldn’t feel so odd
if I had Jesus in my pocket
I could wear a coat and tie
(but never sweat)
if I had Jesus in my pocket
I could breathe underwater
if I had Jesus in my pocket
he would hand me a $100 bill
every time I stuck my hand
down there

poem 093 05/10/05

it’s an opening
and if we refuse to enter
it may never open again
scorched sky
the end of rain

poem 094 05/11/05

-temples of filth-
today a sudden
and shocking
realization about
what most

poem 095 05/12/05

drops fall silently
and gauze billows
egrets fly against the wind

poem 096 05/13/05

put in the stop
to quit the noise
of pure unadulterated
thought control
as decades wear on
stop wiggles out
we’re controlling
each other again

poem 097 05/14/05

in the tangled wood
she wanders
searching for a dropped
lusting for the spirit
she once called home
my lost little muse

poem 098 05/15/05

if this is the future
(our new way of being)
I will treat it just like
the other temporal entanglements
and ignore

poem 099 05/16/05

only as my slime pit fills
will I float to the top
and thus, escape

poem 100 05/17/05

as a chain-link fence
captures garbage
my neural-link mind
catches ideas
consumed by:
that prick of pain behind my knee
skipping rope
and the fact that
any round surface is flat
if you make yourself
sufficiently small

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