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Martins Deep reads Tell Grief on The Poetry Experience Podcast

Photo by Ann on Unsplash

Martins Deep is a poet and photographer/artist. His works have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Lolwe, FIYAH, Rough Cut Press, Barren Magazine, The Sandy River Review, Eunoia Review, Agbowó Magazine, IceFloe Press, Rogue Agent, Claw and Blossom, Harbor Review, Covert Literary Magazine, and Kalahari Review. In this episode of The Poetry Experience, Martins reads two of his poems: ‘Tell Grief’ and ‘for so long, you’ve saved your kiss for a gravestone.’ He tweets @martinsdeep1.


Tell Grief

In a prison of glass,                    a stone

                                                       is the hand of God. when

it shatters            these walls

                              to  p i e c e s,         the sound filters

                                                              into the ear

a tickling flutter                                  of freedom

With trembling fingers,    i’ll skein

the rays of                          this lamplight

into a tongue

to shred this darkness. i’ll say,                    “light, be”

                                                                          & become

where fireflies go

to form a North Star

Tell grief, the hand that writes on the wall

& chalks the lintel

of my room               to mark a water level

                                    for my drowning

now plays a violin

moaning as mother’s ghost

gardens my body

into a rich seedbed                of benedictions

Tell grief everything  b r o k e n  inside me

is  fallowed ground

for the coming of rain.

for so long, you’ve saved your kiss for a gravestone

i knew your body’s map/ enough to blindly throw myself

trusting it’ll land safely in a lake/ a body

of water for drowning/ the things that tusks/

a suicide note /from the cliff

of my tongue /to unfold on my mother’s lap/ in the dark/

i placed my ears on your chest /& heard your heartbeats

as footfalls of exiled ideas/ it was after that long walk

back from burying your broken violin /whose strings

your father’s pliers bit apart/ but your veins bled, staining

his teeth/ i stood there, playing /a helpless witness

in a script/ i wanted to be a hero/ that evening/

i remember your body cold /against mine

your head on my shoulder/ i’d later realize/

was the mold for the headstone /of your dead dream

i’ve beaten my forehead/ into the shape of an ode

to what it cannot have/ meaning, i have hit & hit

the walls in my room /with this part of me

aching with a longing/ to mirror yours /to bear

the brand of your lips/ and not just the stain

of your lipstick that’ll wash away/ in the shower

it’s our eight date tonight/ & i soften my lips

in the petrichor/ & moonlight after rain/ i draw them to yours

only red /only ripe with a longing/ for the gravestone

of a man/ whose name you overwrite /with ‘trauma’

in an invisible ink

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