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.

Friday, October 18, 2019

First Literary Review - East

Oops, I missed telling you about a couple short poems published last spring in the First Literary Review - East. Thanks again to Cindy Hochman and Karen Neuberg for their kindness and the energy it takes to put together such an impressive publication month after month. Most of the poems are short or very short, like candy, but not fattening. Grab a handful and munch.

I took this picture of my friend this summer in southern Oregon.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

We Live Among Ghosts in the Amethyst Review

That's a poem of mine in Amethyst, a publication also called: New Writing Engaging with the Sacred. I am so glad that editor, Sarah Law, chose my work, although I'm not sure how sacred it is. On the verge of blasphemy is more like it. However, I love this publication, I get an email poem every day from Sarah, and I love the color of the main page of the site. You should definitely sign up, whether you think you're spiritually aware or not. There's some great poetry here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I like Mojave Heart

Mojave Heart Review (aka Mojave He(art)) has a clean and crisp desert style. I like it. I like the poem of mine that they published. The title is a quote from Robinson Jeffers, a poet I like. As I sit at my desk in Sicily I often imagine California. I can feel it even so far away. It draws me like a magnet to beautiful places crying out for tragedy.

Thanks to editor, Jeffrey Reno.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

My friends, former people

I've been published before in Former People: a journal of bangs and whimpers, and I consider myself a former person too. The poem this time is called: A Closed System. It is meant to be funny and scary. And a slam on our faith in technology. "We wrecked the Earth, let's go to Mars!" or whatever. All terrible ideas, we fix one problem and create another. The only way out is to limit the damage until our descendants can find harmony and peace within and without. Or we all become former.

Friday, October 11, 2019

We're all singers in the Agony Opera.

Agony Opera is a bilingual literary magazine headquartered, if I'm not mistaken, in Bangladesh. That in itself is exciting. To have four poems included in the June issue all the more so. And the picture of Michelangelo's David blowing bubble gum is crazy good. Thanks to the editors, keep up the good work.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Blue Lake View at

Blue Lake Review. This literary journal has been going strong almost ten years, month after month, putting stuff out there. That's impressive nowadays, plus we need it more than ever. Poetry is handled by Diana May-Waldman, who I thank for including my poem in a recent issue. "Alone in Life" talks about ambivalence in relationships. Check it out and cruise through the website to find all the gems therein.

The blue lake in the photo, Lago di Ganzirri, is near my house. I used to walk around it every day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hey Batman, when is a door ...

... not a door? When it's a jar, Robin, when it's a jar.

Door is a Jar Magazine is a great young print or kindle journal of literature. I'm honored to be included in the latest issue with a poem about my father called, "Dad signing his name". Thanks to poetry editor, Corinne Alice Nulton, for her kindness and support.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Ginosko Literary Journal: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Oh man! I have five long poems in the current issue of Ginosko LJ, the one with the beautiful watercolor of a mountain lake on it. I've admired Ginosko for awhile and am giddy to be included. A million thanks to eds. Robert Paul Cesaretti and Maggie Heaps. Read the whole issue to get to pages 134-143 to get to my stuff, then keep going. There's something rude and something tricky, something squirmy and something punchy in my five. Good reading. I'm very pleased.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Poet of the Week on the Super Highway

Rick Lupert runs the Poetry Super Highway and chooses the poets of the week. In July, I was offline, but was chosen for this honor nonetheless. Two poems are included: "Drought Has Ended" and "The Key Drawer". Get on board the highway and cruise! You can get email updates and check out all the new material from real people. Thanks again Rick.

The Hunger of the Tiger

The Hunger Journal, issue 5, included my story, "Save the Tiger". It's a bit gory, that's fun. It's about a dead serious problem -- the extinction of the tiger -- but it's also meant to be funny. Maybe it's a contradictory story, for sure it's short. Five lines is all you get. Enough? Thanks to Lena Ziegler and Erin Slaughter, editors of The Hunger. The hunger: feel it. The tiger does.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

13 Myna Birds singing 13 poems

Mine is number 4 right now. If I Had a Pneumatic Drill is a play on the song, "If I had a hammer", and the topic, well, I'll let you work it out. My thanks to Myna Girl, Juliet Cook, for including my work in her group. There are only 13 of us on the wire right now, take a look before we fly.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Poesis Oasis

I have a couple poems in the latest issue of Poesis. You can download the whole thing from the website, brew some tea and have a good read. It might calm the storm inside that echoes the storm outside. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, I'm grateful to editor, Silviu Craciunas, and the editorial board for choosing "MRI" and "Her Space" for Poesis Literary Magazine.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Relaxing on The Ramingo's Porch

A few days ago I was relaxing on the Ramingo's porch, wiping a knife, staring at the ceiling, etc. Actually those are poems on the Ramingo blog related to the poetry journal, The Ramingo's Porch. When I submitted I didn't know the journal came from Italy: that's very cool. Thanks to Elena Bello and Mendes Biondo for the support. These are somewhat formal poems and many journals won't even give them a chance. I'm grateful that you did.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Neologism "It"

"It" is a poem of mine that came out today in Neologism Poetry Journal. "It" is not a neologism (a new word), but perhaps it is used in a new way. You decide. This issue of this wonderful journal is not huge, it contains about ten poems, so it is easy to read them all in one go. Do it. They're great.

My thanks to editor, Christopher Fields, for his kindness and care. I'll be spending a few minutes with every issue of Neologism from now on.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Get 'em while they're hot!!!

Onkar Sharma does not mess around. If he likes your poems he puts them right up on his wonderful web lit mag, Literary Yard. It's a great place to spend an afternoon in the sun. My poems are there right now. So, you don't mess around either. Go check them out. No time to waste. Life is hot.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Hunger and How to Get It.

The Hunger Journal is out. But you can still get your fill. Lots of finger-licking poetry, fiction, nonfiction, hybrid and art. My thanks to editors Lena Ziegler and Erin Slaughter for including my very short story: Save the Tiger. It's a big gruesome but definitely on topic for The Hunger. And please do whatever you can to Save the Tiger. Check my story out here:

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Wales Haiku Journal: for a whale of a time!

Okay, reading the Wales Haiku Journal may not be as fun as walking under a teetering rock, but the thrill lasts a lot longer. Try it yourself. You'll find one of my short poems in the latest issue. It starts with powerlines and goes from there. You'll have to scroll down a ways, a good excuse for slowly reading all the others. Scared of reading? Scared of poetry? That's okay, lots of people are scared of teetering rocks too. They're all dangerous.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Quail Bell, The Wandering Jew, and Baseball

I didn't see right away that this story had been published. My bad. Anyhow, Quail Bell Magazine presents: "The Wandering Jew Plays Baseball". It's the first published story in a planned series of adventures of the world's oldest superhero, the immortal, the eternal, possibly Cain himself, perhaps a shoemaker, perhaps a hunter. In any case, there's little in my stories that refers to Judaism, and plenty of immortality. I mean, the Wanderer has seen it all, done it all, met everyone, read all the books, been everywhere. Cool, huh? Except that he's never played baseball. Until now. Thanks to the Quail Bell Magazine editors and to Gretchen Gales for the beautiful accompanying photo.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Pass me a Shot Glass

Shot Glass Journal, a journal of short poetry, half-full and half-empty but still enough to get you drunk, is now online. One of my short poems is printed there, on the right, under the heading "International Poets". That makes me proud. Thanks to the editors of Muse-Pie Press.

So gang, belly up to the bar, click, sip and drink in the words. Then call a taxi.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Small is Beautiful - Creatrix

When I was in my twenties, we were all reading a book called, "Small is Beautiful", by E. F. Schumacher, which, though outdated, still contains valid points. In the current issue of Creatrix Magazine (44), I have a poem made of only seven words. Seven words deemed worthy of this prestigious publication based in WA, which stands for Western Australia, not Washington state, where I've been spending time recently. It's full of small poems, mostly haiku, and all beautiful. Read online here:

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Nausea of Numbers of Nudists

Two of my poems, "Nausea of Numbers" and "Nudists", can be found in Rue Scribe (Underwood Press), posted on Feb. 12. Rue Scribe is an online journal for small literature providing a big space for lots of writers to shine in the sun. Thanks to editor, Eric Luthi, for this opportunity.

Rue Scribe itself is either a street in Paris or a regretful author or something else entirely. No matter, it's a site to bookmark and read regularly.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Gravity of the Lists

The Gravity of the Thing is a great poetry journal, and it just published my poem, "Lists". It's a peculiar poem in two vertical parts; you can draw connecting lines however you like. I like this journal for its clean appearance and quality contents, and the editor, Thea Prieto, is very friendly. I'll submit here again. Plus, if you know me, you know I'm kind of a gravity-type guy. Well, not always.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Extreme Old School - Bear Creek Haiku

Bear Creek Haiku is a tiny handmade journal of tiny handmade poems. I've got five in the current issue (#151). I'm also on the blog (below) on Jan. 15 and Dec. 29. This wonderful publication from Colorado reminds me of the 1970's and 80's, of the smell of the mimeograph machine in the War Resisters office where I used to volunteer. It's printed on colored paper, photocopied (I presume), stapled, cut into an envelope size and sent by mail with a stamp. You've got to get this little gem. It's a pure labor of love by the editor, ayaz daryl nielsen, assisted by three cats. Thanks, man. I love it, low-tech, high-essence, lots of great poems in a traditional package.

The photo is of Bear Creek, Colorado, waiting to thaw.

read the blog here and order your little copy of BCH:

I'm also very pleased to see three little poems reprinted in issue 152. Thanks ayaz!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Old School - James Dickey Review

Years ago, when I started publishing poetry, the standard payment was two copies, paper copies. I love that my poems, "Incorporation" and "Dumbass", were included in the latest issue of the James Dickey Review. And I love this journal in particular because I'm a big fan of the poetry and novels of James Dickey. And I love that they still send contributer's copies even though the postage is expensive. Thanks. Especially to editor, Wayne Glowka, who helped me revise the poems. Now if you want a copy, you'll have to buy one yourself (paper or digital through Amazon: currently free). You can find JDR on Facebook or write to them here. As far as I know, they don't have a website. Now that's old school!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Who's Ugly?

Five of my poems appeared recently on The Ugly Writers website. I am very pleased to be published by this journal based in The Philippines. That's a first. It's all online, check it out. Maybe you can be an ugly writer too.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Straight Forward No Excuses

My poem,"The Seed and No Excuses", appears in the latest issue of Straight Forward Poetry (page 22). It's not such a straight-forward poem, but since it appealed to editor, Lindsey Lewis Smithson, I've re-evaluated it. Maybe I finally get it. Thanks to Ms. Lewis Smithson and SFP for this chance to unravel my own work.

Here's where you can buy issue 15 of Straight Forward Poetry for less than €4.40:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Failed Haiku - hey, what's that?

Failed Haiku is an excellent literary journal that specializes in the type of haiku called senryu, which breaks some of the traditional rules. Senryu isn't really failed haiku but merely a more human-centered form as opposed to a nature-centered form. I love it. Remember Frost's description of free verse as "playing tennis without a net"? Easier but not as fun. Well, most poets today, me included, write mostly in free verse. Is that failed poetry? Of course not. Just different.

My thanks to editor Mike Rehling for publishing me again in one of my favorite journals. Read it all. It's like eating peanuts.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Inside the Dreaming Machine

Inside the poetry journal, The Dreaming Machine, you can find, if you like, several of my poems. Thanks to editor, Pina Piccolo, who, I discovered, is a mid-Atlantic person like myself, part-American, part-Italian, part-Citizen of the World, part-whatever. The first and third poems, in fact, deal with Italian topics, the second and fourth, American. "Going to the Edge of the Land," "Sensitivity Training, California 1970," "Death of a Sentient Being," and "Our War is Over," are the titles. Once you're there, you can surf around the whole website which includes fiction and non-fiction and other stuff, some with a socio-political bent, and plenty of interesting poetry. I also like the photos, especially the one accompanying my work. So thanks again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Nthanda Review - to Malawi again

My best flight ever -- of hundreds -- was on Air Malawi back in the 70's. I made a long stopover in Blantyre, the capital of Malawi, on my way to a magical summer in Zimbabwe. I've always wanted to go back, and so I am thrilled to have four poems published in Nthanda Review. Many thanks to editor, Beaton Galafa and all the staff. Check out this wonderful, young, vibrant journal and see what's new in African poetry. Then maybe you and I can visit Malawi too. After all, it is the "warm heart of Africa".

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cecile's Writers - I am one

I'm very pleased to be featured in the international literary magazine, Cecile's Writers. Both of my poems found there are rare, as they deal with my experience living in Sicily. I haven't written about that much, don't know why. Both are old, but not outdated. My thanks to Cecile and Samir, Sofia and Vanessa, the editors. I feel like I finally found a club for people like me. Check out and bookmark the webpage and read it regularly. It's all good. Here's my stuff:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tomorrow, Here Comes Everyone

The Tomorrow issue of the Coventry, England-based journal, Here Comes Everyone, includes my story, "Broken Worlds." Thanks to editor, Matthew Barton and the whole HCE team. The story is so weird, driven by such a peculiar sense of humor, that other magazines were scared to print it (or just didn't like it). Hoorah for Here Comes Everyone! I've seen the whole issue and it's great. You'll have to spend a few pounds to get a hard copy, but it's worth it. Here's where to order:

Martin (pronounced Martin)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Incredible India

The Wagon Magazine is beautiful. It's rich with wonderful writing. Editor, Krishna Prasad, chose to publish five of my poems here. Thank you, sir. I am thrilled and honored to be published in your international journal based in India. I keep noticing great poetry coming out of India these days. Perhaps it appeals to me because we use the same language, but I suspect that there is a reawakening of Indian poetry going on now at the same time as the economic boon. Someday I will visit your vast country to see for myself, as we all should.

In the meantime, here is a link to my poems and the whole issue of Wagon Magazine.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hinchas de Poesía

the digital codex of Pan-American writing, get it? Poetry fanatics. Tifosi scatenati di poesie. Something like that.

"Nixon's Barber" is a story about my grandfather, sort of. It's a story, so only part of it really happened. It finds it's place in this wonderful largely-Latino-themed bilingual journal. I'm so proud of this, not the story as much as the prestige of the publication and the opportunity they gave me for wider readership. Thanks to editors: Yago S. Cura, Jim Heavily, James Cervantes, Jennifer Therieau. I'll brag about this for years.

And the best part: the whacked-out illustration that accompanies the text.