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John Sweet

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest poetry collections include A FLAG ON FIRE IS A SONG OF HOPE (2019 Scars Publications) and A DEAD MAN, EITHER WAY (2020 Kung Fu Treachery Press).

after the kingdom of nil

wakes up feeling normal,
which is something new

the pills, working,
but only a handful left

winter and then winter
           and then winter

the age of open wounds
here in the upstate desert

st amelia with her
hands in the fire and
this is how the images arrive

this is not a poem
but a life

a half-assed attempt

his head clear, but still
this ringing in his ears

a side effect

a simple act of waiting
for the pain to return

blue skies and jagged clouds
and how many years now
since any of us knew
absolute silence?

fuck it

the truth saves no one

the doctor smiles,
then turns away

this is the story he’ll
tell his wife, maybe his
girlfriend, but
he’ll forget how it ends

he forgets who dies

he mangles the punchline

wakes up alone and
cen never quite remember
where he is

wakes up cold and thinks
that maybe the
pills are finally working

thinks maybe the past
can be relived

it will end up taking a
to prove him wrong
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