Thursday, September 16, 2021

Shorts Weather


Shorts Magazine published my poem entitled: let's see if I can get this right: "Both Quickly Ignoring a Mumbled Declaration of Eternal Love." Nope, muttered, not mumbled. Same difference. It's a duet. A he said--she said thing. I use lots of other voices and characters in my work. Takes me a step out of self-pity confessional mode.

Thanks to editor, Marnie Devereux. For being called Shorts the magazine sure is Huge. About 120 pages of wonder.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Poetry Drawn and Quarterly


Poetry Quarterly, winter 2020, is a beautiful paper journal for sale on the Prolific Press website below. It's a doozy: "Hand-selected poems by today's finest poets." My contribution is called "No Closure," a modern family drama from a different point of view. 

So, your call, if you're curious or intrigued, get a copy and let me know what you think.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Tredici merli indiani

Thirteen Myna Birds is a snazzy blog-journal of poetry run by Juliet Cook. It was a kick to be included in the list again. Thirteen poets are featured and then move down as they're replaced.

The poems are: "The Bully," no TFG reference intended or maybe it is, and "L.A.", which is not about Los Angeles or maybe it is. What can I say? Read your way down the page till you get to mine, then pause, then continue. Thanks Juliet.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Metaworker goes to and fro

My poem, currently featured in The Metaworker Literary Magazine, is called "Turning Back, Going Forward," which seems like an expression of confusion in movement. It has that in it and some other stuff. The photo that accompanies it (by Louis Reed) is incredible. How did he do that?

My deepest gratitude to Melissa Reynolds and all the Metaworker staff. I'm thrilled to be in such great company. Start with mine and then click and read all the other poems, they're wonderful. All that metawork pays off!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Welcome to the Agony Opera

Come on in, be ready for anything. The Agony Opera is a literary journal that can seem a bit odd at first. Give it a chance. For one thing it's produced in India, so about half of it is in lingo. Read the home page message and you'll either love the wild ride or feel like you missed the joke. The image with my poems is, frankly, provocative. But that's the point, I think. Push the boundaries and poke the reader to get a reaction. I like it. 

I have four poems in the latest issue, which are also a bit disturbing, entitled: Mother Tongue, Pain After It's Gone, Scars, Yes We Can't. What to make of it all? Who cares? Go with the roller coaster! Arms Up! Scream your head off!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Poet of the Week: oh, yeah.

Guess who's poet of the week at the Poetry Super Highway, along with John Sweet? Yours truly. It's very exciting and an honor to be picked again by Rick Lupert. The poem is called, "In the Junkyard." When I reread it, I went: what the hell does this mean? For a second I couldn't read my own work. Then I think I got it, but I'm still not sure. Maybe that's a good thing, a bit of mystery reflecting existence. Plus a bit of confusion reflecting these hard times.

So, get on the road, check out John Sweet's poems and all the others from past weeks and take a drive across the country of the PSH website. If you see Rick Lupert hanging out at a truck stop, thank him for me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Am I more millennial or more pulp?

Millennial Pulp is a new literary and art magazine. It's so full of good words and art that'll you'll want to walk on your elbows. Something I do frequently. In fact, that's an image of me on the cover. 

The poem of mine contained therein is called, "Two Strangers Meet in a Bar." The title's banal, let's see if the poem is. Salamanders?

The editor is Isaac Russo. Seems a decent chap. Thanks Isaac.

The one possible drawback or draw to about MP (nice initials) is that it is for sale only. 12 bucks will get you 150 pages of goodies, is that worth it? Is that so unaffordable? Come on, you can find that much in the pockets of your old jeans. Take a chance. Buy MP and relish!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Two thumbs up: Adirondack Review

The Adirondack Review is a fine poetry journal, and they recently published my poem: The Bartleby Dictum. The reference is clearly to the short story by Herman Melville (read it). My poem should end with a sentence in Chinese characters, but it doesn't. There's some other stuff in there, if you're curious. And while you're on the page enjoy the whole Spring 2021 issue.

Nicholas Samaras is the poetry editor, and Colleen Ryor is the editor-in-chief. Thank you both for this opportunity. Your journal is as rich as the mountains it's named for. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

I Missed the Bad Weather and All

Major Oops. Just discovered a poem of mine published by Abstract Magazine last year. How did I miss it? There's a beautiful albeit disturbing picture with it and it's called: Bad Weather and All. The poem is alright. I like the line about bran flakes and beets, but I'm worried because I barely remember writing it. Am I losing my mystery?

Thanks a year late to JL Jacobs for her kindness. Check out my poem and then check out Abstract Magazine ( for a bunch of other stuff.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

What They're Saying About Exile's Choice, part three

Mike Bausch, a friend with whom I've shared many adventures over the years including presiding at my wedding, wrote this about Exile's Choice: 

"This collection of selected poems highlights Martin Pedersen's gift for keen observation and quirky description of the ordinary and the poignant. Writing on a boundary, with one leg in Sicily and the other in California, Martin Pedersen watches relationships as they unfurl and then takes a photo of a moment, capturing it with a phrase, and inviting us to see and feel something new. These poems/stories/life encounters are so vividly expressed that they will linger with you once you're finished with them, simply because they're not finished with you."

Thanks Mike

To order see: Amazon, Kelsay Books or write me at

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What They're Saying About Exile's Choice, part two

Enrico De Lea, a friend, poet and lawyer that I met in Messina working with the local Partito Radicale back in the 1980s, wrote this about Exile's Choice: 

"Pedersen's choice speaks to us essentially of a common experience, a state of exile that manifests itself in many ways, from one place to another, from one age to another, from one human encounter to another, even from one self to another self. His exile confirms the almost-physical residency of a poetic voice in whatever country/language he migrates to, with verses of rare lyrical quality and effective communication, through the idyll and the epos, memory and self-analysis, blues and irony, by which readers feel not merely involved but recognizable in their own movement through their inner lives. That's the choice that chooses us."

Thanks Enrico.

To order see: Amazon, Kelsay Books or write me at

Saturday, May 8, 2021

What They're Saying About Exile's Choice, part one

Elli Sandis, a friend and fellow English teacher that I met at the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, wrote this about Exile's Choice:

"In a time when more of us than ever know what it feels like to experience an impossible distance from our own normal lives, this collection provides a nostalgia for a familiar former life with the joyful normalcy of growing at home within a new country. Pedersen explores the merging of cultures and memory through every-day experiences: the sharing of meals, memories of childhood moments that feel as alive today as they did then, the introspection and bargaining that comes with grieving the loss of a dear friend our own age. Pedersen captures these moments like snapshots, allowing us to travel with him through the touching, simple moments and memories that make up a life."

Thanks Elli.

To order go to: Amazon, Kelsay Books, or write me at

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Dancing with Skeletons

Danse Macabre is a literary journal where five of my poems are currently on display, but it's also the Dance of Death, very popular in the Middle Ages and in about the last year. Famine, war, the Black Death and SARS-CoV-2. Either cry or dance or both.

But back to the literary journal, part in French, German, Latin and possibly other tongues, there's even music -- it's like WHOOHOO! Take the wild ride, read my weird poems (Monkeys Three, Passing Thru Rooms, Shootout at the PSA, Superficial and What I Eat at the Cemetery) and then all the other stuff.

Adam Henry Carrière, the boss, is very nice and generous, not a skeleton at all. Merci beaucoup, Adam.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Better than Starbucks? Italian coffee: a love poem.

My poem, "Love Poem," is in the latest Better Than Starbucks Poetry Journal (May 2021). I don't know how the journal got it's name, but from my vantage point here in eastern Sicily, yes, Starbucks can do fun coffee drinks, but Italian coffee wins. Most visitors go for the tiny sips from tiny cups in tiny bars, but I say the best coffee is homemade, either from the Moka or an espresso machine. You determine the strength, the length and the mix. You find your favorite brand. You buy the cup that fits your lips.

However, I'm not a coffee fanatic. I prefer tea that's left in the pot to get cold, strong and bitter. To each their own drink. In the US, I tried the Starbucks cold brew, but it knocked my socks off. Good for commuters.

"Love Poem," what a lousy title! Better read it to see if you like the poem. And explore the BTS universe of poetry on the site. Thanks to editor Vera Ignatowitsch for the thumbs up.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Look Look in the Literary Yard

Today five poems of mine were posted on Literary Yard. My humble thanks to the boss, Onkar Sharma, who has been a huge supporter of my work. I love Literary Yard. It's so modern. If Onkar likes it, it goes straight onto the internet same day. 

The poems are: "Confess to What?" a sort of Kafkian piece about a man covered with ice cream; "Credibility" includes Sicilian blood oranges; "Falling Backwards" continues with dream imagery; "Hello" is about text messages, but they are gruesome; and "Killed for being too happy" is from a news story, one of my most recent poems and one of a series I call the Limbo Reports.

I'm thrilled to share these poems with you on this wonderful platform. Plus, there's a fantastic image to go with them (reposted above). Check out the L-Yard today and every day.

Friday, April 23, 2021

On the Airwaves

I'm on the air! My voice can travel from my shack on the beach at Furnari into your home wherever you live. What a miracle! I can hardly bear it.

As part of a podcast by Brief Wilderness, hosted by editor, Gordon Purkis, I read my poem, "Casting a Net, Catching Dismay." It sort of deals with living abroad, something I should know about after 42 years in Sicily, though I always have doubts. Maybe it's a poem about doubts.

I'm in good company with other poets and fiction writers reading their work. This is really fun, a first for me. 2021 and I'm finally on a podcast! Follow the link to Spotify and enjoy some audio literature.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Go Fast to the Open Arts

My poem, "Links," is up right now on the Open Arts Forum website, featured with a disturbing photo of a military cemetery. Appropriate because the poem is about death, but it's not a sad poem (I got plenty of those). It's a poem about loss, the loss of people who lived in the past. What did we get from them? What is gone with them? 

Open Arts Forum is not just a publisher of poems but a meeting place for people who like poetry. I got some very nice comments on mine, something I'm not used to, being so far away and all. Thanks to the editors, especially Jay Dougherty who kind of moderates.

My advice: go to the website, check it all out, join in the fun.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Casting a Net in a Brief Wilderness

This spectacular photo accompanies my poem, "Casting a Net, Catching Dismay," in the web journal, Brief Wilderness. I left San Francisco 42 years ago at age 24 and never went back, so this poem tries to define that here-and-there lifestyle. Sorta. You figure it out. And give all of Brief Wilderness a read.

It's a longer poem than most. I'm really pleased that poetry editor, Leanne Hoppe and general editor, Gordon Purkis, took a chance on this piece and published it in their no-frills journal that explores the "(seemingly empty) space between ourselves and the other, whether it be another person, the natural world or maybe even another plane of existence." Yes!

They've asked me to record a version for a podcast they're starting. I will and will let you know when that comes out. It should be exciting.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Look Out, Here Comes the Big One!

The Big One being my latest book of poetry: Exile's Choice. I published two small books of small poems recently, and I hope you liked them or will like them, but now here is my super-sized, loaded, extra-large book of recent published poetry. Actually, it's a chapbook, so it's not as big as the collection which should be coming out later this year, but I'm excited and thrilled to have this already available in a beautiful edition by Kelsay Books. The people I worked with there, Karen Kelsay and Delisa Hargrove, were very friendly and professional.

I got another big boost from some friends who were willing to write blurbs for the back cover or Exile's Choice. I'll print them for you in another post. Elli Sandis, Enrico De Lea and Mike Bausch are all great writers and did me a huge favor. I owe them tacos.

Exile's Choice is a group of poems obliquely centered around my experience as an ex-pat. I've lived in Sicily for over 40 years and have always planned to return to California. Now that plan is on hold, and since I moved to a small house near the beach with the birdsong, the rolling breakers, and a garden to tend, I might not return to the city, here or there. We'll see.

As I said in the introduction to Exile's Choice:

They say that the difference between exile and expatriation is the choice. When I came to Sicily in 1979 and stayed and stayed until today, that was my choice, right? Or did the island choose me? Between Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens sing: run from/run to, familiar/strange, stay/leave, shoobie doobie. So, when living out of the red backpack lost its charm, I easily slid into a family-home-job so cozy that return became impractical, undesirable, near impossible. In a sense, I exiled myself. The choice I made made me.

"To go native" -- is that the passage from ex-pat to exile? Am I denying my daily decision, imagining myself a victim of fate, the starry-eyed wanderer who can't find his way home? I don't know. The expression I hear most often from the locals here in Messina is: 'why don't you go back?' Back? Back in time, you mean? The San Francisco of my youth no longer exists. Neither do I as I left it.

I hope you will buy this book. Not because I receive any monetary reward but because I want as many people as possible to read it. It's cheap. Buy some copies for your friends too. It's a young book by a young poet just learning to ride a bike. Push me along those first meters, and I'll wave and smile later when I come around the block smoothly cruising by. Thank you.

Go to the Amazon or Kelsay Books (.com) or write directly to me and I'll sign your copy ( 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

What are SMART PILLS? I need some.


SMART PILLS will make you smart. Unless you don't believe that claim. Then you don't need them; you're already smart.

SMART PILLS is a new book of mine containing micro-poems. They look like haiku, but I prefer to think of them as proverbs. Of course, real proverbs are developed over centuries and contain the wisdom of an entire culture, so these are pseudo- or nouveau- proverbs, or maybe something else I don't understand. Anyway, here they are.

The poems in this book, in contrast with Bitter Pills, are all unpublished. New just for you!

Like with the older brother book, Bitter Pills, you can Get Smart from Amazon or or from me, and I'll sign it for free. If you open the Amazon page, type in e. martin pedersen, and you'll find my books. Then click on my name to go to my Author Page where all the fun stuff is.

Are you sick of pills making you sick to make you well? The next book has a different chemical composition, different artificial flavor, and different side-effects. Coming soon.

Thanks for your support. If you can write a review or give some copies as gifts or do anything to help me promote my little works, I'd be very grateful. Most of all, thanks for reading.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

SMART PILLS, available now without a prescription


My latest book, SMART PILLS, is out and ready to catch fire. I found out yesterday that it's already been reviewed. Here's the very nice review by LB Sedlacek in Pegasus Literary (

“Smart Pills” is a new collection of haiku poetry.  Each haiku is contained on its own individually, but easily fits along with the others.  There are three haiku per page.  If you enjoy this shorter traditional form of poetry, you will find much to like about Pederson’s poems.

From page 9:  “television is on us / as smallpox blankets / to native tribes.”  He uses no capitalization and sparsely uses other punctuation throughout the poems. 

The cover photo of a seaside at sunset incorporates the author’s photo as if he’s floating in the surrounding clouds.  It’s quite a striking effect drawing the reader to it. 

In the opening to his book, Pederson declares that you the reader need to take a smart pill every day to become smart unless of course you don’t believe in them.  It gives quite the introduction into the thought producing poems on the page.

From page 10:  “artists intrigue / by hiding the I am / under layers of color.”  He skillfully presses you into thinking more, producing that a-ha moment when a line really gets to you.

Pederson is originally from San Francisco, but he has lived in Sicily for the past several years.  He teaches English there at the University. 

With these haiku he delves into the pitfalls of money, drugs, deadlines and marriage, puppies, ointments and more.  His poems stay to two to three lines, each line containing minimum syllables.  Many of the poems could be quoted on those ever popular Quotes sites online or on social media.  Several of them sound like good solid advice someone might give you, perhaps even a professional.  Pederson is definitely trying to up your intelligence with these poems.

Here’s one about a vegetable you may or may not eat, from page 18:  “artichokes – two hours to prepare / ten minutes to eat.”  Of course the poem is talking about cooking and eating an artichoke, but such as this layered plant looks is their more beneath the surface?

Haiku can be unique with its ability to articulate simple things or moments.  These types of poems can bring quick pointed enlightenment with only a few words, syllables and lines.  In this book, Pederson’s haikus become experiences that cause us to ponder, to pause, or maybe to become passionate about all at the same time.  He may speak of the everyday, but he does it in such a way that it uncovers what lies beneath. 

Pederson presents 66 haiku in this collection.  With them he shows creativity and perception while exploring the world all around us.  It is a tapestry of flowing thoughts and words punctuated by the enlightenment they bring.  Simply put, this is a harmonious group of poems and yes you will feel a little bit smarter after reading them!

Pederson is quite a noted author.  He also has another poetry collection available entitled “Bitter Pills.” 

LB Sedlacek

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Blacktop Passages -- poetry on the road

I'm thrilled to have a poem featured in Blacktop Passages, a journal of poems about traveling, mainly by car. The poem (The sea storm comes ashore) is unusual for me as it is based on an actual occurrence. I did drive to the ocean during a storm and a wave did crash right over my car. It did scare the bejeezus out of me.

I'm in lockdown now in Sicily. We can only go out for necessities or exercise close to home. Fortunately, the beach is 50 meters away. I can stare into the calm waters flapping onto the sand. But after my experience in Point Reyes many years ago, I know that the sleeping tiger can still strike; the sea can rise up and swallow you whole whenever it wants.

Thanks to editor, Thomas John Nudi, and in particular to Claire Nelson for help with edits that took out some clutter. And to William J. Stribling for the photo.

First we need to crush the virus, then we can get back on our favorite road, in my case the freeway between SFO and my home in northern California. Stay strong, stay safe.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

An Absurd Gift

An absurd gift for absurd times. Instead of a practical gift like scissors or a chainsaw or a feelings-based stocking stuffer like heart-shaped post-its or a flashing I Love You pen rolled up in unsigned divorce papers, you could go completely crazy and get a copy of my book (or ten). Bitter Pills are only bitter enough to be good medicine. It's a tiny book of tiny poems, in other words, an absurd waste of money. Go for the big bomb books to get your money's worth: Clarissa by Sam Richardson (almost 1,000,000 words) or Miss MacIntosh by Marg Young (750,000 wds). You can use these and others as counter-weights or deadly weapons. Bitter Pills will blow away in a strong wind.

If you do want to waste some money on an absurd gift for your best friend, worst enemy or your-own-self, Bitter Pills is what you need. Send me your address, put $15 or 13€ in my PayPal account: I'll get the books to you as fast as the Sicilian postal system can travel (they still use delivery donkeys here). Should be in time for Christmas or some other equally bittersweet annual holiday. Contact me for other arrangements, discounts for bulk orders. Be happy to autograph. You can get it from Amazon too, but that's no fun.


Can you imagine your love or kids or parents opening this present: "What The Hell kind of present is this!? I wanted more socks! But then on second thought, hmm, these are not bad. And you really know the guy who wrote these? Poems in a pandemic. Whatever. Now I can't wait for his next book to come out." That could happen.


Happy Holidays,

Stay strong, stay healthy, and please stay home,






Thursday, December 3, 2020

Scrittura. Si! L'hai detto, amico!

Scrittura Magazine printed one of my poems in the latest issue. It's called, "Driving the Love Train into the Tunnel of Death," on page 46. A thousand thanks to editors, Valentina Terrinoni and Yasmin Rahman. 

The mag is spanking beautiful! You need to check it out for the contents, but the design makes everything better. My page is eerie black and red, smoky and seductive. You have to see this, the whole Scrittura, I mean. I'm really pleased to be included.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Fun on a Muddy River


My poem, "Fun at the Carnival," is in the latest issue of Muddy River Poetry Review. I am thrilled because Muddy River PR is an excellent, prestigious publication. My thanks again to the boss, Zvi A. Sesling.

"Fun at the Carnival" is a recent poem about what crazy 2020 world we're living in. Check it out with the link below, but don't miss all the other great stuff that's in this issue of Muddy. And let's clean up that muddy water so all the rivers run clear.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

One last thing

To all my past students:
to the literacy class I taught in juvenile prison at 16, to Mr. Beckman's 6th grade class I taught in when I was 17, to all the student teaching experiences I had at the four universities I attended, especially IMARC in Hermosillo, Mexico and the experimental year-round school in Lathrop CA, to the students I encountered in Dendera and Nyadiri, Zimbabwe, and the American University in Cairo, Egypt, to the Vietnamese refugees I taught English to in Richmond, CA and to classes in Stockton (inc. SJ Delta College), Campbell, Santa Clara, Cupertino, San Jose and Sunnyvale, CA, AND to all the students I have had the honor to teach in 40 years at the Università degli Studi di Messina:

I thank you all for letting me accompany you along your path to English learning. You have made me think and laugh, and you made me proud of you. I still love teaching and still find ways to make it new. However, my time is up. So, I will tiptoe out the door.

But not without first virtually shaking all your hands and thanking you for the joy of almost 50 years of teaching. Please stay in touch: on facebook:; twitter: @emartinpedersen; instagram: emartinpedersen; email:; websites: / If you like, follow my writing and music and tell me about yourselves, where you are and what you're doing through the upcoming years. I really want to know.

If you see me in person in Messina or Furnari or Tracy or San Francisco, please say hello. I'll be very happy to see you again outside the classroom. Never stop learning. Always be curious.
Good bye and Good luck,
Martin Pedersen

Friday, August 7, 2020

Belladonna, a drop-dead beautiful woman

I'm thrilled to have 3 poems in the inaugural issue of Belladonna Literary Arts Magazine (page 15). "If I Only Knew Now What I Knew Then," "If We're Lucky," and "Leaving the Church," are the titles. They are all poems, in some way, about getting older, not wiser. You also get a free mugshot of me and some biographical mumbo jumbo. The magazine layout is a lot of fun, very colorful and snappy. I like it all. You will too. I read it all. You will too.

My thanks to the boss, Brandy Kellams, for her generosity and kindness. An impressive beginning, under difficult circumstances. Congratulations.

By the way, that's a drawing of Irene Adler, the woman.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Bitter Pills, ready to swallow

The book that I announced months ago has arrived in my hands. Corona-quarantine caused a short delay, but it is now out and available and hungry for your eyes.

How to get a copy?
1. or has the book (see E. Martin Pedersen, Bitter Pills) for $15 or 13.81 euros. Shipping is extra unless you're lucky, then it's free. I'd love to get some sales here and even a review or two to boost the work. Gotta keep the editors, Dr. Agrawal and Dr. Kumar, satisfied.

2. is the publisher, located in Allahabad, India. Go to their site and order from them. No idea what shipping might be. Ask them, they're very nice. And a very respected publisher of poetry from around the world.

3. You can get the book from me,, at a slightly reduced rate. Send me your address. Shipping in Italy will not be charged, but I may have to add something for shipments abroad. PayPal is easy, but we can work out payment somehow.  I'd be happy to hear from friends and strangers, just to chat too. Plus, I'll sign your copy if you'd like.

What is this book anyway? It is a small book, so you don't get your money's worth page-wise. Poetry-wise I hope so. It is a book of small poems, contemporary Japanese forms, haiku and mostly senryu. That means that you take a pill and then wait for its effect. Don't take too many all at once. Digest them slowly, make them last like candy. The mini-poems in this collection (52) were all published in international journals, so somebody thought they were okay. Let's see what you think.

I wrote these haiku for people to read and enjoy, even with their varying degrees of bitterness. I hope you will. In fact, I'd be thrilled.

Stay healthy, stay strong, stay safe,

Saturday, July 11, 2020

SurVision Magazine / surreal vision in poetry

A poetry magazine dedicated to the surreal? Hell, yeah! Lots of poetry is surreal, should be, must be, lost in dreams and flights of mind. Alice in Wonderland and beyond. It's a lot of fun. Click on a name, open a door, if you dare, and find yourself in another dimension. Hell, yeah!

My thanks to editor, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, for the opportunity to flaunt my inner Lewis Carroll. I just read that the journal is Irish, extra points. So, here's my contribution:

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hunkered Down in The Beautiful Space

I've got two poems in The Beautiful Space, a journal that intersects poetry and health issues, mental and physical. The team that runs it includes several psychiatrists and a mental health nurse. So, they've got me all figured out. They know that even when the quarantine is lifted I won't be heading for the disco to boogie down.

Anyway, the poems are on topic but in a poetic slanted way. "The Curve" and "Doubt and Guilt" are their names. I'm glad they found such a prestigious home to hunker down in.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Misfit Quill off to the races

The Misfit Quill is a brand-spanking-new literary magazine. It's good. I got into the first issue with a poem called, "Heart Traveler." It looks really crisp in stark black and white. Browse the whole issue, there's lots of pithy stuff.

Christopher Moore is The Boss. (It used to be Springsteen, but he lost the title.) My thanks go to Mr. Moore and my best wishes for a long, successful run. Starting a magazine sounds crazy, but also fun, but also hella hard work. In this inaugural issue, it shows. Hey man, there's no stopping you now, you're off to the races!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Poeticdiversity, all one word

Poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles recently published another of my poems, "The Excuse of Dementia." I like the journal very much (even though I'm from San Francisco), whereas the poem makes me uncomfortable. Hopefully, it will make you uncomfortable too. If you choose to go there. There are a zillion other poems and stories you might like more, but you'll only know if you take a look. Thanks to Marie Lecrivain, editor in chief, who oversees this valuable contribution to living literature.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

I Am Such A Badass! (Martin Pedersen)

Look at that picture (never before released), in front of the Keith Haring mural in Pisa, Italy. Click on the link below. That is an excellent imitation of a badass poet. Be scared, be very scared. But not of the poems. They're harmless. Well, kinda. And there are five for the price of one!

Thanks very much to the editor of Litbreak Magazine, Dennis Haritou. It is an honor for me to be printed in your excellent journal. Everyone should keep Litbreak on their list and consult it often for truly fine work, present badass company excepted. Hmm, sounds like a band name.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Where's Indie? In Indie's Nest.

The Indie's Nest is a lit mag and tons more. Film, art, music and books are featured. They give single works and individual artists lots of space. In the Poet's Lounge you can relax, put your feet up and soak in the atmosphere. I have three poems there right now. I love the layout and design; it makes the poems better. Thanks to editor, Melissa Anderson. So, eggs and chicks, get yourselves into the Nest!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Toyon is Out! with audio

Toyon Literary Magazine is put together by students at the Humbolt State University English Dept. in Northern California, my old home zone. I'm proud to have a poem featured in Toyon. It's about coping, a topic of note nowadays. Thanks to the editors and staff who did a huge job.

Read issue 66, The Taboo issue here:

An additional kick is that the English students (the best) made an audio version of the whole thing. If you want to hear my poem read very well, you need to get this youtube video and go exactly to 1 hour 07 minutes or 107. The video's so long because they read the stories too. And because there's so much great stuff. Listen to the whole thing, it's like reading but it's completely different.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dreams Walking / Walking Dreams

Are there several realities? Are dreams real? Is our waking/walking life the opposite of our imagination? Got any other good existential questions this morning?

I was lucky. I got a poem in the first issue of a new lit mag, Dreams Walking. It's called, "Campfire Programs at Big Basin State Park," a place where I used to go in the summer as a kid. I went back recently to camp, hike and go to evening campfire programs. They're still good, but they use a video projector, and there's no raging bonfire and no roaring campfire songs that I remember so well. Maybe that's a great truth, you can't go back again. But then you can in a poem.

There are lots of fine poems in this mag. And mine is accompanied by an eerie forest photo. Thanks to the editors for this opportunity.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

My favorite six crazy dudes: Fleas on the Dog

I had a blast corresponding with the editors of Fleas on the Dog Literary Magazine, especially Charles (in Italian) and Hezekiah. These self-described six crazy dudes, Canadians if I'm not mistaken, are the friendliest people in the lit biz worldwide. Read their bios and have a laugh. They're such fun that I'd even enjoy being rejected by them. And I probably will be because I plan to submit lots more stuff.

In this gigantic issue, together with lots of great writers presenting great work (I've only scratched the surface so far, but I recommend diving in), the editors have put together a beautiful presentation of my work with an introduction by Hezekiah full of excessive compliments, then the poems, then a short essay I wrote about my inspiration, that you'll surely find disappointing, then my standard biography. I love it. I'm thrilled.

Plus, if you're like me and often need to tune your ukulele, remember: My Dog Has Fleas.

Please go here. You gotta see this.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Spadina Steps Out!

Issue 37 of the Spadina Literary Journal, June 2020, is stepping out into the world and is immune to any virus. In fact, it might be a palliative cure, good words acting as the vaccine we're all waiting for.

My small contribution is called, "Thud." It's a depressing poem about a tragedy. Still wanna read it? Maybe that's what we need. Scaramanzia: a counter-spell to take off the bad luck.

There are loads of good reads in this issue and the past issues of SLJ. Check it out. My thanks to editor, Ian Allaby, for his help and encouragement.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Visit the Underworld in Fewer Than 500 Steps

My story "Underworld" was published today in the FewerThan500 online journal. It's a travel story about walking around, sort of. I'm very grateful to the editor, Ritta M. Basu, for putting it on the map. She's fun, and she runs a fun mag. There's a word limit for stories, but I can't remember what it is. I do know that you can sign up on Facebook (FEWERTHAN500.COM) and get all the stories as they appear. I'm keeping my eye on this journal, you should too.

Read my story here:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Vox populi poetica

Vox Poetica is a hot snappy poetry journal. Approachable. You can get a poem from them almost every day on Facebook or Twitter, but it's better to connect to the website and read the whole shebang. Nathan Gunter and Annmarie Lockhart are the bosses. They love poetry and their passion shows in their work. Vox Poetica is good medicine for everyone. Just what we need right now. Their slogan:

It's just poetry, it won't bite.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Poesis III

Back in January, a couple of my poems came out in Poesis, my favorite poetry magazine (for obvious reasons). Both "The Free Way" and "The Lost Blip" have to do with driving; both are set in California, the driving state. When I go home, for example, I just take 101 South to 92 East across the San Mateo Bridge then 880 North 238 East and the great 580 across the valley to 205 all the way to Tracy. About an hour and I'm in my own bed. Simple. My Italian wife disagrees. 'Spouting numbers' in Italian means you're crazy.

I may be crazy about driving, but I'm thrilled to have my poems in Poesis again.

Monday, March 16, 2020

No False Modesty

Phenomenal Literature is the journal's name. My poem is called "Red". It's sort-of about teaching. I'm really happy to be published in India again. There's so much great poetry coming from that subcontinent right now. And promotion of poetry and poets. My book, Bitter Pills, is published in India by CyberWit. If you can support them, buy PL and/or BP.

Thanks to the editors of Phenomenal Literature for this opportunity.

Monday, March 9, 2020

It's Out!

Today my collection of haiku, called Bitter Pills, comes out worldwide. You can get a copy from Amazon or from the publisher, Many thanks to editor, Dr. Karunesh Kumar Agarwal, who walked me through the process and designed the cover. The poems are numbered so you can check the acknowledgements at the end if you want. All have been previously published, tried and true.

These are tiny poems, ideas or images boiled down to a bare minimum. They took me years to write and revise. Sometimes smaller is harder. Yet, as they say, Small is Beautiful.

As I put the poems together, I needed a theme and a title. Bitter Pills came to me instantly, given the ambivalent attitude, sometimes bordering on pessimism, of many of the haiku. The form is often three-lines mimicking the traditional Japanese forms, but allowing for modern English-language variations. The most traditional are first, then they get more experimental towards the end. Most would technically be called senryu, which is a more human-centered type.

If you buy a copy, I'll be happy. Hope you like it. Let me know. Read them slowly, like taking pills (even sugar pills), maybe one a day or even one a week. I think there are, in fact, 52.

In these hard times, a little book of little poems might be just what the doctor ordered to combat the chaos all around us.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Down in the Dirt Again

"Aurora" is the title of the latest issue of Down in the Dirt. It's big and bold. Get it. My poem is called North Wind. Alaska makes an appearance. Read it. And let me know what you think. I'm glad to be published again where I belong: down in the dirt.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Lunaris Review, Back and Better!

I'm published in Nigeria! That's a thrill in itself, a special accomplishment. I traveled in Africa as a young man, and it changed my life. Plus, where I've lived now for forty years in Messina, the closest big city outside Sicily is Tunis not Naples. So I feel that Africa is close, and now even closer. Read this wonderful, professional, beautiful journal cover to cover. Support it, and all the arts in Africa. It's where the traditional and experimental meet and shine bright like the sun.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Futures Trading in Poetic Terms

I don't know what futures trading means in financial terms, and I don't quite understand the journal's slogan: Futures Trading presents forward-facing literary exchanges among singular possessives. Nevertheless, I like this mimimalist-style journal a lot and am honored to be included in the current issue with a poem called, "The African Sun Stands Tall". Thanks to the boss, Caleb Puckett.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Poesis II

"Open Leather Letter" is about finding a pair of shoes; "shadows, and, magnetism" is about something else. Two new poems in Poesis, number 8, Dec. 2019. I'm thrilled. I really like this journal, and I'll surely submit again. Thanks to the editors, and thanks to the readers - you included.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Rat's Ass, I Do Give One

"Yeast" is the name of my poem in The Rat's Ass Review, current issue. It's a rude name for a gentile journal. If you give a rat's ass you should read this mag for some great contemporary literature. Scroll down to find me in the P's. Thanks to editor, Roderick Bates, for including my work. Poetry doesn't give one fame or fortune, so the only reason to do it is if you give a rat's ass. Actually that's the only good reason to do anything.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Eskimo Pie in the Sky With a Sigh

Eskimo Pie is a chocolate-coated literary journal. It's very open and friendly and fun. Eskimo Pie is also the nickname of the editor. Thanks to her for the space to fill with words. Eskimo Pie recently printed my poems: After Lassitude, Castaway, Fat Man, I Give Up, Peacenik, These Things Take Time, and When the Circus Comes to Town. I'm thrilled. Check it out.