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1.J. Michael Martinez's "Heredities"

 J Michael Matiniez’s Heredities is a complementary work that encompasses ground-breaking energy and lyrical intensity. It expresses sympathy and pays honor to the previous politics about Chicano poetries. Hereditaries call for attention on the demanding that attention is paid to the marginalized American voices in both politics and poetry. Throughout the book, it emphasizes on certain key ideas such as romanticized indigeneity , authenticity and  transparency between  the poetry and the speaker. Aporia in the book contains seven closely related poems that start with an evocative proposition that Chicano shapes identity like an icicle fingering down from the roofs edge. It will be realized that Aporia is based on this simile and has several parts wherein the fourth part of the poem, “the word is the gaze between the body and it’s listening”, pushes aporia further to explain one’s identity (Martinez, 2010, p. 11). The thought of an incompatible tear sandwiched between the word and the body pushes the signified divide and post-structural signifier to another level. This poem does not only concerned with the nature of language and things but also has a heavy concern on the names that we grant particular bodies.  However, the poem notes that even though we identify the failure of language especially in the in the language identity we must recourse the language to act as a protection at a glance. In this book, J. Michael Martinez is geared at discovering the process of self-definition as a poet and as a Chicano.

Self definition involves the character, attitudes, identity and abilities of somebody towards other people or things. ( Sidney J. et al, 2005, p.21). The work of Martinez demonstrates awareness, humility and honesty of the blank page which shows the capability to document that helps to tame the existence of Americans. Martinez at the same time develops and also narrows down the numerous narratives that are explained in his society that he was born from. From the aporia  it shown that Michael shapes identity like an icicle fingering down from the roof’s age. In aporia, there is a sequence of seven poems that act as a circlet of sonnets. The characters in these poems talk about language, naming and colonization. In regard to these poem, it is shown that the poet take risks to establish his desire for sovereignty, diligence and commitments. Chicano is shown to shape identity which implies agency where a person acquires a vigorous role in the formation of the identity while the image of an icicle fingering down refers to an accidental, less determined, and purposive growth that might be organic in nature. The roof edge refers to the marginalized areas within the Chicano poetry and the identity borderlands. Therefore aporia illustrates identity always in process and escaping definition. In general, Heredities require self-definition that entails willingness and patience to leave aside the traditional narratives.

A counter-argument about the Martinez novel is that it brings about an opposing view between the word and the body. This signifies that there is a growing signified difference between the two. The poems try to show the start of using things and language and largely in giving particular bodies names. Language is largely used to create and reveal personal identity. However, we have mentioned that the poems try to show self definition but as we further scrutinize them we realize that there is failure in language which adversely affects the personal identity.  Poor personal identities adversely affect presentations of tasks by the character in question. The poems in the book discuss the traditions of the society in mention which has different cultures hence there is conflict in metaphor and language of poetry where some words lack specificity in meaning.


Martinez perturbs the constructions of aesthetic and identity of previous generations to recover a voice estranged from it,( Green, 2012, p. 229) He originates from a society that has diverse cultural identities and several poetic inclinations. He is thus subjected to hard situations where he can not operate in a paradox confidently.  Heredities are meant to include his poetics and identities. As far as poetics are concerned, Heredities openly subjected Matiniez to several aesthetic veins that are deeply rooted in chronological literacy.

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