The Occupation

The Occupation

Poetry

John Sweet

 

 

 

have to leave have to get back

home to the husband

          to the wife

          to the children

but it’s tough to stop drowning

 

it’s tough to put the needle down

 

pump that shit into your blood

let that body violate your own

just one last time and

then say it again

 

let the sky be the

color of luminous dust

 

let every house

be deserted and silent

 

these are the streets and

this is the town

 

this is the river your brother

jumped into twenty years ago

 

at what point did

your life lose all direction?

 

in how many words will it take

you to explain why you

hate yourself?

 

remember

 

bonus points for keeping it short

because nobody likes a crybaby,

                              but then this—

 

everybody loves

someone else’s pain

 

sunlight and birdsong and a

man on fire in his own front yard

 

his children

watching him burn and then

watching him die

 

swimming pools at the

edges of bright green lawns

 

doors to lock tight or to

break down

 

we have spent a long goddamn

time driving

just to end up nowhere

 

 

 

John sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. His latest collections include the limited edition chapbooks HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A BASTARD CHILD IN THE KINGDOM OF NIL (2018 Analog Submission Press). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.

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