David Tomas Martinez
And One

Look at the homie,

   even when in a gang

              he came home to crack Nietzsche, Beyond


             Good and Evil, Will

to Power. Believing everybody dies at twenty-four,

not seeing a future in pump-faking, even then.


 You ever try to read philosophy high?

Gone to the hole and hoped for the foul,

                          wished only to finish.


After rolling joints in two Zig-Zags,

after an hour of starching pants,

he transferred trollies and buses.


                                           He’s going places.                        

Look at homie, trying to fix himself. Thinks,

out of repetition comes variation.


                        It takes a lot of effort

to look

                       like you’re not trying.

It should be an air ball

                      to go to college


             at twenty-one, the father of two, just

                                          to play basketball. When


most folks say they want to change the world

                                      they mean their own.




Found In Volume 47, No. 01
Read Issue
  • dtm by rachel eliza griffiths
David Tomas Martinez
About the Author

David Tomas Martinez's debut collection of poetry, Hustle, was released in 2014 by Sarabande Books, winning the New England Book Festival's prize in poetry, the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and honorable mention in the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral Prize. Martinez is a CantoMundo fellow, Bread Loaf Stanley P. Young fellow, NEA fellow, and Pushcart Prize winner. Forthcoming March 2018, Sarabande Books will publish his second collection, Post Traumatic Hood Disorder. Martinez lives in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing at Columbia University.