May 8, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Senor Codo photo



Marc Alan Di Martino




Pawn’s Game



Some are content to sit and watch the world

burn from their bedrooms, minutely attuned to events

through secret channels. Others jam the streets


with indignation, shadowboxing power,

euphoric in their dissent. Others still observe

comfortable events unspool their destinies


as in a game of chess, eye cocked on the king

confined to his quadrant. One faulty move and

check – the pendulum begins its slow descent.





Blue Ridge Service Station



I’m thankful not to dwell in you, America,

when I read signs like this:


Daily lunch special’s

live bait, ammo, new

.22 cal revolver, $169.


Staid old Europe

has lured me with its sixty-plus years

of sedative peace, like a dishevelled uncle

whose idea of an exciting day off

is the New York Times Sunday crossword.

I’ve discovered the wisdom of not trying too hard

to be exciting, I’ve mastered the art

of coming in second, keeping it short.


I watch you suffer blatant cardiac arrest

on an hourly basis, but I can’t weep. No longer.

I’ve become hard-boiled against pity.

I do not pray, I do not buy the gods

you peddle me, America, I do not buy

the yarn that you are the Greatest Nation on Earth,

a Shining City on a Hill, the New Jerusalem

(the old one is enough).


I was brought up to believe these things

as one believes – no, knows – the Earth is round.

But as with the Copernican awakening

which gave us the useful term revolution

and by extension the less useful one woke

one wakes up with a headache on the brain

feeling like an anti-drug commercial:

“This is your mind on politics,” as eggs

sizzle in a blackened skillet. These eggs are done.






Marc Alan Di Martino

Marc Alan Di Martino is a poet, translator and teacher whose work has been published Rattle, Verse-Virtual, the Ekphrastic Review, Writers Resist, Poets Reading the News, and other places. His interview with award-winning translator and poet Michael Palma was published in Faithful In My Fashion (Chelsea House, 2016).

He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Perugia, Italy, where he works as a teacher of the English language and is an avid skateboarder.

His Twitter is @marcadimartino.

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