Literary Yard

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‘Confess to What?’ and other poems

By: E. Martin Pedersen

Confess to What?

I enter my living room
gather my family around
you need to go away, I say
so I can be alone and strip down
cover my skin with ice cream
and wait
spumoni swirl and rocky road
drip lick
they oblige
I can’t imagine why

I am accused of a crime
I could not have committed
a case of mistaken identity (mine and theirs)
I cannot answer your question
how can I know when I wasn’t there
how can you know that you can’t know
my alibi for a month ago? no clue, and you
turn that down please
I’m cold hungry sleepy and have to pee
I want to help but I need a lawyer before I talk
that doesn’t make me guilty
I know my rights
rights my know I
but I don’t know what I’m accused of
What do you people want from me?
to what?



If we all read the same books over and over
then we’d really see (no drug trips please)
that you can’t squeeze blood from an orange
from a sour split once-round pulpy mess
one could claim as blood but
several would rise up to
argue red paint over ketchup
waddle out the pompous ass
and yeah yeah yeah
I am wasting my life
as if vitamin knowledge could
come near pattycake horseplay
when the game loses
a child turns away —


Falling Backwards

I’m falling backwards
the web will catch me
each strand so thin
holds me like a hand
each has a name
I recite them all as I fall
off the stage
on the roof
the tallest building
let it be
off the wings
of a plane
back dive
I can see clouds
up side down side
mucking up the blue;
I do not panic
even though I could die
if not for that giant web
I’m sure is there
waiting for my weight
to sustain and maintain
with a friendly bounce
I haven’t seen it
I imagine it
though it’s too late
I’ve jumped.

This is it.



The wonder is that cell phones now have answering machines built into them and you can receive messages practically anywhere.

I went for a swim. I swam out into the Mediterranean and floated and wiggled around in the weightless warm welcoming.

I got back to the beach exhausted and as happy as I’ve ever been.

Then I picked my phone out of my beach bag and listened to my messages.

This is them:

Hello, your father just died.
Hello, your house burnt down.
Hello, your computer memory was erased.
Hello, your test results are positive for cancer.
Hello, your son was hit by a car.
Hello, your bank account was emptied.
Hello, you are under arrest.
Hello, you have been convicted of a sex crime.
Hello, you have been sued.
Hello, your job was given to your assistant.
Hello, your friends will testify against you.
Hello, your salary due will not be paid.
Hello, you suffer from multiple-personality disorder.
Hello, you’ll never walk again.

These are only messages.
The water you return to says nothing.
Wet embrace.


Killed for being too happy –*

Lecce, Italia, 2020 — a young man
killed a young couple of his Acquaintance
for, as he said, “being too happy.”
I said to my wife Facetiously
“are we in danger now
will the ‘too happy’ killers get us
or just the excessive happiness?”
she didn’t find that Amusing
but answered after 22 years
“I am happy with you,”
that shut me up.
she didn’t kill me when we met
I had my evil eye on Someone
very bad for me, I wanted
the ache of imperfect Union
but then I got lucky
to overcome Masochism
“I’m happy with you too.” I said
even though I often Disappear
and when I’m there I’m not
100% yours all yours.
I apologize for this Distraction
but I will not kill us either
just keep us Hostage
closed in a closet
to avoid bright sun

and crisp clean air
filling the lungs
too completely.

*number 22 of The Limbo Reports

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