Thursday, March 16, 2023

Trip Danse the Light Macabre Fantastic

Danse Macabre is one of my favorite literary magazines. It's clever and funny and full of gems. In the latest issue (148) you can read five of my recent poems. The titles are "Morning News," "One Eyed Monster 2020," "The Purpose of Nothing," "Smokey's Friends," and "Stormcoming." I hold back nothing. These were written in the 2020-2022 and reflect my anger, fear, frustration and disappointment with my fellow humans. I wasn't feeling hopeful for a better future for the world. I'm still not.

Adam Henry Carrière is the editor, I call him 'boss', he calls himself 'Verleger und Herausgeber', which sounds a lot classier. He's a prince. Thanks again, Adam.

So, you know, check it out. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


SBLAAM is the acronym for the Smokey Blue Literary and Arts Magazine. One of my poems, "Like a Mystic," appears on page 49 of the latest issue. It's spoken by a centenarian. As people live longer, including myself, I am fascinated by advanced age. My first week in Sicily, I went to a 100th birthday party, and the birthday girl whispered to me, "Don't live as long as me, it's terrible. Everyone you know dies." And then we sang for her as she blew out the candles and cut the cake.

John Himmelheber is the boss at Smoky Blue and was very gracious to me. Thanks John.

That's not his picture, that's Norman Lear, age 100.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

San Antonio Review. Nice town. No, I mean the review!

The San Antonio Review is a nice literary review. That's my review of the review from my point of view. Home to my favorite poet, Barbara Ras, the city looks nice too, though I've never been there. It's on my list. So, the S.A.R. just published two of my poems, "Party Animal," and "Opposites Attract." The first is about a grump, nothing like me, however. The second is about science and contains rare explanations of difficult concepts discovered by spending about ten minutes on Wikipedia (shhh).

The poetry editor is Arvilla Fee, what a great name and what a nice person. Thank you. Arvilla made my poems better with excellent edits. When you go on the San Antonio Review website there's a button called Explore. Press it.

or try these other links

Monday, February 27, 2023

Quail Bell Magazine, The Real and The Unreal

Quail Bell Magazine just published two of my poems. They took a chance on one, "Alabama Girl," which contains a trigger warning because it deals with the rape of a young girl and the aftermath. Not something you want to read about or hear about or know about in real life or in poetry. But maybe it's something we need to hear about, talk about, and face with courage and action, both the human damage and the legal/political aspects that in some US states are barbaric. It may be a topic that seems strange for a poem by a man, but men should be hurt and angry too. It's a male problem. We need to solve it. The laws must change. Rape-culture must change. Silence is complicity.

My thanks go to the Quail Bell staff and especially editor, Amy Lee, who helped me improve the poem. Thanks Amy for your advocacy. I'm honored to have work included in a publication that describes itself as intersectional feminist and womanist. Read it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Love Day!


To celebrate Valentine's Day, good old Flapper Press had a poetry contest. My poem, "Love ids ..." was selected. What a kick! I may not write about love frequently, but when I do the poems come out as confused about it as I am. I mean, since when is spitting on someone a declaration of love?

Thanks a million to Elizabeth Gracen and Annie Newcomer. They're the best. It's not just the poetry, the whole Flapper universe is worth exploring. Go to their website. Get on their mailing list. Follow on Facebook.

Take a love break in this world of violence and destruction. Love the truth, love peace and justice, love Mother Earth.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Highly Unlikely, old chap

Highly unlikely that my old chap, Jonathan Penton, would publish three more of my poems in his fine journal, Unlikely Stories Mark V. Yet here they are. Thanks Jonathan!

The poems are "Learning to Suffer," "Forced Intentions," and "Counting." They are recent and pointed. If you're looking for butterflies and moonbeams, look elsewhere. I'm proud of these. Hope they make you uncomfortable.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Bend neologisms till they break

The poem in Neologism Poetry Journal is called, "Bend It," and like my previous poem in this prestigious journal called "It," the riddle of what 'it' is has no correct answer. Weird, huh? A poem that makes no sense? You read it and see what you think. I think it makes sense, but even I am not sure what the sense is.

Christopher Fields is the editor, and a fine one. Thanks Christopher.

I think you'll like Neologism, it's about using words to mean, which is what we do all day. 

Monday, February 6, 2023

Evening Street -- There

"Not There Yet," is my poem featured in the Evening Street Review, no. 35. The good news is that the journal is excellent. The bad news is that it's available only for sale. There's lots of good fiction, non-fiction and poetry inside, so it's worth the $2 on Kindle or you can get the paper version for $16.

Barbara Bergmann runs the show, but has a lot of help. My thanks to her and to everyone connected to Evening Street. I imagine that the name refers--if not to an actual street--to the late afternoon, but it could also be the gerund of the verb 'to even' ie. to make the same, equality, parity, equity. Hmm. Are we there yet?

The poem begins with a song text that I remembered from my time in Zimbabwe when I was 20. I sang it in the shower for decades before I searched and found the source, thanks to Art Garfunkel.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Creative Flight, up up and away

Creative Flight Journal is an Indian publication featuring academic and creative writings. It's editor is Dipak Giri, who has a very impressive CV. Thanks to him for including my work.

The poems published in Creative Flight Journal are "Pearls Are Tears," "Rub," and "In Jonah's Cavern." All deal with the body in some way. Check them out at the links below.

Or as they say in Hindiयहाँ देखो (yahaan dekho)

Monday, January 30, 2023

Avatar, not the film, not the review of the film

If you search for Avatar Review, a literary magazine that includes three of my poems, you'll find dozens of sites reviewing the Avatar films. Click on the link below to take you to the real Avatar Review Literary Magazine. You'll find my poems, "Wish Granted," "The Woodcutter's Love," and "You On My Tongue." I thought these poems were okay when I sent them in. When I saw them in print, I thought they were better than okay, some of my favorite in fact.

Go to the Avatar Review home page and choose an issue, then go to the table of contents and pick a writer, dive in, don't come up for air until you've had enough. It's another world.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Paradise Lost, California

"Paradise Lost" does not refer to the epic poem by John Milton (okay it does), it refers mainly to the wildfire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California in 2018. I had vacationed there a few months prior. I was seriously shaken when I heard that the whole town had burnt to the ground. The places I'd been, the people I met. My favorite cowboy singer, Sourdough Slim, lived there. About 25000 people lived there before, now less than 5000 have returned. They're still rebuilding. 86 people died in the disaster. Those who escaped lost everything they had. Very sad. Then in 2020 some of the area burned again. Tragedy squared.

My poem about this fire is in a recent issue of The Helix Literary Magazine. The poetry editor is Nicole Moulton. My thanks to her. The Helix is really good, you should check it out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

all Slab, no Blab

Slab is the literary magazine (with art and sound too) put together by the students and staff at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. It's really good. A lot of people work very hard to get the issues out. The editors I worked with were Kim Cardello and Aly Nardozzi. They were wonderful. Thanks.

I have a poem on page 88 called "The Thrill of Travel." It's about love, maybe. Or travel, maybe. What you have to do to read it is get a copy of Slab, a slab of the Slab, so to speak. It costs 7 bucks, is that really too much? I don't think so. All the ordering info is on the website. Then you get a beautiful literary magazine with a scary cover and lots of great stuff inside.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

PCC Inscape, is that hardware or software? Nope.

Pasadena City College students and staff started a literary journal in 1943 called Inscape. It's going strong today and recently published my poem, "Post-Rave Welcome," in an issue (no. 10) called "Love Letters to the Forgotten." Thanks to Juliette Sandoval who edited this issue and did a wonderful job. Don't take my word for it, go read the whole thing.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Wise Owl, or Owls, named Lapis and Pine

The Wise Owl is an outstanding new international literary/arts journal. It's edited by Rachna Singh and her team. In a short time, they've published many issues and they're simply beautiful. The layout and artwork shouldn't matter much for presenting poetry and fiction, but it does. There are also fascinating interviews and non-fiction essays. Look all around the website and look at all the issues, there's so much great stuff there.

My two poems are in the lapis edition and the pine edition. One's called "Smiling Woman," and the other's "The Poet's Obligation," which is also included in the annual anthology. I'm excited to be included in The Wise Owl, even if I'm neither an owl nor wise.

lapis edition:

pine edition:

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Dancers, Dancers, Dancers

Three types and how they affect me. That's what this poem is about, I think. It appears in First Literary Review-East, which is run by Cindy Hochman, who is very nice and helped me refine this poem. Karen Neuberg is her able assistant. They deserve my thanks, Thanks.

 The journal is very easy to read, lots of sweet short poems, like bites of a donut. Eat 'em up.

Friday, December 16, 2022

I found my thrill on October Hill


October is past, but you can still read October Hill Magazine.  In a recent issue you'll find my poem, "Pearls are Tears," on page 95 (at the very end). My thanks to the poetry editors: Chase Nenner, Clare Kernie, Tiana Urey. They put together an impressive journal, worth a look. There's even a beautiful flower arrangement illustration.

October is meant to be autumn, though this year, at least here in Sicily, it was summer all month. Let's get serious about seasonal climate change before it bites us in the ass. Please.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Yessiree Bob!

Holy Wow! I woke up this morning and BLAMMO, five poems accepted and already posted on Lothlorien Poetry Journal. Strider Marcus Jones is the man! Thankye, sir.

And thank you readers for giving a glance at my work and the whole mythical world of Lothlorien. I bet you'll want to stay a while and read lots of the poems therein.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Steam Ticket for the Steam Train

Hey, is that Jimmie Rodgers, the singing brakeman, or his "descendant," Pokey LaFarge, on the cover of  Steam Ticket Journal, the lit mag of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse? Okay, neither, but it's a great pic.

Inside you'll find my poem, "In Shock," on page 118, if you can stand it. Might want to fortify first.

I'm grateful to all the staff at Steam Ticket, especially poetry editor, Noah Gassman, and wish them well. You will too when you read what great stuff they select for their publication. Take a peek. All Aboard! Full Steam Ahead!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Hanging out in the Literary Yard

The Literary Yard is my kind of place.  I've been there before. Onkar Sharma is the yard boss. He's an interesting fellow, cybersecurity and literature. I like the Lit Yard, it feels like a friendly place. I enjoy hanging out there.

My poems published there are: The Toxic Wha (not about the World Cup), When You Go (not about donuts), Worthless (a sci-fi thriller), Kitten in the Motor (cats are our masters), and Carrier's Lament (not about sardine cans).

Thanks to Onkar Sharma for hosting the Yard. Join the fun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Oh look, Modern Literature, well well.

Rajesh Subramanian is a nice fellow from Chennai, India. He edits a journal called Modern Literature, and I thank him for including my work again this week. There are five short poems here: "Allium sativum," is about allergy, "How Cruel," about guilt, "I Lost It All," is about not losing it all, "In Jonah's Cavern," you can guess, and "Lines Across the Pacific," is about my childhood in the Parkside district in San Francisco standing on Ocean Beach, too cold to go in the water, and looking out hoping to see land beyond the horizon. I'm glad these poems are finally in the public eye. Hope you like them and hope you will read Modern Literature regularly. India is where English-language poetry is happening these days!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Best of the Net Nomination from Flapper Press

I'm feigning modesty, I'm holding it together. Yet what I really mean is: !!Best!! of the !!!Net!!!Nomination!!!!! And then a Kermit the Frog yell: YAY!!!!!!!!! What about: Composure? Dignity? Impassivity? NAH. I'm too happy. YAY!!!

My thanks to my favorite flappers: Elizabeth Gracen, the gracious boss (look her up) who wrote me a beautiful letter, and Annie Newcomer, poetry guru who chose my poems and interviewed me. What a dynamic duo! Clayton E. Clark wrote the nice notes on the BotN nominations page below. Thanks to her too. So, twice thrilled, once when my work came out in the Flapper Press Poetry Café and now in their BotN nomination for my poem, "Gull Eggs." 

"Gull Eggs" is based on the book, Wilderness, by painter Rockwell Kent but also comes from my family history in the early days of Seward, Alaska. I bought my copy of Wilderness in the bookstore/coffeehouse that used to be the Methodist Church that my great-grandfather built by hand. For members of my family a trip to Seward is a pilgrimage.

Okay, after this honor and the implicit message that someone somewhere thinks I don't stink as a poet, I can retire. Ha! Not likely. I've got lots of new stuff to send out and hope, fingers crossed, I get a response similar to that of the incredible Flapper Press!

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 18, 2022

A Thin Slice of Anxiety -- no comment

There's a literary magazine, a really good one, called: A Thin Slice of Anxiety. Go to the link below if you don't believe me. The boss is Cody Sexton. He's very active, putting up poems and stories almost every day. There's a ton of provocative stuff here. Thanks Cody and thanks for the perfect photo to match my poem. That's not me, is it? It's a pose I often adopt.

The scariness of the poem has increased in the last month since it was published.

When they come for our minds ...

Monday, July 11, 2022

Last Stanza (but not last stand)

Not Lost Stanza, though I've had a few of those. No, Last Stanza is a Poetry Journal. Issue #8 is on the theme: Root, Bloom, Cultivate. I sent a poem to editor, Jenny Kalahar, and she accepted it right away. Thanks, Jenny.

The poem is called, "Planting a Tree," but is it about planting a tree? I'll let you decide. I'm just happy to be included in a journal that puts Mother Earth on the cover. If you want to get a copy go to the link below. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Hearing Voices in the Canyon

Maybe I was hearing voices in the Canyon because I was wasted. Nah, my poem, "Get Wasted," is in Canyon Voices vol. 24, Fall 2021, with audio. That's me reading (wait until 1:17 of the audio file to begin). And the little poem is on page 132. It's what I call a "Bad Voices" poem, spoken by someone in the backstory in my mind. I'm putting together a whole collection of Bad Voices poems. Did you think that was me speaking? Maybe so too. Did you think "getting wasted" referred to something other than drugs? Maybe so too.

But that ain't all! There's another poem of mine, "Fascination of Destruction," back on page 153. Again with me reading it in a Youtube audio file. It's another vicious poem about some awful things, almost a terrorist poem, but then ... So, was I hearing voices again? You go to a canyon in Arizona and tell me you don't hear voices. I dare you.

Canyon Voices is a beautiful publication, showing how talented the people involved are. Most of them are students at the School of Humanities. Arizona State University must be a great place to learn. Read the whole issue and you'll see what I mean. 

I'm very grateful to the bosses, Julie Amparano Garcia and Sharon Enek, for including me in Canyon Voices.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Am I too a Valiant Scribe?

Valiant Scribe is a literary journal that "sits at the nexus of faith and social issues." Read it to find out what that means. In the US, it seems people of faith have become people of hate. They scream the loudest. Enlightened people of faith don't need to scream. Their actions speak for them.

I'm honored and touched to be included in two issues with two poems: "The Untied States of America" (read that again), and "Poem for Greta Thunberg." Thanks to editor, Debra Ayis, and guest editor, Jaime Grookett. They put together a beautiful and important journal of activist literature. Navigate the whole deal.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Flapper Press Poetry Café: poems and an interview!


Thank you Annie Newcomer! Thank you Elizabeth Gracen! What a joy to see my poems and an interview in Flapper PPC! Thank you for the wonderful context to the poems, the photos and intros. I've never really been interviewed like this before. What a kick! Thanks also for the link to my cousin Dan's blog and books. He died last year.

I think a lot of editors would not touch the Gull Eggs poem because they don't know where Seward is or who Rockwell Kent is, too outdated. The other poems have some prickly elements too. That means it took courage (and excellent taste) for Flapper PPC to publish this stuff. Kudos.

Hello, is it Spring yet? Has renewal started? Are we still lost in a virus fog with the smoke from Ukraine burning our eyes? I still feel Winter sadness, but I got a nice present today from the Flapper Press Poetry Café. Again thanks.é-the-poetry-of-martin-pedersen?fbclid=IwAR3EbUctJCUxrejGOm1n01Kbk--512PQCuMh2f4pmpfV5KKWyRs2r2jRnLk

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Odyssey of Mediterranean Poetry

Mediterranean Poetry is a young themed journal of ... you guessed it. It's run by Anders Dahlgren, a very nice guy. In the latest issue, I have a few poems you may have read before: "It's Not Late," "Tourists," "Broken Aqueduct," "Going to the Edge of the Land," and "One Sweltering Day on the Caronte." You can read them at the address below and read the other poets work as well. Quite a trip.

I have lived by the great sea for most of my life; I can see from my window the site of the legend of the Sirens and how Odyesseus made his way between Scylla, the monster, and Charybdis, the whirlpool. I'm on the Charybdis side. I knew a fisherman who actually did drown when his boat got sucked under. It's dangerous where the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas meet.

Like the King of Ithaca, I have been trying all these years to get home to San Francisco, however this 'go/stay' thing has been a tug-of-war with me pulling on both ends. For now, I'm here, I'm glad to be right here. Still writing my personal odyssey.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Open the Door to Poetry

OpenDoor Poetry Magazine is big, bright and beautiful. It has a lot of color and warmth and flowers. I am a featured poet in the Adoration issue. That's a thrill and an honor.

Thanks a billion to the bosses: Kassie J. Runyan and Mel Haagman. Some of their work is at the beginning of this issue. Mel and Kassie put a lot of heart and soul into the magazine.

My poems begin on page 53. They are all about walking. "Friendly Greetings" is about meeting someone real or unreal. "Ice Lake"is a frozen dilemma. "Walking on Alligators," well, that's it. And "Hitchhiking" is something that's illegal on freeways in central California. I end with "March!" explaining why I quit the Boy Scouts at age 13.

On page 63, there's even a poster of my book, Exile's Choice, in case you haven't read it yet. 

It's really exciting to be treated so kindly! Long live OpenDoor!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

A Few Short Poems in Clips & Pages

Rhyme is a bit out of fashion in poetry these days. But I also write songs, so rhymes are essential sounds to me. I sent a group of short rhyming poems to the young literary collective, Clips & Pages, and kept my fingers crossed. Fortunately, they published them all. Not only that but they matched them with wonderful pictures (the last one's mine) on a fabulous layout. I love the whole page, and I'll read the whole blogazine. You should too.

I received an additional honor with this:  "Clips and Pages celebrates the Auspicious Occasion of World Poetry Day with these short and beautiful poems by our esteemed Writer, E. Martin Pedersen."

My thanks to the generous Clips & Pages team. Thank you and continued Good Luck.

The more FB likes, comments and shares I get, the more likely C&P are to publish my work in their next anthology, so ...

Monday, March 21, 2022

Aethlon: uh, Greek for, uh, Sports Literature

Sports literature? Like a poem about baseball? Is that a thing? Aethlon is a widely respected journal of sports literature, poems and stories (and nonfiction) about all sports: baseball, boxing, racing, rugby, play. I studied play in education as a grad at San Francisco State, a program ahead of its time in 1978. Children/people grow in so many ways while playing together. It's essential.

The poem I have in the latest issue of Aethlon is called "King of the Hill." It includes a note about the true story origin of something I only saw once on television back in the no replay days. The poem seems to glorify violence, I hope it doesn't. However, baseball is a game of unwritten rules, and they include when a pitcher can intentionally hit a batter and what his reaction should be.

Does violence in American sports lead to violence in American society or reflect it? I think so. Americans often don't realize how violent their culture is compared to others. Maybe we should all go abroad for a year or two to see how peaceful people live. We could make that a trade-off for free college, volunteer like the Peace Corps. I'll propose that. After the baseball season gets underway.

My thanks to editors, Joyce Duncan and Ron Smith, and the Sport Literature Association (though headquartered in Tennessee, they use the British singular) for this publication which to me is an honor.

Join the Association and get the journal. Or try Amazon -- Aethlon: the Journal of Sport Literature XXXVIII: 1 Fall 2020/Winter 2021, page 75.

Monday, March 14, 2022

SurVision, put on your crazy glasses

Surrealistic Vision: when you walk down the street does it resemble a Dalì painting? Do you see weeping clocks and long-legged elephants? Is it you or is the world around you distorted? Life is but a dream? Disturbing, bizarre, and marvelous -- crazy art to tame a crazy world.

SurVision is a journal of surrealistic poetry. My poem, "In the Bowels," is in the latest issue. What's it about? What's it saying? I don't know. That's the beauty of surreal poetry. Read it to see what I mean. Read the entire issue, lots of weird and wonderful stuff here.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky is the boss. Check his wikipedia page, very impressive. He's Irish/Russian/Ukrainian. Check him out on Facebook too for the latest on the too-real Invasion. My thanks to him. Slava Ukraini!

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Phenomenal 2-for-1 Literature deal!

Phenomenal Literature is a great journal out of India. It is run by Dr. Vivekanand Jha, a very nice man. He also runs another journal called VerbalArt. That's why you get 2-for1. Because I have poems in both!

My poem, "Our Magic Carpet," is in Phenomenal Lit (page 17), while my poem, "The Realize Tree," is in VerbalArt (page 36). The magic carpet is imaginary play between father and children. It seems like fun, but something is missing. The Realize Tree is a simple poplar but also a symbol of a country which I have strong mixed feelings about.

Thanks to Dr. Vivekanand Jha for this opportunity to reach such a vast and diverse audience with my modest contributions. You can thank him too by reading and supporting his fine journals.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Are you Gonzo! No, I'm an April Fool!


My poem, "April Fool's," is featured in the current The Gonzo Press online journal. The Gonzo Press is the work of enigmatic editor, K. Joseph. My thanks for including me. 

Ever since reading Hunter S. Thompson (introduced to me by Tom Wolfe), I've wanted to be Gonzo without knowing what that meant. I still don't know, but at least I'm an April Fool as well.

Look here. From the photo of Gonzo the Great, the Sesame Street hero, you can see that he dresses just like me. And from the photo that accompanies the poem you can see that I've lost my hair and several decades of age, a worthy trade-off.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Discretionary Love is the best love.

Discretionary Love is also a literary journal. There you'll find my poem, "If a Lot of Stuff."It's a love story, but maybe not the kind you're used to.

Many thanks to the boss, Jessica Frelow, for putting together such an interesting and rich one-theme journal. 

I bet you'll fall in love with this journal and keep reading it. 

As Ringo says: Peace and Love!

Monday, February 7, 2022

The Pangolin & The Challenge

The Pangolin Review is a beautiful and rich African literary journal. It publishes poetry from all over the world. Please read it.

My thanks to editor, Amit Parmessur and his team, especially Jane Mayflower.

In issue 20 you'll find my poem about men and women entitled, "The Challenge." That may sound ominous, but read it to see if it's what you expect.

And enjoy the wonderful pangolin, a critically endangered animal that needs our help. Can we save them? Will we save them? That is the real challenge.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Raise your hand if you have FEVERS OF THE MIND!

Fevers of the Mind, aka Brain Fever, is an antiquated term for emotional distress which can lead to serious illness. If you don't have that about now, you're not paying attention. Being human in 2022 means suffering from emotional distress most of us have never felt before. Here in Italy the old-timers say it's similar to the feeling they had every day during the Big War. Like a bomb might come down on you at any moment. And then there are the lasting effects and serious related illnesses still to come, other brain fevers. Wow, not an easy time.

Fevers of the Mind is also an excellent no-nonsense Poetry & Art magazine. The boss is David L O'Nan, my thanks to him. Right now in Fevers of the Mind you'll find SIX, that's 6, of my recent poems dealing with the pandemic. The accompanying picture is of the Plague Doctor Reaper with the classic Beaked Mask, that covered the face and kept the infected breath at a distance, but also started the legend of the Grim Reaper who comes to gather souls. The Black Death lasted 7 years and killed maybe 200 million people. Our current plague has already killed over 6 million (maybe several times that) and has lasted 2 years, but we're still in the thick of it. Mercy.

So, people like me can't create a vaccine to cure the virus, but we can express something in writing. Maybe that something can reach out to another person somewhere out there. Maybe to hold hands virtually. Read these poems and all the others in Fevers of the Mind to find out. Find out what's going on, what's going on inside our collective consciousness. Then say it with me:

We are alive.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Five Willows = Four Poems

1. The Beauty of Books on a Shelf

2. The Chill of the Sierra

3. Curse Immortality

4. A Life Saved is a Life Earned

Thanks a million to poet-editor, Koon Woon, for his kindness.

See wikipedia for the fascinating story of Mr. Five Willows (Tao Yuanming).

Thursday, January 27, 2022

You say Uppagus? I say Uppagus!

Uppagus is a literary journal, sweet and simple. In it you'll find my poem, "The Heavy Bear." It contains the word 'erection'. Does that make you want to read it or not? 

The editor who wrote to me is Ziggy Edwards, obviously a very cool dude. The other is Jude, probably equally cool. A big pandemic-sized thanks to both. 

I read the other poems and flash fiction pieces. They're good. Better than mine. Check 'em out.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Triggerfish Critical Review, Poems with Audio and Reviews!!!

My poem, "Coccodrillo," is in the latest issue of Triggerfish Critical Review. I had to look up triggerfish, here's what I found: "popular in the marine aquarium trade, they are often notoriously ill-tempered." Not true of editor, Dave Mehler, who was very kind and generous. Thanks Dave. So you get the prose poem.

But that's not all! You also get an audio version recorded by yours truly. It makes me sound half-crazy. Well.

And finally, two readers were very kind and wrote critical reviews of my work. Martha Zweig begins: "I favor enjambed line breaks ..." and continues with some very specific and helpful points. I've rarely had feedback for my poetry before. It's a kick. And then, Pat Anthony wrote a wonderful review that begins: "I found this piece to be pure joy ..."

Besides all this, there's an accompanying collage painting, beautiful and bizarre, by Dale Champlin called Madonna Stacked. You got to see it.

All this for one very low price. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

THE POST QUARANTINE CHRONICLES (pg. 107) -- Published!!! in Ginosko Literary Journal

I never thought anyone would have the guts to publish this collection of five poems or a five-part poem written in five days in June 2020. Robert Paul Cesaretti proved me wrong! Ginosko is King! This is spicy hot stuff, lots of raw political opinion and sentiment. As I wrote this I was angry, it shows. 

Maybe this is not just a poem sequence but also an historical document. We need more people telling what it's like right as it's happening because looking back always takes the sting out of a moment. Young people can read about or see films about: Kennedy's assassination, King's I have a dream speech, the moon landing, the Beatles coming to America, the Vietnam War, the No Nukes movement, Watergate, the AIDS epidemic, Gay Rights movement and a hundred other things that if you were there, if you lived through it, you get it, you still feel it, otherwise it's lifeless. Now journalists debate Nixon and his presidency in a blahblah bothsides way, for us he was the Devil! The Devil! So poets get to work, write what's happening right now. Be angry, find brave publishers like Robert Paul Cesaretti and Ginosko. We'll need the record when we're old.

I posted online my 100 daily outbursts written during total lockdown here in Sicily as the QUARANTINE CHRONICLES, and these five are about the period directly following that. We were afraid, I was afraid, to go out, to do anything, the virus was still rampant. It was also the period leading up to the US elections and also the time of the George Floyd murder / BLACK LIVES MATTER protests. It felt overwhelming and still does.

Quiz: what book/series of poems was I reading when I wrote section 5? Winner gets a free book.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Don't Make Me Talk about the Blue Lake Review

"Don't Make Me Talk," is in the Sept. 2021 issue of Blue Lake Review. 

My thanks to Diana May-Waldman who takes care of the poetry (Mitchell Waldman does the fiction). They seem like nice folks committed to sharing good literature. Give BLR a read.

I took the picture of Crater Lake in July. 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Modern Literature on a dark and stormy night.

Double Wow!! The excellent international literary journal, Modern Literature, has just published four of my poems along with an intriging and perhaps disturbing photo of a girl and a glass. 

Modern Literature is based in Chennai, India and run by Mr. Rajesh Subramanian. The worthy goal of the publication is to be: "a platform for Literature that stretches and redefines the boundaries of its form, content and imagination." What better than that?

Please read my poems and all the work in Modern Literature. As you know, India is where Modern Literature is happening right now.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

In Verse or the Inverse? (In versi o l'inverso?)

Inverse Journal, run by Mr. Amjad Majid, is a Kashmir-based publication. It is exceptionally beautiful. I was already thrilled to have my poems accepted, but when I saw the lay-out ... WOW!!! The photo of the Madonnina at the port of Messina, the symbol of the city, is something most people see every day. Spectacular!

Mr. Majid wrote a glowing introduction to my poems and even gave the set a title. Here's what he said:

"All the way from Italy, Martin Pedersen presents four poems that explore memory and experience in four unique ways. From memories of a mother and a grandmother to the experience of thirst and the experience of solitude, Pedersen’s verses are characterized by a purity that arrives with age and silence." 

I don't know what this winter season means to you. I rarely see my family, certainly not this year. So while everyone is HoHoHo, I wait it out. January is welcome, as the days get longer and life returns to normal. And this year add the weight of covid.

This year, however, I can feel satisfied and realized by the excellent presentation I received in Inverse Journal. Thanks again to Mr. Majid, and now I need to delve into the other work in Inverse Journal and read about the artistic and political situation in Kashmir too. You should too. It's a big world.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Grey Sparrow watching

In number 38 of the Grey Sparrow Review I have a poem called, "Everyone I Ever Knew is Dead." That sounds pretty dire. I'm not sure the poem is what you expect from the title, so you should read it to find out. 

Grey Sparrow is no-frills. I like that. The quality is in the works published. It's an honor to have my poem there.

Diane Fuller Smith is the editor. She's very nice. She works very hard. I've never met her, but I like her.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

poems on anger and fear

Jonathan Penton, the editor of Unlikely Stories Mark V, called these two poems of mine: "poems on anger and fear." I love that. What else would you write these days?

The titles are "You act like this is a game," and "Sunflower Seeds of Indignation." I read them again. You can too. Then read all the others.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

W-Poesis, What?

A wonderful poetry journal used to be called Poesis and now is W-Poesis. I think the W stands for Whatever, as we say about everything in California.

Adrian Flett and Silviu Craciunas are the editors and they are great. Thanks for consistently providing excellent poetry to the world. Oh, maybe the W stands for World. Or winners. Whatever.

Check out my three poems here:

Thursday, November 11, 2021

How I got committed to the Harbinger Asylum

I stood on the street corner broadcasting like a radio host. "The End is Here!" I yelled. But it wasn't quite the end, so they threw me in the asylum. There I wrote a poem called, "God Left Holding the String." It deals with perpetual spinning and dizziness.

Z. M. Wise, a poet and editor from Houston, saw the poem and decided to include it in the Winter 2020 issue of Harbinger Asylum. You can get it from Amazon for seven bucks. If that's too much we could say $6.99 plus a magic penny. Anyway, there you go. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Where do you live? Down in the Dirt.

I've been published before in the explosive poetry journal, Down in the Dirt. My latest contribution is called, "The 20 Random Questions." Let's see if you can find the thread, or are the questions truly random? Janet Kuypers is the force behind D.D. Many thanks and kudos to her.

The issue my poem appears in is called Three Things, v. 186. What are the three things and are they the answers to the 20 questions? Do answers even exist? Is this the age of doubt? I doubt that. Sometimes seems like it though. Maybe three things is all we know. Maybe all we need.

Monday, October 18, 2021

From the land of Cacti, Fur, and Waves

Cacti Fur Magazine printed my poem, "Waves," about a month ago. They always do a nice job of matching a picture, this one features a happy dog. Is "Waves" a happy poem ... unlikely.

Many thanks to Jim Thompson, editor and supporter of my work. I'm always thrilled to appear in Cacti Fur, a gold star for me. There's lots of great stuff at Cacti Fur. Go to the site below and surf!