psalm for the stray dogs in a town i no longer visit

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

not love
but fucking in a
domesticated room
where the pictures have
all been turned to
the walls

you call it religion
maybe
or maybe you've learned
to say nothing at all

maybe the
illusion of escape is
all that's needed

i have bought this lie
myself

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a town too close to my own

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

my wife
dreams of blood and
what can i do?

one a.m.
and then two
and we sit together in
the baby's room

listen to his
tiny breathing while
insomniac poets
pray to
an indifferent god

while the newly dead
wash ashore in
california

and what is the
end result of history
but this?

five children in a
town too close to my own
who find a stray dog
in a park and decide to
torture it

decide to hang it from a
basketball hoop with
a dirty length of rope and
beat it with sticks

and at some point we
drift back to sleep
with the hope of
waking up clean

and at some point

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Renate Moody: Prose and Poetry

Editor back-issues, fiction, poetry

[b]Don't ask me to play Uno[/b]

I saw my dog's eyeball on the ground this morning. Okay, I didn't but my brother did and he was so upset that he cried. He's 10 and a big boy and isn't supposed to cry so I knew I had to stay in the car. Mom hit Diamond with the car but I think he was okay. Diamond is our dog, and boy is he smart. We taught him to play Uno this morning. He sat outside the window of our house and we set his cards up in front of him and he points a paw at the card he wants to use. He gets it right usually, but he is a beginner you know and so I win most of the times when we play.

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in the rape camps

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

imagine the men
forgotten and dead in
fresh pits

imagine their
wives and daughters
at gunpoint
in the rape camps
no one will ever admit

or no

don't imagine it

it's already happening
in a country that has
nothing to do with
your own life

it's over and done with
in the time it takes
a boot to crush a
newborn's skull

this one small sound
alone
should be enough to
bring us all to
our knees

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proving dali’s existence with words and the spaces between them

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

not quite silence in the
gentle hum of early afternoon
but maybe something softer than
the screams of crows

something more human than the
room of hanged men

and how many years now since
my last escape?

how many hours wasted staring into
dirty mirrors or
through warped panes of glass?

what i see is that at
some point in the future i will be
asking my son for forgiveness

at some point
i will speak of my own father
for the last time

will spit out his ashes while
faceless men in the towns i've escaped from
beat their wives and girlfriends with
the brutal fists of love

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