• www.inkitt.com

EM Martin

Location: Ivrea, Italy


I’m 36. I used to drink and write. Now I don’t drink and write. You know the story. But also, ‘pronto’ means ‘ready’ in Italian. It is how Italians answer the phone even if they don’t know who it is.

Current project

I have begun a non-fiction project called: What I can’t say to my mother.
I have a short and tragic novel which probably should never see the light of day.
I have a collection of short stories, nonfiction and poetry, all on my website.

Writing sample

A Confession About Lipstick (Or Being Human With A Sense Of Freedom)

I wonder if there is a shelf of people,
And I use shelf in its natural sense,
When it’s nestled beside words like
Ocean and perhaps, continental,
For whom things have also become –
Just almost fucking unbearable.

We might as well be on an actual shelf,
A load of books, objects maybe,
Like a single tabla placed as
An ornament in an IKEA KALLAX grid,
Those of us not being put to proper
Purpose, because we heard
An old and unforgettable message
While we were wandering, that
Leaves us a little detached from
The system, struggling for meaning.

I will state this directly, because poems…
I write this poem like a misplaced tabla.

I want to believe in the power of lipstick,
I want to be a sister who swears by it,
I will wear it, write about it, win
Admiring glances, whilst knowing
I have only felt utter indifference,
Indifference, the opposite of something vital,
Towards lipstick, played along, plonked
Sex there, inexplicably, because that
Is the story we are told, and it’s not bad.

But for those of us on the self, the continental
Or Ikea variety, our random wanderings
Into other stories, books, films, walks with people
From places where they don’t have lipstick anymore,
Because someone blew their city to shit,
Or robbed and raped their women,
Or took their grain and left them cold and
Roofless in the rain, our wanderings
Gave us proof of a story we remember from
Before we were born, a story that is urgent now.

Well, fine, except I am back in my little life,
Lipstick in my make-up bag, too scared
To name the lie as this or that, or to make vital
Somehow my naked lips, or find a place not
On display, not shelved and predicable,
But in amongst things, or you know, in trenches
Or on sandy beaches, not even fighting,
Just being human with a sense of freedom.

  • The Dark Room by Sam Blake
  • www.designforwriters.com

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