Camille Martin

Current, Unique

Blame every collapse on the Permian extinction,
on butterflies elusive as their etymology,

as larcenous witches in disguise. Easy
being paranoid about the wrong jinx, to hang on

to your coattails and crash-land,
accusing the spook of a Cro-Magnon mutant.

Someday your eternally-cooling soup
won’t heat up anymore. Having too much evidence

wouldn’t be so bad. That red candy wrapper
you tossed could’ve made a difference.

If only you knew how to dust for fingerprints,
close the case with just the right degree

of lump in the throat. But here you are, catatonic
onstage at a charlatan’s whim, dimly aware

that perspective is the gift of the dead,
watching their comrades evolve.


Chicken Little zeitgeist:
courage of convictions
or paranoia

UFOs evolving
with the outline of stealth bombers


Grasping at air in response
to a wordless query from a faceless presence.

The larger question of etiology,
as if sequence were other
than split-level morphing.

Old cartoon:
doctor grips newborn by ankles
and spanks.


Inane singer in head, pitch rising
in a broken-record crescendo of astonishment.

Sunset sublimity, horizon
to zenith to horizon.


The dream was taking a Romantic turn
at the moment of awakening
to the overtone series of a dump truck.


The set of coordinates
called “English fox hunt,” shortcut
for unexamined yearning for “class.”

Grainy effect means a sudden
leap in time is coming up.


In the belly of a snake
it’s a grave mistake not
to see fang or rattle.



a recalcitrant disorder


Verdict watch: “She’s not really
feeling anything, just aping what a feeling
looks like. It’s all speculation,
but don’t you just want to spit at her?”

That startled look. Sharp
inhalation, the nano-second
of the camera’s flash happening
to be its peak.


How to know
when you’ve recognized
thought—holding a picture
of good tomatoes before bad
just like a real human being.


plane shadow turbulence

Chicken Little as epistolary novel

Camille Martin is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Looms (2012) and Sonnets (2010), both from Shearsman Books. She has an MFA from the University of New Orleans and a PhD in English from Louisiana State University. In 2005, she moved from New Orleans to Toronto, where she currently resides.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.