Becoming Weather

Chris Martin's second book of poetry catalogs the movements of a constantly shifting city, and the human effort to find a clearing amidst chaos. In his praise for the collection, Bob Hicok notes the "honesty and rigor of this pilgrimage" rendered with philosophical meditation and musical sensibility.

The forms in the book range from numbered poems that are aphoristic in nature, through fragmented poems (the dispersal and shape of which are not unlike clouds), to a section of formally similar poems that use the space between words as silences—much like musical rests.

The movements that make up this collection are also a call to movement, often asking the reader to consider working past the hierarchies and accepted realities that make one numbly complacent. In the final section of the book, titled "This False Peace," Martin writes,

Atmosphere concerning    a version    of blank we sweat

to dissipate the sure    empire of knowledge    these daily

nuptials    braiding air to bone or    lost here
    the television's

nuclear    I want to kiss you    as the phone    rings but you

are the    one calling    punching voices    into strip    or

braiding the ends    to rejoice    in the already    in that

we punctuated    the sky with lack    manning our nation's


This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2011, issue 41.