Monday, May 28, 2018


no alchemy here in the
forest of the mind where the
murdered children will only ever
be what they are

no roads in or out and the
buildings have all
been reduced to rubble

kirchner watches the soldiers
burn his paintings

rothko considers his reflection
in the bathroom mirror

isn’t sure the pills will be enough
and so he grabs a razor blade
and there is nothing you can tell
your children but pale versions
                         of darker truths

there are no poems worth
writing, only those worth stealing

only gods waiting to be defiled

a blessing

devil is a pagan beast and
the days pass slowly in
the back of his luminous mind

grey sun in a chrome sky and
the crushing weight of all of your
sad little self-inflected wounds

all the ages of man just
leading up to extinction

give the gun to your
lover’s son and tell him who to hate

try to find words for the
things that really matter

and are you a believer?

are you a holy beacon?

let the ones on fire burn

let the suicides believe in
a better world

no gracious gods here, no
laughter of children in
wildflower meadows

crow dreams of the ocean but
lives his life lost in the desert

has his pills and his cloven tongue and
the vague news of a priest
held prisoner there

has a mouthful of broken glass but
still screams his belief into an
indifferent sky

whispers motherfucker

says nothing
but pulls the trigger

has visions of bloody handprints
across his lover’s naked body and
understands that his heart is a cage

that his mind is
a windowless room

stands alone in the darkest
corner and finds the devil there

after charlotte st.

make yr life

all poems are
poems about death

all sunlight
is literal

keep changing the
names, of course,
because too much truth
is the same as too
much heroin

keep telling beth
you’ve always loved her
but say it from a
distance of

jesus it’s
got to get boring
being such a

the oblique

sunlight in the
spaces between houses

map of loss

geography of both
memory and sorrow and
then what?

find the man with the
crosses carved into his palms

find the one with the head of
a crow,
with the mind of a jackal

the junkie hymns are
what matter here,
and the prayers
of murdered dreamers

gold and myrrh and that
all gifts are weapons

that all lovers
believe in resurrection

the heart betrays the body
but then the
body betrays the soul

ecstasy precedes despair

the desert spreads without
mercy in every direction


a lack of pain, maybe,
or at least a diminishing of it

warmth, but not peace

tension, yes, fear, yes, on and
on both of them until they feel like
all you’ve ever known, and when
you tell the kid to cut himself,
he does

when you tell the woman to
get undressed, to get on
her knees, she does

sorrow is its own
form of blindness

hatred is the driving
wheel of western thought

if you close your eyes, you
can already hear the next
war approaching

dog on fire

baby is found dead in
the back seat

is red and blistered
and the air between his
tiny hands
too hot to breathe

the world of
human error too
large to comprehend

John Sweet

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...