Sky Fish

Tyler R. Martin

Recline back now
Watching the fish swim in the sky
Splash me with water
Then dry up, choke and die.
Falling from the heavens
I watch them as they sail
Shriveled buggers
As the friction burns their scales.
And you know that makes me so sad
I’m lonely, wanted to hang,
They didn’t seem bad.
But when they made it, falling in fast
Straight down to me
They were nothing but ash.

Thinking about my podcast

So below I’m going to post a link to a crappy video I made here at home about the introductory episode to my podcast which will air this Wednesday. If that statement sounds convoluted, I understand. Watching the video, running about 15 minutes, might clarify. I just made this video a few minutes ago and didn’t edit it, I just posted it on my fledgling YouTube channel in manner that will likely give my producers a collective cardiac arrest. The actual podcast, I am fortunate enough to admit, has been and will continue to be, filmed in a wonderful studio., with all the green screens and effects one could ask for without detracting form the point of the show (poetry and Philosophy). This video, however, was filmed on my 300 dollar laptop, at my dinning room table after a few glasses of Johnny Walker Black (a delicious beverage by the way). But regardless, whatever disagreement arises tomorrow morning, the video will remain, for reasons I describe in the video. Please watch, subscribe if your interested and enjoy. As always, thank you to anyone who enjoys my work, you truly keep me waking up in the morning and this podcast is dedicated to you.

What is below in the Hungry Black Maw?

Tyler R. Martin

There’s a house at the end of the street where
All the little ghouls collude to meet and,
In plumes of smoke and cigarette ash, they
Invade the solace of a forgotten past. Where
All window panes are thoroughly smashed by
By wonton bottles of boozy glass
And the drywall bursts in thick sullen clouds of the
White plaster shrouds of those thrashes, so loud! .
These white plaster shrouds precipitating down
On scratched oak floors anticipating the sounds,
Of the words to be spoken and pentagrams drawn
In the black hope of inciting a terrible dawn!
Here the ghouls all read the Book of the Law
And call the basement below “the Hungry Black Maw” and
Scamper on down engulfed by the sound of the
Steps below creaking, in tremors they’re bound!
As below the cob webs of many a year are
Imagined to them the apex of fear! In the dark
Below, in all superb drear, the ghouls surround
In a worshiping pose, a sight so queer in tranquil repose!
The skeletal remains of the man of the house, now quiet
And still but with a lesson espoused! For the man in shambles
In the darkness below had died as he lived
And bitterly so!

Combat: that Which Alleviates Difference

Tyler R. Martin

An essay I wrote…thought it was interesting

By. Tyler R. Martin

Do you know yourself as well as you can possibly know yourself? I ask. I’m sure we all ask ourselves this from time to time if we are to have even an ounce of self reflection. We ask ourselves, do we know our peers as well as we could? Or, how well do they know themselves? And do our peers struggle with the same manner of self reflection? How, collectively, or individually, can we grow to understand our own capabilities and limitations and, simultaneously, the capabilities and limitations of our peers? Will they accept you if you’re different? Better? Worse?–at whatever arbitrary task at which we all compete. Perhaps you’re a different color? Have a different upbringing? A different genetic heritage? In this essay I will explore my own journey through these questions. My own self reflection and competition, both collectively and individually, as a white teenager, competing in a majority non white sport.

Perhaps you’re young, immature, inexperienced. Perhaps you embody a false bravado due to a very natural insecurity. Despite the “self esteem” doctrine drilled incessantly into your head from childhood, you know, deep, deep down, that you’re 12 years old and haven’t experienced one iota of the real world. As a consequence of this lack of experience, you haven’t the faintest idea what your own capabilities are and cannot comprehend what you should feel “esteemed” about. Accomplishment is a long hard road made even longer by the antiseptic environment most white, middle class children find themselves raised in. There is a lot of knowledge in a bloody nose, a bruised knuckle, a snarl at an opponent in the ring of combat, that most teenage in suburbia never have the privilege of experiencing. Boxing, the sport of controlled fury, coherent violence, not just against your opponent, but also against yourself, is where I honed my razor edge. I wasn’t liked. I wasn’t liked due to immutable traits, and therefore was not accepted. Numerous black and brown faces singled me out as the physical embodiment of “weak suburbia” as “a frail white boy” shielded from the inherent violence of existence. But I was there, bearing the slings and arrows of contempt, sharpening my tools in the ring of combat, the ring of fury. I sharpened my skills against those who had shown me disdain, pushed my own limits, as well as pushing theirs, in the inferno of breathless body shots and ear ringing blows to the head. We sharpened our skills as well as our perspectives. Our perspectives not only of our own capabilities, but also of each other. This, in the ring of combat, the ring of fury, did we see that it was the heart and muscle that mattered, only guts and the skill, the fury and the violence, the control and the dedication. Beyond this, we taught each other and ourselves, nothing else mattered. 

To challenge yourself, physically, mentally, and thereby understand your own limitations, has the perverse effect of raising just as many self reflective existential questions as it provides the answers for. At a certain point it became glaringly clear that I wasn’t sure exactly who my most proximal peers where? Against whom do compare my abilities? Into which hierarchy do throw my preverbal hat? Was it in the academic sense? In my own public school, no degree of competition of physicality interested me. School sports seemed pompous in comparison to the raw primal grit of a boxing gym. There was, even in suburbia, a group of my schoolmates who wrestled with their own capabilities in a very nervous and clumsy way with the false bravado I spoke of earlier; they interested me not at all; they were ghosts, miles behind me in the grueling marathon of life. So, to compare myself to those more academically inclined seemed to be a suitable challenge. The boxing gym didn’t provide much in that regard, it was not an environment overly crowded with academics. Though, it’s interesting to note, that to say that a boxing gym is not an environment conducive to creating academics is not at all saying that a boxing gym is not an environment void of intellect or not conducive to attracting and promoting intellectualism. Those are grossly different things. Understanding the depth of Shakespeare, although beneficial, is not the same as understanding the depth of your own capabilities, nor is it the same as understanding the depth of life, which is often a complex, competitive and violent affair. I learned this as I progressed on these two different fronts; the academic and the physical. My peers in the former were academically inclined and often of substantial intellect, however, I noticed that they often suffered an inordinate amount of stress when exposed to any potential roadblock in their path. A difficult test approaching, the formulation of a college resume, a potential physical confrontation, an essay such as this, void of blatant factual knowledge, would send them spiraling. I could only imagine what six minutes in the ring of combat would do to their fragile psyche! 

Yet, this is not the correct perspective, even then I was still ignorant to some degree, for now I realize that jest is pointless. The true hallmark of an actualized individual, something that cannot be gleaned in a classroom, would be to aid those who are interested in progressing down the path that has helped me immensely, and, in doing so, hope that they will benefit as I had. It’s not in a classroom that you are able to understand the depths of your own metal fortitude, or the limits of your physicality. It’s not in the classroom that you realize that it’s not the culture or the race or economic prosperity, the college you attended or the books you’ve read that’s sets apart men and women, it is, in fact, the level of self reflection and the knowledge you’ve gleaned through combat with existence.

But a Cell in the Beast

Tyler R. Martin

While all around the protests scream,
Wood signs swing in thick fog of mace,
A murderous mob’s collective fangs gleam
Upon a single, mangled, stupid face.
Fires ravage a business built by many a year,
In minutes eaten, blackened from within;
In one Body, no single Cell harbors fear,
Nor does a single Cell bear collective sin.

No one Cell gathers any guilt from the smoke,
Just a collective Body warmed happily by heat,
While pests within structures flee and choke
And amass upon the carnage of the street.
In tribal masks the Cells upon pavement dance
Upon these streets in a primitive display.
Around the fires their Body’s Shaman prance
As the infidel contagion look on in stark dismay.

Waiting for a Commercial

Tyler R. Martin

Tough to gain your footing on the black ice under feet
As you stumble with your bottle down the dark dreary street.
The change in your coat jingles, the last few cents not spent,
As you’re staggering toward home to imbibe, sigh and lament.
Trudging through slush toward steps stacked with snow
While you’re swearing at yourself for all the effort you forgo.
Turning your key to enter, hands and feet are frozen numb
As you grip your bottle tighter, with just one finger and a thumb.
The door swings open slowly and you quickly step inside
Then you close the door behind you, to this place in which you hide.
Spend a minute searching, and find the remote control
And then peruse the television, through the sitcoms you do stroll.
Icing down your bourbon, small glass and a frozen cube,
As you surf the daytime networks and stare blankly at the tube.
Feet up on the table, sipping slowly at your booze
And you savor tastes of poison and the comfort that ensues.
When that glass is empty, exert the effort for one more
And you drain that one even faster, then the third is quite a chore.
Now you’re feeling so lightheaded, best you’ve felt all week
And then you wait for a commercial
For there’s a task you must complete.
Picking up your pistol, laying right beside your chair
Then you cock the hammer slowly
And blow your teeth right through your hair.

Midnight Mourning

Tyler R. Martin

I hear her start at midnight, weeping,
And I hear her all night long,
It’s a dreary tune of heartbreak,
A bitter, sweet and sickly little song.

She begins with a sigh
(Quietly I sit and hear her so clear)
And says to no one “goodbye”
-”I shall love you forever, why did you have to die?

Then from deep within a shattered soul
A symphony begins its sway,
With first a tearful little sonnet
Of loss, death and dismay.

Then her soul emits the main event,
A tear stained face out the opened window gaze,
The weeping for just a moment halts
As she contemplates a leap into the waves

But the window shuts with a slam;
The sweet thing loses nerve
And the weeping once more comence
For life doles her more than she deserve.

Modern Anthem

Tyler R. Martin

It’s been a bit of time since Salem,
Joey McCarthys been long dead,
But their vile deeds live on still…
Can’t get that through my head…

They say that I’m still guilty,
I embody all of mankind’s sin,
For all misdeeds of my fathers
Condone the shoddy shape I’m in.

So dispense with your ambition,
Do as they say not as they do,
You had best recite their anthem
Or you know they’ll come for you:
“So persecute them for their gender, persecute them for their skin,
Raise up all your gilded pitchforks and we will burn them for their sin,
Lets all get on with the witch hunt, in every single state and town,
We’ll uncover all who don’t agree and we’ll tear that fucker down.”

You know that once I was a soldier,
But know that that means nothing now,
Once the Service deals its justice
No real defence shall be allowed.

Did my training at Fort Jackson,
Lived at the borders north and south
And at each place I was stationed
Was told to shut my privileged mouth.

So dispense with your ambition,
Do as they say not as they do,
You had best recite their anthem
Or you know they’ll come for you:
“So persecute them for their gender, persecute them for their skin,
Raise up all your gilded pitchforks and we will burn them for their sin,
Lets all get on with the witch hunt, in every single state and town,
We’ll uncover all who don’t agree and we’ll tear that fucker down.”