"coyotopec," "[i'm striken with fever but my heart is strong as steel]," and "fucker"


walks 10,000 miles on the
skinny legs of christ and then crawls
ends up outside his own front door on
the day his youngest son runs away and of
course the world is filled with people
you will never see again
of course a beautiful young woman addicted is
a money-making machine and then
once she’s put the gun to her head and
pulled the trigger she’s
easily replaced
once god becomes a weapon
there is no such thing as a war that
can be won
you fight just because it
feels so good to kill
we use bulldozers to plow the
victims into lime-filled pits
history forgotten has always been the
best path to a brighter future



[i’m stricken with fever but my heart is strong as steel]

talking in shards of broken glass but
                   not communicating not
             dreaming of the future just
                          repeating the past
just cutting open the same old wounds
mouthfuls of blood
that taste like rust
veins filled with rust that
tastes like despair
a season of false kings in
the year of the plague,
and always the assassinations of sycophants
always the suicides of
disgraced holy men
and all of us born dying but
some  us in a bigger hurry to get there
some of us hungry for wealth and for power,
and it’s best just to let those ones starve
best to put them out of our misery
because every corpse is a gift when
every crow is a god
best to lick the blood from the
soles of your lover’s feet or
the honey from her pussy
the milk from his cock
just enough degradation to
always leave you hungry for more




and pewter skies all afternoon and
never enough air and listen
we were driving to horseheads
when you told me the
drugs weren’t working anymore
all of us were sick and
some of us were dying and
i could never find kashmir on the radio
could never remember my dreams
but always woke up sweating and afraid
always wake up staring at some
cracked and water-stained corner of the ceiling
wondering how much longer it will be
before the house falls down
before my lover
no longer needs me
july and then
august and the suddenly
november without warning
my father’s ghost with
the head of a jackal
his anger eclipsed only by his self-pity
and i can never remember the
last thing he said to me
have never understood how a
house becomes a home
how the heart blossoms like
a flower
then survives
grows into something
even more beautiful



John Sweet

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate New York. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in poetry as a reason for getting up in the morning.  He has been publishing in the small press for 30 years.  His most recent collection is There's Only One Way This Is Going to End (Cyberwit, 2023).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 21:48