Marc Alan Di Martino

Café des Beaux Arts 

The amber noise of the café
stirs up a world inside of me: 
poets, thieves and actresses
in fin de siècle palaces
sipping a dark and Turkish brew 
with lemon cookies, tarts, a few 
unfiltered cigarettes to boot 
and all the uncollected loot
of books half-read and films half-viewed; 
an Alphonse Mucha face, a nude
in gold leaf, sequins or the crude
red grimace of a prostitute —
diseased, Parisian, destitute. 

Red Planet Blues

If this is a “quest for heavenly truth”
as advertised, we still have a ways
to go. Carruth
wrote, “Surely we know our darkling shore”. Okay, so 
maybe we do, but how do we know
we know? (Easy answer: we don’t.)
De Quincey waded through “an Iliad of woe” 
(his phrase) but still he couldn’t pay the rent.

A parachute won’t get you through an atmosphere. You need 
retrorockets to slow your descent. Call it prudence.
You can’t piggyback forever on a Russian steed
or dangle your legs over a fence
watching stars fall into the fathomless black hole
of late-stage capitalism. Failure, Beecher said, is a school.

Marc Alan Di Martino is a Pushcart-nominated poet, translator and author of the collection Unburial (Kelsay, 2019). His work appears in Baltimore Review, Rattle, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, Valparaiso Poetry Review and many other journals and anthologies. His second collection, Still Life with City, will be published by Pski’s Porch. He lives in Italy.