poem as deconstruction

caught somewhere between
the act of writing
and the act of not writing

the simple violence of
sitting in a silent room with
nothing but my life

lies mixed with truths
and all of the scars and harsh angles
that define my face

a letter from a man who says
that my work shows promise

who doesn't understand
what a fucking waste of time
poetry is

all of these
frightened bleeding words
and still the days
fall apart

north, past dryden, past cortland

or the way the sky
refuses to give up its light
in july

the way the disappeared
are forgotten

their faces first
and then their names
and then the fact that they were
ever loved at all

small crosses planted on
the side of the highway and
the way they rot

the way nothing grows
around them but weeds

and not everyone tires of
blaming god for their pain

not every deserving tongue
is cut out

look at you

look at me

all of the addicts that
fill the miles between us

all of the children learning
how to inflict pain or
receive it

at what point
do we tell them that
these are their
only choices?

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 (, the full length collection Human
Cathedrals ( and the electronic chapbook Silence in the House of
Truths (

2004 Underground Voices