Friday, November 26, 2010

John Sweet, "More Words in Short Choppy Lines" + Photography


broken hand w/ mirror

in this world where
almost everything is beyond
your control and your
choices are limited to false
god, slave, impotent king

vote or don’t vote
shoot or don’t shoot and
                      either way
the starving continue to starve

grow old


eat handfuls of dust

send postcards back to
your loved ones, to
your enemies

let them see you
for the empty threat you
                   always were


 the refusal

shoot the doctor in the
back as he walks away then
tell him he’s a coward while he
dies at your feet

it’s an addiction,
like humor

it’s a punchline

you capture the soldier, a
boy of fifteen or sixteen, and
then you torture that fucker
until he’s on the floor in a
pool of his own shit and blood

this is how wars are won

make your children
understand this

tell them how much you hated
your own father,
how much he hated you

show them the scars

explain how they can only
grow up to
repeat your mistakes


 blue skied surrender

you near an ocean
          not my own
and what we have between us
                                 is silence

choices are made
absences explained

you tell me not to tell you there was
never any hope
but what does it matter?

i have these pictures
and my faith in sunlight

the train tracks here
echo the curve of the river

men with the heads of carrion birds,
with fangs and claws,
live in the trailers up in the hills

money is power and
               power is god

death is death, but there are
better and worse ways
to approach it

i choose running away

choose willful blindness

have only ever been brave
when there was nothing
valuable at stake


pythagorus, dismantled

and grey skies and
almost rain

no need to worry

no pain no
fear when the pills
take hold

woke up alone on
the living room floor

feel asleep with no
need for god

thought i had enough
but the children
         were gone

thought i had enough
food, but my hands
just kept bleeding

the bottle was empty

fought through the
past to reach this
moment and then found
out there was no
way back

a man hung of his
own free will
can never be a nation

darkness offers
no safety

boil up whatever
splintered bones
you can find and let
this last meal we
share be a feast


postcard to california

and you and i like
forgotten kings cutting wires,
like ghosts in empty fields

you and i staring
blindly into the sun

drowning, but slowly,
five years and then ten,
blood turned to amber,
empires to dust and
then you and i like
open flames

you and i like ashes

all of the years we will
spend growing cold



grow up fearing
men w/ answers

grow up fearing
growing old

reach the age at
which you are
no longer any use to

sit beneath the
dull yellow heat of
august skies and
consider suicide

consider sleep

the fear of dreams

of waking up
one day closer to

of not
waking up at all


 the obvious

you, still w/ the
taste of poison coating
your mouth

still w/ the need to write
these meaningless goddamn poems
about metaphorical deserts

so what if you’re lost or
if you’re never found?

so what if the middle is
worse than the end?

we’ll all be dead and
forgotten soon enough


 into view

not blindness
but the sky gone dark

porch lights

bitter wind

in any story, you
are only the sound of
dead leaves down
sleeping streets

in any dream, i am
only the moment
of despair

you wake up
sweating and see with
absolute clarity how
all of our kingdoms
will fall



just kill yrself a little,
maybe, just to see how it
feels, just to be able to still
step back out of that room
into pale april sunlight

just to have something to
talk about when your
lover starts to turn away



untitled, grey on grey

and you can feed your children
the poison or you can wait
for someone else to do it for you
and, beyond this, you
have no choices

beyond this,
your life is good