July 12, 2020
How to get a copy?
1. Amazon.com or Amazon.it has the book (see E. Martin Pedersen, Bitter Pills) for $15 or 13.81 euros. Shipping is extra unless you're lucky, then it's free. I'd love to get some sales here and even a review or two to boost the work. Gotta keep the editors, Dr. Agrawal and Dr. Kumar, satisfied.
2. CyberWit.net is the publisher, located in Allahabad, India. Go to their site and order from them. No idea what shipping might be. Ask them, they're very nice. And a very respected publisher of poetry from around the world.
3. You can get the book from me, firstname.lastname@example.org, at a slightly reduced rate. Send me your address. Shipping in Italy will not be charged, but I may have to add something for shipments abroad. PayPal is easy, but we can work out payment somehow. I'd be happy to hear from friends and strangers, just to chat too. Plus, I'll sign your copy if you'd like.
What is this book anyway? It is a small book, so you don't get your money's worth page-wise. Poetry-wise I hope so. It is a book of small poems, contemporary Japanese forms, haiku and mostly senryu. That means that you take a pill and then wait for its effect. Don't take too many all at once. Digest them slowly, make them last like candy. The mini-poems in this collection (52) were all published in international journals, so somebody thought they were okay. Let's see what you think.
I wrote these haiku for people to read and enjoy, even with their varying degrees of bitterness. I hope you will. In fact, I'd be thrilled.
Stay healthy, stay strong, stay safe,
DAY 89: In Milan I had to go out in the
street, I encountered human beings
there, I did not want to meet them, we
looked at one another suspiciously
over our masks, cold eyes only
met, connected and then disconnected
quickly as we passed going elsewhere.
Eyes over masks, no facial expression
to give a clue, it could be this way
for the rest of our lives, eyes
over masks, a smile so hidden, maybe
a hint in the little lines, it's hard
to hear 'I love you' whispered under a mask,
hard to see clearly when it brushes
your eyelash, eyes only then
until there's a cure, until
a vaccine liberates our primal urge
for connection, interaction, reciprocation
if it ever does, until the next virus,
maybe this is post-Aquarius, an Age
of Subtlety, of picking up on the
barely expressed, look into my
eyes/soul, can you tell what I think
as I speak in a foreign language,
or else we judge others by how
they dress, I hope not, make
eye contact sustainable.
I hope we learn to dive
into the deep pool in
another's eyes to swim
there for the time of
a glance, to understand
who is who, who is attracted
to you, who is true and who
wants to cheat you, only to eat
to beat you, to use you
I hope we can know each other
passing in the street
by eyes only peeking over a mask