ISSN 1551-8086
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  April 2020
volume 17 number 1
-table of contents-
  contributing poets
  Jonathan Beale
  Stefanie Bennett
  Jackie Chou
  Joshua Corwin
  Raymond Fenech
  Rich Follett
  Jack Henry
  James Evert Jones
  Eric Lawson
  Phoebe Marrall
  Alexis A Ogunmokun
  Alexandra Olmedo
  Ronald Peat
  E. Martin Pedersen
  Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld
  David Scriven
  Rishan Singh
  Tim Tipton
  Kelley White
  Lynn White
  Bill Yarrow
  Omar ZahZah
  mailing list
E. Martin Pedersen
April 2020



    E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 35 years in eastern Sicily where he teaches English at the local university. His poetry has appeared in The James Dickey Review, Ink in Thirds, Mused, Oddville, Former People, The Bitchin' Kitsch and others. Martin is an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
He blogs at:
E Martin Pederson



The Excuse of Dementia

My aunt Suzanne is old and crazy
yelling this morning about the "niggers" and "kikes"
she never said a racist word in 80 years
civil rights lawyer and half-Jewish
I can't quiet the rage inside her
Where does that stuff breed?
A switch got flipped by mistake
so intense, hot, disturbing and false.

Is my anger false too?
Do I feel so strongly because
someone flipped my knob?
I think my heart is real
my love for good and truth, justice
I am no not a racist, sexist, classist
body-shamer or able-ist
yet there must be one inside
I can feel it
waiting to turn 80
to use the excuse of dementia
to pop like Jack in the box slamming up
scary, unnatural, screeching sour notes
taunting me that all I am, all I am
my alternating sense of self
is chemical stimuli.
Good or bad.
Crazy or sane.
Love or hate.

copyright 2020 E. Martin Pedersen