John Sweet

The Slain

can’t escape w/ yr bare feet
nailed to the frozen ground

can’t worry about the children

some are made sacred and
others are eaten

empty eye sockets
filled w/ precious gems

w/ rust and splintered bone

at some point
fall becomes winter

grey sky becomes grey sky

dream of water that isn’t frozen

dream of dirty needles

man at the door says his
wife doesn’t love
him anymore

woman in yr bed says nothing

will you be the
noose around her neck?

will you be the one to
console her daughter?

hands shake at the thought
of early afternoon

need a cigarette or a drink or
some lesser form of faith

bare trees seen
through dirty windows

dead vines on a december trellis
and so you starve for what
you believe in

you are forced to starve
for believing the wrong things

fuck art and fuck politics

use both yr bleeding hands
to dig towards the light


John Sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. An optimistic pessimist. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible. His latest collections include A Nation of Assholes w/ Guns (2015 Scars Publications) and Approximate Wilderness (2016 Flutter Press). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.