Two Poems by Wyatt Martin


Lovers Don’t Come They Go

Why should you want any other,
when you’re a world within a world?
–Elliott Smith

Here’s a whisper
I don’t tell anyone

I know this makes you want me more
But I don’t want you
And I love it
And leave it,
Still Warm
Like coffee in an ugly mug
Reflection speaks
At your empty breakfast table

So listen closely

I don’t
Come where
I don’t belong
I’m a world within a world
And when I look at
You from across the room

Your just a costume
I know

see her/she was

In the cafe, darling with the black top
Her hips were very, cherry red lipstick

She sat in my booth, told me what my dreams meant
She was smoking, she gave me a parliament

She was playing with some scales, she threw me a line to fish
I ain’t gonna lie, I bit down on it (a bit)

She had a little paper, she drew me as she saw fit
She promised me harmony, played me a circle of fifths

I promised commandments but gave her a laundry list
Skeletons in the hallway dead flowers in our trailer hitch

She put it in a poem, spit her bubble gum in it
One more of cup of coffee she said, and then I’ll split

One more of cup of coffee she said, and then I’ll spill
I’ll let you take me home to my basement on a hill

That was a long time ago, now she’s on the road taking tolls
Waiting on a couple roosters to come home

That was a long time ago, nows she’s on the road taking tolls

Mama’s pushin’ 20 with 2 little one’s in tow

Mamas got 2 little ones but no one to hold her
Mamas got 2 little ones but no one to show for (/chauffeur)

Army jacket on, changing diapers in the shoulder
Humming to the radio, “we only ever say goodbye with words…”

See her on the street all she wants to do is greet
Blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah

See her on the block, all she does is talk, talk
Blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah

See her all alone, she’s like an air balloon takin’ off
See her at the bar, she’s like an air balloon takin’ shots

See her all alone, she’s like ain air balloon takin’ off
See her at the bar she’s like an air balloon takin’ shots

she was

‘Today Walking’ by Wyatt Martin

photo by Wyatt Martin

I can be lonely for long periods of time
I can walk into a building have it all change on a dime

There is a river flooding, running through my mind
My heart skipped a few beats up to a very steep incline

There’s a movie playing, certain scenes are on rewind
You show me yours I’ll show you mine all in time

We will leave it up to chance, at least it will be kind
We would cash out in advance, but we don’t wanna wait in line

To you I’m walking out of a dream To me your saving time
Today well go out walking, cuz we both got an axe to grind

But mine will be too broken, too broken to be fixed
You will be outspoken, outstretched into a fist

Of course I will not listen, I don’t even possess a wish
You will tell me the answer and I will simply process a glitch

Then you will turn off as if your god had flipped a switch
you better just burn off all this dreamin’ to a mist

‘O Absence’ & ‘Daywalker’ by Wyatt Martin

b/w 35mm – photo by Wyatt Martin

O Absence

there is a song to sing in cigarette smoke.
I drink wine and muse with friends like a mannequin,
dressed in ammunition,
chasing the morning sun
with tracer rounds

send me a gunshot away from here
and with 200 discharges send shivers
down the spines of these Green mountains.

dig a cut I can crawl into.
waking up on ice with less organs
in a rat-house coffin covered in fish scale mirrors,
all so as to love in excess, and to stray as close
to death as possible.

they’re breaking in and I’m losing
weight down the drain like a sting Op.
drunken dollars in the juke, misplacing
my xanax, cheating, or sinking
In what I ought to be
taking lightly.


It’s been so long since I laid my head down
Carry me carry me carry me all the way down the stairs now
Bury me bury me bury me in your bed it sounds like
She says she says you are stayin’ overnight tonight

She says goodmorning likes it’s all part of the play
But it starts with good evening (last night) how was your day
Then she pulls out a left hook left me with nothing to say
She said you’re sleeping in my bed tonight I won’t have it no other way

And so pass the months
And so go the days

I’m wondering why I don’t see you in daytime as
I spend my days as we walk our separate ways

I’m wondering why I don’t see you in daytime as
I spend my days as we walk our separate ways

‘Morning is Endless Among Trees’ by Wyatt Martin

b/w 35mm collage – photo by Wyatt Martin
discover the forest, your body distal
to the heart of the fireside
circle of friends dancing,
huddled in its light warmth

Steer away, to the darkened treeline
when you stray blind far enough
your vision adjusts to the visual quiet
the moon and stars are also light

sit totally still, but fire-alive, eying
like an owl, and just as quiet, hear
and you hold it there, outstretched–
for the first time–
seeing the world and yourself
in the same frame (minus everyone else)

nervous system churning, turn to see
a silent chorus of glows
emerge atop the hills like fire towers
along a medieval mountain range

the glares, chiming their purpose
in fire– there are others–
they are warmth and light and blood
but not the world, not you

your gaze swings up and East
the sun’s fire claws a frown
over the ridge, the light
of the tower’s fades to invisibility

as you begin to chop the day’s wood
and fetch the day’s water
you look at this daylight, double-exposed
and see that it is darker among the trees

and cooler too

The soft tumble of distant tones
ring like a jukebox through the jungle

You know this human noise,
align to these signals, and see
the pupil of this fire circle,
looking back at you

it is laughter it is warmth and love
it is revenge it is blood and teeth
it is everything, but with ease, eclipsed
by your silent thumb raised in the air

‘Dream Ending’ & ‘Lipstick Car Wreck’ by Wyatt Martin

b/w 35mm – photo by Wyatt Martin

Dream Ending

Humility is Endless

Maybe I woke up so I would keep dreaming
So I wouldn’t have to see the dream complete
I could keep on not seeing how the movie ends

When I left you for the last time
I dreamed for days straight into weeks, months, years

There is nothing moreover
Than waking up


Lipstick Car Wreck

Lipstick Car Wreck
Finally alone, you open your coat in the snow
Revealing the soft hum of pilot light
Living, walking to the water’s edge
To pray for river’s cleanse
the water is polluted with reflection
So run, you always do, into an idle
car on the street outside
Of where you need to be, you’ve circled around
3 times already (you’re not getting any more inside)
drive, flood down the avenue to the last bridge
Left erect from burned out comings-alive
switch, from automatic to manual
Stop self-correcting let it careen
A smile like wreckage smears across your face

‘Time is Worth’ by Wyatt Martin

Photo by Wyatt Martin

I know, I said I would take a vacation
I know, I said I would go back to working
You know, You said you would go out dancing
You know, You stayed home, Your head was hurting

Weighing the odds yes now it’s in both our hands
Wondering just what our time is worth
Playing the cards yes now its from both our decks
Wondering when it’s the dealers turn

Wake up, don’t say good morning
All the bees get a buzz to work
When they Get back in the evening
They’re Heads bent all out of sorts

Weighing the odds yes now in its both their hands
Wondering what their time’s worth
Now, choppin it up with the bossman
Son you must understand what your time is worth

Daughters crunching the numbers on their records
Wondrin’ what the hours are for
Sisters calling in sick, calling collect
Much more than before

Maybe when I wake up next morning
I won’t have forgotten my dreams
Until then, Empty notebook next to me
It’s been a hard year for remembering

[I’ve got a problem My eyes only see normally
I’ve got a problem My eyes only see what their supposed to see]

Now I’ve gotta swallow a whole lot more snow, just to stay thirsty in the cold
Now I’ve gotta borrow a lot more rope, I keep burning it to coals

I’ve gotta follow, oh, just one more hope, before it turns into a rose
I’ve gotta know, so,
I’ve gotta go

I came across the prodigal sons throwing stones in a crowd,
If it’s about death I told em’ don’t be slow about it
As for the two men, listening to them was really quite a task
One was a thief, the other hadn’t lost a thing

Hunchback of Notre Dame, thought all along
Thought all along You were carrying something
You shut your gates right before your city could escape
A long time ago, but every friend is good for something