John Sweet

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest poetry collections include A FLAG ON FIRE IS A SONG OF HOPE (2019 Scars Publications) and A DEAD MAN, EITHER WAY (2020 Kung Fu Treachery Press).

magic mirror 1

this then
is the path of dead men
and all you can do is follow where it leads

half a bridge
which is just as useless as
no bridge at all

blame
which we are all believers in

more powerful than religion
                     and more useful
and when a wall grows big enough to
block the way, we will bang 
our heads against it
just like pollock

just like christ

we will ask empty questions
while the nails are driven home
and then the news of this man in california who
runs away after stabbing an eight year-old girl
                                                             to death
and then the politicians who will use
any atrocity to score points

their syphilitic minds, their empty hearts and
deaf ears, mouths stuffed full of shit, and what
we need to understand is that anger 
is better than boredom but
boredom beats despair

starving children always lose
to wealthy lobbyists

there is beauty in this world if
only you would
gouge out your eyes and see

the poet lost in a room he’s known his entire life

this space between poems
like some small unimportant death

this fear of everything
which is the
only thing i have to offer

three years now spent
trying not to repeat my father's mistakes
and the only thing i've managed to do
is prove that i'm his son

my hands
know how to take

they know how to lash out
in anger

anything can be made tolerable
by calling it a gift

sonnet for the hated and the loved

soldier on the news w/
his face burned off

with his scars as terrible as some
half-remembered nightmare
of kandinsky’s

as beautiful as a song sung by children
with razorblades in their eyes and
when we lie on the couch in the
last light of day and talk about the war
we spit out the president’s name
like the mouthful of shit
that it is

we consider the idea that
oil is worth more than human life

that power feeds only on itself

we agree on who we’ll kill
when our 
turn comes around

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