Tuesday, September 20, 2016

John Sweet Is Lying On The Ocean Floor Figuring Where To Drive Home The Knife As A Stranger In A Stranger's Wilderness


says this says we
are in god’s field and holds
out her hands to feel the
falling snow but i’m
not so sure

i have seen the tire ruts
fill with blood

i have heard the crippled preach
have heard them claim there
is no bravery in slaying ghosts

have listened to the mothers of
weeping daughters as they
explained my failures

found myself
agreeing with them

found myself in this field
middle of december
storm approaching
and she says the trick is to
never go straight for the eyes

she says the trick is
to come up from behind

kisses the spot where the
knife would be driven home

man crawling on the ocean floor

sick of myself at 4 in the afternoon

ice on the shadowed sides
of sleeping factories


no news from god since
before i was born
and then the death of his only son
played out for cheap entertainment

this is the world you inherit
and then it becomes
the one you pass down

these are the dreams you dream
after your lover leaves

daughter was only three years old
was filled with cancer
and the sunlight was a lie

the moment approached and
then it passed and
the fear is what remains

nothing is revealed

nothing is given away


in the moment of truth
there is only silence

in silence
there is only the sound of rain

all distance matters until you
cross it and finally know
yourself to be lost

lullaby, for beth

or here in the wilderness where
the houses turn themselves inside out to
reveal animals fucking children on
                     garbage-strewn floors

where the sky has no color

where the roofs collapse and the
basements fill with water

a stranger’s house and so you
sleep in a stranger’s bed
and dream of escape

spend your money on poison

drive away finally on the coldest day of
                               the year and
when your car breaks down like
you knew it would you
continue into the west on foot naked and
                   blindfolded until you feel the
                    sun begin to warm your skin

if it makes you feel better

sing if it
keeps the past from rising up
to devour the future

call me when you finally grow
tired of christ’s neverending pain

John Sweet sends greeting from the rural wastelands of upstate New York.  He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the need to continuously search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest collections are A NATION OF ASSHOLES W/ GUNS (2015 Scars Publications) and  APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press).

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