June 7-13, 2021: Poetry from E. Martin Pedersen and John Sweet

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E. Martin Pedersen

E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 40 years in eastern Sicily where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Blacktop Passages, Millennial Pulp, Scrittura, Albatross Review, and Harbinger Asylum. Martin is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He has published two collections of haiku, Bitter Pills and Smart Pills and a chapbook, Exile’s Choice, just out from Kelsay Books. Visit him on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by E. Martin Pedersen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In the Junkyard

My beatup car won’t run
dishwasher’s full of cobwebs
I had a working computer
now I have two broken ones
in a junkyard in Rustland
deserted clutter all around.

As an old geezer
wearing corduroys and faded sweatshirts
a four-day beard and John Doe cap
collects metal bed frame heads
from army hospitals
to sell, no, to hoard.

like you are still doing with me
like you, a pretty poppy –
no, a weed
growing without permission
in this rusty junkyard.

In the film version
we would be charming
never speaking both at once
never both needing to use
the toilet at once
you would not hoard me
we would make love in
the light and would not fart
all love would be forever
moving dented motorcycle signs
and park benches no one
will sit on again around
from place to forgotten place
in the junkyard.

John Sweet

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis. His latest poetry collections include A FLAG ON FIRE IS A SONG OF HOPE (2019 Scars Publications) and A DEAD MAN, EITHER WAY (2020 Kung Fu Treachery Press)

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by John Sweet and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

summer ‘94

says john i might be
dying but at least i’m not a
coward and we’re back on
charlotte street here

we’re drunk at two in the afternoon
and i say maybe

i say maybe and then i pause and
then i say maybe

i say maybe, but the survivors
are the ones who get to
write history and he laughs

                            he laughs

says point for you and
i say maybe

i say nothing

sit there with a warm beer in my
hand and wait for a
better way to waste my life



drugstore at the
farthest edge of the desert but
                          we had a map,
had my hands in your blood,
had your teeth in my heart and
this was the new world

august and then september and
all of de chirico’s promises come true
and we thought about offering
christ a blindfold
             but why?

better to see the bullet

better to just put on your best
leather boots and walk the 3000
miles to your father’s grave

get down on your knees among 
his bleached and broken 
bones and sing

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