Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: E. Martin Pedersen

The Toxic Wha

That guy, that guy, that slapped me
in high school, I’ll never
forgive him, that guy’s toxic
I won’t sit with him at the
50th class reunion, we were
in P.E. playing soccer for the
first time — it was a Europe
thing back then — so I went
for the ball, I was slightly behind
him, and I tripped him accident-
ly, he bounded up and slapped
me, and I was like WHA?

I won’t sit with that guy or
forgive him, maybe some
day, no never — I think I have
a problem with forgiving
and forgetting offenses
(how could you, man?
I thought we were friends!)
— I can make a list
you don’t want my list —
like I have olive pits
in my belly that never go along,
maybe the drain pipe is too narrow, so
they remain, they don’t fester
neither do they decompose
I am not affected yet
when will I let go
lance the wound
squeeze the pus
expel the infection
of a simple slap?


When You Go

Every time you leave
I celebrate, I have a donut
pretend I don’t care
I’m not hurt, worried, alone
we can be apart but not,
we say it’s okay
I put a smiley face sticker on it
the creepy one from Stephen King
if I die, you say, if I die
it’s good for a couple
two lonely halves united
but what do I know?
I’m still sad when you go.



An alien being has come into our galaxy
a being without form or matter
time, place, sex or gender
that inscrutable being has unexpressed superpowers and tragic flaws
for some reason which I’m not sure I want to know
that being chooses to take the shape
of the very woman I loved and married for life.
I loved and married a woman
we had 50 years of bliss
when she died I found out
she was a robot. Now
Is my life worth less?


Kitten in the Motor

Come on, baby, please come out
I have to go to work now
What’s the problem, motor won’t start?
No. A kitten crawled up in there
and won’t or can’t get out.
Good luck with that, man.

Come on, baby, come out
I’ll honk the horn
Maybe she’s stuck
I’d start the engine
but she might get crushed
maybe I’ll have to take a bus

but it’s too late now
I’ve missed my course
talking into an open hood
pleading yelling coaxing
rattling a giblet box
poking around with a stick.

Everything ends right here
no going on
no tomorrow plans
a kitten
in a motor
nothing will move
no seeds sprout
no flowers bloom.


Carrier’s Lament

Tweet tweet
this contraption
jagged sardine can
vomits and stinks
Love seat,
or spend six
sweaty hours a day
walking to work
Dutch treat,
by air, by sea
by e-lec-tric-i-ty
will we ever be free?
Cold feet,
our labor
our spinning wheels
the hum of human progress
Lambs bleat,
eat sleep defecate
reproduce migrate
socialize expire
Dead heat.

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