Saturday, July 5, 2008

Four by John Sweet

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 dead and the dying

all any of us
could do was laugh


what has cost you to learn

back yard lush w/ weeds and
the sky thick w/ powerlines

blue & bottomless and
heat w/out the hope of grace

grace w/out the
need for forgiveness

woke up there in
someone else’s arms

was 20 years after chernobyl

15 after my father’s death

tasted like shit in my mouth
when i discussed the gov’t
and then it tasted like poison

felt like paralysis

had taught my children that
guns were never a solution
but i was becoming less sure

how many years of any given
life can be wasted killing
the politicians who don’t care
about you one way or
the other?

where do you cross the line
between coward and martyr?

at some point
all anger becomes religion


the sea of static

and it’s not much
in the end
just a nation of assholes
w/ guns
hoping to kill someone

just gaping mouths
filled w/ shit
and begging for more


poem for a million nameless poets

one hundred years from now with
yourself dead and
all of your precious words

would you
do it all again?

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