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by John Sweet




said sorrow is easy and

then i showed you how


said lennon is dead said

d boon is dead said

cobain is dead and it was only

your face that changed and it was

only your name


it was winter


it had always been winter


a tired furnace in a

drafty house


the color blue but smudged,


faded at the edges and you

took off your clothes,

said you were tired,

lay down naked on the ice


said you were bored and then

asked when i was

going to take you back home



a line, (a short blue one)


after the age of enlightenment


not alone and not

dead, which is something


ask creeley


ask diane


play your copy of disintegration

until the walls no longer matter,

until the bright january

sky is all you can see


be yourself

despite the fact that

it’s not enough


stand in the field where

beauty comes to die


feels so goddamned good just

breathing that you can’t imagine

what it will be like to

finally stop



a line, (a short blue one)


all hope edged w/ frost


and not warm yet and still the

scars and still the ghosts


shadows of empty buildings laid out

across the snow and frozen mud and the

song of light is only in your mind


the women weep at the river’s edge


the baby is passed from one to the next


not war and never peace and

these is nothing worth dying for in this world

but it’s always been so easy finding

reasons to kill


eagle flies up to the sun


man pulls the trigger and

brings it back down


boy sleeps in his bed of flames

while his mother drives away


nothing to do but map out all of

this hatred and pain and

hope that your own children can

find their way home



a line, (a short blue one)


a gift, belated


rain down ghostwhite walls, all

static all fear just waiting for the roof to fall,

said take my hand, said slower

but the children were gone


      the lies all made sense


spoke each one like a bitter mantra

until my mouth filled with blood


watched christ in his agony and

then cobain, and i remember my father

telling me that it wasn’t WHO you

hated that mattered but WHY


i remember his house on

the morning he died


the shadow of falling snow across

dirty windows, and she said

none of this matters if i love you


she held her mirror up to

the sun and laughed


felt strange when the

moment of joy refused to fade



a line, (a short blue one)


this sentimental bloodletting


down decker ave past the

face of christ past the liquor store

and the boarded-up laundromat to mary’s

old apartment where we thought we

were in love,

where we knew it and then lost it in the

grey crush of endless frozen



lost it down potholed streets and

beneath rusting bridges, spent 3 years

waiting for a summer that never came and

we had mercy and we had no god


we had no sunlight

           no shadows

and then we lost the language and

       then the music


lost each other but didn’t notice

or didn’t care


hurts more to admit it now

than it did back then



a line, (a blue one)


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