UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
JOHN SWEET

the sun is god's face bleeding down

six a.m. in the age of rain
and the streets of someone else's city
flooded and filled with corpses and
this is what it takes to make us
forget the war

this is a woman shot dead by her brother

someone's mother raped in a room
filled with broken glass and
what i'm waiting for is to either be
forgiven or forgotten

i have spent too many years
dragging the people i love through the
filth of priests and politicians

i have turned away from my children

have slammed doors in
their beautiful faces
but wait

christ was never meant to be a weapon

the truth is only a
less direct form of lying

without a an obvious enemy we have
only each other to hate


cage

some minor ghost in
another room

some forgotten act of violence

a fifteen year old boy
in the woods

his girlfriend
who he's just beaten to death with
a length of rusty pipe

and what the earth looks like
from where i sit
is flat

what my wife cries herself to sleep about
at night is my blindness
and listen

jesus christ was the
original navajo

the idea of slavery
can never be separated from the
idea of america

or what about my son?

four years old and beautiful and
already well-versed in the
concept of hatred

or what about phil ochs?

found at the end of a rope in
his sister's house
and the fact that there was nowhere
for any of us to go from there

the fact that the government
believes in nothing
beyond itself

ask ronald reagan
if he lost any sleep over those
first few thousand aids victims

ask all of the dead orphans in
all of the ruined churches
if it felt good to burn

say what you want until some
fucker with a gun decides
it's time for you to die


manifest destiny: a literal translation

or this man
who kills a priest

the priest who
rapes young boys

and we were
never promised beauty
and were only offered hope
by liars

we built our houses on
the bones
of the slaughtered

called it democracy

waited for the
first walmart to open


john sweet, 35 and counting, angry, bitter, etc etc,
hiding in a pissant town in upstate new york, a believer
in very little. a follower of the writings of j. pollock
and of the words of h. frayne. too much education, and
still a shit job.

recent publications include the chapbook Enemy
(www.pinkanarchkittypress.com),
the full length collection Human Cathedrals
(www.ravennapress.com)
and the electronic chapbook Silence in the House of Truths
(www.tmpoetry.com).







2007 Underground Voices