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.