Get on a steamer to Portland
To do some good work there
Leave off healing, God and Gertrude
San Francisco: too much to bear.
If I ever get over the headaches
The tremens and the Chinese
With Boss Ruef safe in San Quentin
IÕll gambol about at my ease.
Yet a tin box of ashes inherited
With my own lust letter on top
I hate you, old Gal, for leaving me here
Awaiting the big final plop.
Off we go to Paradise
Tromping around the ruins
Goodbye to Frank, Mary, Charlie, Jack
And all California Bruins.
Trapped in a stinking cabbage house
Sweating into sad bedsheets
Now IÕm declaring independence
Walking for the last time down my fair jumping-off streets.
Oh my, that seaweed is salty
and crabs take some work to crack
to fashion a pole for knocking down coconuts
a lean-to to keep the lizards off my back.
a lot of people couldnÕt live this way
some would curl up and die
I feel like the King of the Cannibal Islands
watching for food from the sea and water from the sky.
if I ever get back to the Sunset District
and put bare feet on a sandy beach
IÕll know that life is livable, thrivable
and paradise is within my reach.
Fat Man (tune: Zebra Dun)
I am a roly-poly type
Bob Crest is my name
I work inside an office now
For that I am ashamed
I used to walk across the land
To get the awesome view
But my back went out, my hips went out, my knees went out
No wonder I am blue.
I drink to forget now
I eat to ease the pain
If I could go back in time
IÕd sacrifice my brain
For a body slim and tan
I think you know whatÕs next
It isnÕt easy for this 400-pound man
To get any real good sex.
I Give Up
Only clowns and freaks, jesters and geeks, around me
My natural LSD levels rise
Day life worse than nightmares
Vampires with flickering fire in their eyes
IÕm thirsty and several bones are broken
IÕve forgotten every single crossword I ever memorized
We take mystery pills like peanuts
Politics: all lies in ties
While watching 3D theatre of the absurd
I think I want less sex and more masturbation highs
They say theyÕre ruling with our consent
Play a naming quiz for the grand prize
If you can say your true name so loud it rings
More whiskey beer and chicken wings
Can't play the Phil Ochs and Malvina Reynolds records anymore
Don't ask me if I'm a-marchin' anymore
Pros you know, their 60 I-Deals cryonize, get it? cry-on-ize
I couldnÕt jump into the volcano of bubbling guano, refuse to evoluze
Phil, if you climb higher and higher on that tower of stools
And the termites eat the legs through, you go flyin', baby blue
We fit the battle and the walls came a---tumb----ul-----in ...
Doves bear Hawks now, eat their young and grin
Yes fell to no, love fell to hate, peace fell to war, oh beautiful nonsense!
The humanitarian thing = drop the nukes to arrest all violence
Killkillkill adults to save the children, flush Ōem down the generational drain-o
While youÕre at it, stir up the anthill and watch the frenzy fun-o
Sit in the rocker, please shut that draft, learn a new TÕai Chi movement
Turn on the news, take the streets down to a fine dining establishment,
So Vote for Nobody with a Nowhere Plan, Nowhere Man
Have more candy and watch the play-off season end
Vintage wine and antique furniture, take
Opera, for Godsake.
These Things Take Time
When the tilt of an upper lip (reminds you of)
your wifeÕs cousin (what was your name, love?)
and you wonder why round faces (go with round boobs)
wrists, hair, thighshapes – youÕve seen them all, fool
beauty rented, you are still, letÕs say,
susceptible to in, however, a relatively new way
because at home, Ōyou are my life,Õ
ŌAnd you mine,Õ he answers to his loving wife.
I suggested to Sergˇy
to translate from Bulgarian the Slovena Veda
but it is in a dialect that no longer exists
and of 1513 verses consists
the number of dead on the great ship
or how long it takes to slip from your grip.
When the Circus Comes to Town
When the circus comes to town
Electrodes and caterpillars abound
Heart-shaped swimming pools
Filled with overpaid self-righteous fools.
I'll see it all, the short and tall
Spring and fall, the Berlin waterfall
I'll lick my snot; I'll puke and trot
I'll rend my sails; I swear it's hot
Bust a dance, my limbs a-flay
Spray my hair, across the bay
And if the circus don't come to town
I'll blow my brains out any- how/way
E. Martin Pedersen
Bio: 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: emartinpedersenwriter.blogspot.it.