Two Poems by E. Martin Pedersen

I Love You Honey, But…

As you go around the rooms
setting the pictures awry
you must really hate straight
I’m not sure you’re truly aware
that you turn coffee tables sideways
cover furniture with clothes
leave the lights on downstairs
on purpose
some devil inside you says
drive him nuts, push the vase off-center
throw opened mail onto the kitchen table
get out the milk and do not put it back
I say should when
I should say could —
we should see one
another as we now are
not molded to our
specifications, justification, our
relations hard
as imperfect walls —
that’s all
yet I hear laughter
that’s not from you or me


Cleverness ain’t easy
when it don’t come
That perfect quip
an hour too late
That great idea
for something
had in the night
lost in the day
What will I say
when we meet
I come prepared
I like that person
so smart
always right there
I wish I had
mental confidence
and acted cool
when things go bad
I wish I believed in my own means
yet if I were that clever
I’d be alone
I’d have no one to envy
no one to aspire
to be.

E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over forty years in eastern Sicily, where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Avatar Review, Canyon Voices, Slab, SurVision, and Helix Literary Magazine, among others. Martin is an alumnus of the Community of Writers. He has published two collections of haiku, Bitter Pills and Smart Pills, and a chapbook, Exile’s Choice, from Kelsay Books. A full collection, Method & Madness, is forthcoming from Odyssey Press. Martin’s poem, “Gull Eggs,” was nominated by Flapper Press for the Best of the Net Award 2023.

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