John Sweet

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after the ice age

the fear of place
and of distance

the fear of loss

cup your hands and
open your eyes
and nothing changes

if silence is the message,
there can only be
one meaning

listen to it like you
would a child

believe in
burning buildings

in crashing planes

walk west until your
feet turn to blood

in memory

consider these fools who play w/
words, who call themselves outlaws,
while young girls are locked in
windowless rooms and left to die

while their mothers are raped in
fields filled with the stench of shit

while their fathers are given shovels
with which to dig their own graves

consider how easily a grown man
might snap a newborn child in two

how often it actually happens

write a poem about love and
then bury it at the water’s edge

write a poem about the futility of poetry

know it to be the only honest
work you’ve ever done

got fuel to burn, got roads to drive

but hatred is easy

look at yr childhood

at all of yr old lovers

forty years of growing
fat on poison until none of
your clothes fit anymore

forty years of dying


you will spend your days
in the space between
myth and savior

you will remember that
christ wanted only to
be left alone

wishing pain upon others
is an act of cowardice,
but is unavoidable

look at your hands

at the objects they’ve held

the world is full of
weapons just waiting
to be discovered

John Sweet won the Lummox Poetry Prize last year, had his book The Century of Dreaming Monsters published as a result, available at fine greengrocers everywhere.  also just had an e-chap, A Nation of Assholes W/ Guns (title was just too darn good not to use), published online over at Scars Publications .  the fight continues.