Category Archives: john sweet

kingdom of nil

kingdom of nil

john sweet

grey on grey in the kingdom of nil,

and kay would understand this

you escape only to return of

your own free will

you dream of suicide

of windowless rooms

within windowless rooms

doors that open onto

endless variations of your

lover’s naked corpse, 

and is there still the possibility

                                      of joy?

quietly, maybe

cautiously

the future always

remains a possibility, 

the past can always be

torn down and built again,

                             or this –

we are only ourselves, but we

can learn to be flawless liars

we can keep saying i love you

until it finally means something,

but you knew this already

you came back again

only to plot your escape

only to prove how easy it

was to leave me behind

i don’t feel anything no more

i don’t feel anything no more

john sweet

the death days,

everywhere and always

the decorations hung, but

most of the lights burnt out, and so

fuck the past and fuck

the present

ignore the future

you will fall in love, yes, but

fear will always be the stronger emotion

the house,

collapsing slowly

the drugs your children take to

help them forget you,

and listen – 

christ’s hands are too small to

hold all of the

pain we cause each other

these cities are destined

to become deserts

man builds a house 

just to set it on fire

buys a gun and then

shoots at the sun

understands that there can never 

be anything more

terrifying than hope

almighty

almighty

 

john sweet

 

two in the afternoon and

cold enough to understand the

meaning of hell

 

corpses of children still

smoldering in frozen ditches

 

dogs sick, dogs starving and

always the need for a

war that will leave only

          peace in its wake

 

always a clock running

backwards in an empty room

 

fields full of anonymous

bones and nothing beyond

them but more of the same

 

jesus was a dog like you

jesus was a dog like you

john sweet 

 

and in the frozen sunlight we

are burning gods and

their bastard prophets for warmth

but it still hurts growing old

 

it’s inevitable that every truth we

find will be lost again

 

that you’ll be crushed by the landslide and

i’ll be crucified by the zealots but

                                      right here

                        in this barren field

                    in this upstate desert

the air is bright blue and as

beautiful as any poison

 

the naked man falls asleep on the

railroad tracks and wakes up sacred and

we are hungry but not defeated

 

we are liars

but never alone

 

just an army of crows 

waiting patiently for the corpse of

                        the future to arrive

a painting, for beth

a painting, for beth

john sweet

 

or here where

shopping carts rust at the river’s edge

or here where empty parking lots

fill in the spaces between

abandoned factories

 

here where plastic bags flutter

like the flags of defeated nations

from the branches of february trees

 

spent all day in this forgotten

room searching for the sun

 

took the pills but still didn’t

feel much like eating

 

didn’t feel much like breathing

 

just kept waiting for the end of a

winter that never came

 

arrhythmia

arrhythmia

john sweet

 

10 below zero in the first
blinding light of a sunday morning and
they are slaughtering prophets
down on main street

air freezes in your lungs
when you try to scream

woman i love sleeps and
dreams of all the
days before we met

i am too goddamned old to keep
laughing off this pain
that has come to define us

 

image by Harry Rajchgot, 2017