Western Voices: John Sweet

Bio:
john sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. His latest collections include the limited edition chapbooks HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A BASTARD CHILD IN THE KINGDOM OF NIL (2018 Analog Submission Press). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.



Like a river on fire


And do you believe in sunlight?

Do you dream of
pale blue skies in September?

Listen -

It’s one thing to embrace God,
another to be devoured by him.

The houses on this street are empty,
garbage piled by back steps,
broken doors swinging on rusted hinges,

and anyone you claim to love is
never anything more than a
clenched fist in a season of  drought.

Anything you claim to own
can be taken away.

We’re not priests here,
we’re humans.

We’re not saints,
but the last kings of idiots,
and we have forgotten how to build.

We have taught ourselves to pray
instead of think.

All we’ve ever wanted
is someone else to blame.



two poems


can’t waste yr life weeping
over the corpses of
junkie suicides

can’t help but laugh at all the
self-pitying garbage puked up by
alcoholic poets

at all of the bloated politicians sucking
corporate cock or all of the
political prisoners and
so here we are

no power w/out money and no
power w/out guns and
even w/ both you still live in fear of
some ill-defined enemy

even w/ both you
still want more

just keep growing fatter on
the dreams of ghosts,
on the corpses of victims

just keep laughing at this
antiquated idea of justice

never really takes that much to
make yourself
a king among whores



letter from the kingdom of shame


act like you know

act like
there are answers

like all of this dirty rain
might wash away
these rivers of blood

and what if your
sons are all corpses?

what if you’re held at
gunpoint and forced
to watch the soldiers
rape your daughters?

what kind of god
would make you beg
                for mercy?

good luck
with that one


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