The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Martin Kratz: 3 Poems Published

Poems by Martin Kratz (UK)

Published in issue 40 of The Ofi Press



When it comes to affecting touch through sound


the old kung fu film sound-effects engineer

is to my mind the undisputed master.


It's the way he tilts his chipped and dinted microphone,

recording the sound of a watermelon

plocked with a beater, to underscore a scene

in which a teacher drums his wisdom by hand

into a pupil's round and distractible head.


We may not always understand why it is useful

to blend image of one thing with the sound

of another (boy's wide face, watermelon's thud)

but we say, don't we, that something feels real?


And we know how unlike truth, truth can sound.
























Mirror Kid


After school he played the mirror game:

standing stock-still, then ducking suddenly

trying to catch out his reflection.


He goosestepped, knucklehopped, flung

wild haymakers. He rabbbitpunched

the air until his skin glowed poker hot.


The Mirror Kid never gave up.

He matched him step for step, breath

for breath, always holding his gaze.


Oh, what a good boy that Mirror Kid was!

Did everything he was told. But how he longed

to lean back against the cool wall and blink.




















There was a time when your mother's belly

had not yet balled out like an egg.


They said, there was nothing to be seen or heard

or felt. To be honest, we doubted

for a moment you were even there.


So I went with your mother into the cupboard

under the stairs.


I held a candle behind her back

and she emptied out her lungs in one long breath.


The candle fed itself bright

until her whole belly glowed a deep yolk.


No floating shadow puppet, no clumsy marionette,

but there, the heart-light,

turning on and off and on and off and on.








About the Poet

Martin Kratz lives and writes in Manchester (UK). His poem ‘The Man Who Walked Through Walls’ was highly commended for the Forward Prize 2014. He is coeditor of Mount London (Penned in the Margins).

Image: "Flame" by Rhett Maxwell","Microphone" by Gana Tronic and "Sprt Wthn" by Woodley Wonder Works.