Sunday May 26

Sweet Poetry john sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. An optimistic pessimist. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible. His latest collections include Approximate Wilderness (2016 Flutter Press) and Bastard Faith (2017 Scars Publications). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.

further north, among strangers

this is the new greed and
it tastes familiar

this is the trailer on fire and
everyone left inside

the sound of music from a distance,
sound of wind down canyons,
down the deserts of city streets,
sound of confessions

of men who want to be guilty,
of cowards who want to be loved,
and this is me in a building of
glass, brick and steel

this is me with my teeth
filed down to points


hatred is easy

grow up afraid

let your fear turn to anger

set the flame to the curtains
then walk out the door

three imposters, picking over the bones of christ

not a crown of thorns, but a
field of them stretching off to an
absence of hills

my father as an old man,
which is somewhere between a
vision and a lie

dead at 49 like a million other
minor gods and the fruit was
bitter and the rain all turned to ice

the sunlight was weightless

was blinding
but it offered no heat,
and the clouds were like threats

their shadows were like cancer

slow and unstoppable and
what wasn’t devoured
was forgotten

when we reached the city,
it was filled
with the sick and the dying

all any of us
could do was laugh

approaching zero

and then give me jesus
christ and then give me amnesia
and please keep all of my
fears a secret

don’t answer the phone

don’t wipe away the dust

sit still long enough and
everything you know will fall
down around you

this was my father’s plan
but then he died too soon

it was always winter

the pipes were always frozen

don’t believe in the age of
sunlight when you live at the
                         forest’s edge

don’t waste your life waiting for
time to move backwards

this morning in the bathroom
mirror, i am suddenly old