Saturday, May 14, 2016

John Sweet- Three Poems

black chalk
or when the sunlight
tastes like gasoline or where the
clouds gather into fists
above the hills
this woman i know who
says she loves me but
that she won’t leave her husband
won’t walk to the edge of the field
where the child has been bound
                              and shot and
if there’s a truth i would have you know
it’s that the war cannot be stopped
these men who have written their
names in blood on the courthouse wall
are the biggest kinds of assholes
are as useless as poets and
if i were in california
i would be kneeling at the feet of
                                   saint maria
i would have
no more use for words
would forget the feel of salt rubbed
into cracked and peeling skin
the sound of metal grinding against
metal on ten-below afternoons
and i would learn to forget
my children’s names
i will learn to build
the holiest of towers from their
tiny bones
we are nothing without
this vast empty space between
joy and pain


the failed messiah
yr lover’s song pouring
from a blood-smeared mouth
a landscape of children’s bodies
washing ashore,
their mothers raped,
their fathers tortured,
and this will always be the past and
you promise me you will make
it our future
you tell me our strength
lies in creating fear
tell me all you
ask is blind obedience
all you require is
total devotion
and you will dream of being
king in this new dark age
of ignorance and greed and i
will wait with quiet joy
for yr death
white-out afternoon in
the first days of spring
all distances the same
all answers multiplied by zero
wake up hungover to find
the baby’s dead or your lover missing
windows shot out and all that
frozen silence pouring in
’92 i think or ’93 and
i was in love with your sister
but sleeping with her best friend
was waiting for someone’s husband to
kick in the door and my hands
were on fire with infinite vision
words scarred the furniture,
stained the walls, the
spaces between us, and i knew i was
the resurrection
knew i was down to my last
handful of pills and it was then and
then it became now
the dogs are sick and they’re
starving but the baby’s name has
been forgotten
the divorces have been finalized
and the river frozen over
we lost the war we couldn’t lose and
then we crucified the doubters
grew up think summer would
never end until the morning we
woke up old and we have
no fear but this fear for ourselves
overdosed nurse in the back seat
of your brother’s car and
you learn to wear hope like a noose
i pull the shades,
i get undressed, i lie down
beneath the dining room table
we are forever fucked without our
empty, fleeting pasts to
nail us to this here and now

No comments:

Post a Comment