Literary Yard

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‘bones, buried’ and other poems by John Sweet

By: John Sweet

bones, buried

fuck yr junkie deaths yr
crippled religions

no god here but
the god of crows

no windows in the room of
murdered children
because what would you see?

what song of false hope
would you expect to sing?

open yr mouth to offer a
prayer, but all that
ever comes out is
someone else’s blood


a gift for the diamond eaters

in the desert and
still worried about drowning

in a room with crow
waiting for the news that some of my
fears might actually matter

waiting for a message from the
queen of open wounds but
it never comes

thirty years wasted in california and
then another thirty in upstate new york but
nothing you could call a life

blue skies and drunken phone calls

every letter ending
all crow can do is laugh at the
stupidity of it

drive up and down state line road
looking for the trailer park she
used to live in but
it’s a different world these days

it’s the ghost of morrison and the
ghost of cobain and the
memory of dancing to slow songs in
the half-light of the high school gym

the possibility of escape but
never the reality

endless days of sunlight
and never enough oxygen

never the sound of
anyone else’s laughter



was promised sunlight but all we do is
drown beneath the dust-colored sky

not-quite shadows across faded pavement
and then the empty laughter of idiot gods and
at what age do you finally
outgrow the truth?

in whose name will i commit murder?

thought i was through asking
questions too hopeless for answers
but here we are

the heart breaks too quietly to hear

the clocks in certain dim white rooms
move backwards or not at all

the rooms themselves are always cold,
are always on the wrong side of the house and
there are always an infinite number of
saviors hung from an infinite number
of lamp posts

this is how the war always ends
no matter how many
times you tell me you love me

this is why i paint only meaningless
shapes on stolen canvases

why else were we born but to
cause each other pain?


waiting for mercy

nailed too long to the same empty truths,
the same peeling walls in the
same nowhere town,
and he is thirty and then
and then fifty

he is stepping into traffic with
the ghost of a smile

he is pulling the trigger and wondering
which of his lovers or
which of his children
will find him

the possibilities have all begun
running backwards down to zero


a vast conspiracy

or you with your ideas about
love, or me
with my fear of open spaces

three weeks of rain and snow and
the subtle way i keep moving closer to
an admission of defeat


the brakes are shot and
the washing machine leaks

the concept of forward motion is
something to consider, but
inertia has its own attractions too

woman wakes up on easter sunday,
sets her child on fire,
and what are your options?

what are we really talking about
when we discuss our dreams?

or maybe one of us just wants
the other to crawl over broken glass
to make some obscure point

maybe the drugs we’ve
always sworn by
no longer make us happy

maybe they never did

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