Marc Alan Di Martino

Devil’s Blues 
for Peter Laughner (1952-1977)  

He hit ‘record’ and let the tape run down, 
played Robert Johnson, Reed, Van Morrison, 
bottleneck blues, originals, punk rock,
voice gritty as a Brillo pad. Tough talk, 
ten-minute Dylan songs, amphetamine
and booze aplenty set the torpid scene.
He sang them all with pathos, flamboyance 
converging with all-too-real clairvoyance. 
Bury my body, down by the highway side– 
echoing Johnson’s own cool, vatic pride
the songs piled up, last will and testament
of one bedeviled, hoodooed, blitzed, hellbent. 
He lay insensate in the morning light, 
reverberating. Sudden birds took flight.  
Mirror Mirror 

The mirror fakes you out. Each breath you take
in it you see a different you. Its mercury
moves secretly beneath your hologram:
Now you see me, now you don’t. By hook or crook – 
no matter what, they say – it gets its way. 
It greases space between the years, aeons, 
like butter deliquescing in a pan. 

Like butter deliquescing in a pan
it greases space between the years, aeons.
No matter. What they say it gets: its way.
Now you see me, now you don’t. By hook or crook, 
moves secretly. Beneath your hologram
in it you see a different you. It’s mercury.
The mirror fakes you out each breath you take. 

Marc Alan Di Martino is the author of the collections Still Life with City (Pski’s Porch, 2022) and Unburial (Kelsay, 2019). His poems and translations appear in Palette Poetry, Rattle, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, Valparaiso Poetry Review and many other journals and anthologies. His work has been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Currently a reader for the Baltimore Review, he lives in Italy.