Sunday, July 24, 2016

THRONE OF GOD


BOOKSTORE, AFTER HOURS


GOD/NO GOD



One of the frequent topics of discussion between Leonard & me was religion/spirituality.


I contended that spirituality existed outside the realm of god & religion, and was a much more personal thing.  I expressed the idea that a belief in god actually stunted a person's spirituality by trying to define it in institutional terms.  Leonard felt that spirituality was essentially tied into faith in a higher power.


Heavy shit.


I don't remember ever seeing this poem published in a journal or one of his collections, but it was totally cool having him write a piece for me, even tho I think he metaphysically slaps me around in it.









Saturday, July 23, 2016

SLOW DRIFT INTO EXILE



SEVERAL AWESOME SHADES OF BLUE.
GET IT HERE:


http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-sweet/slow-drift-into-exile/paperback/product-22135358.html

ADDITIONAL POEMS BY CIRINO


He had a blogspot page, very infrequently updated, but located here:

http://pygmyforestpress.blogspot.com/

CIRINO BROADSIDES


Maybe I was wrong, maybe Leonard was sending broadsides out
even while he was sending additional work by email. 
Good for him.
Like I said, dude was prolific.....








CIRCLING OVERHEAD


This, I think, is my one true lost chapbook.
I thought I had a copy floating around somewhere,
but I'll be damned if I can find it.

Can't even do a Google Image search
for the cover art.

1995 from Janet Kuypers at Scars Publications,
20 years before she published
A NATION OF ASSHOLES W/ GUNS,
which everyone should buy, of course.

CIRCLING got me my first serious review
(at least that I'm aware of),
and I use the word "serious" quite loosely.

I forget what 'zine the review appeared in
(another victim of the basement flood),
but the review opened up by snidely referring to me
as a "hipster" and a purveyor of
"gritty urban realism",
which I thought was sort of odd since the
combined population of the 4 towns I'd lived in up to
that point was probably less than 40,000, and each town
had at least one dairy farm,
and usually an assortment of sheep, goats,
chickens and horses.

Oh well.

The review ended with the author suggesting that
my outlook on life might improve if I got laid.

And thus was I introduced to the world
of serious literary criticism.

I was verbally attacked by Jim Morrison's
Wiccan ex-girlfriend a few years later,
and that was pretty awesome too.



















BAD ACID, GOOD SHIT


There is much new awesome-osity to be found at
the new BAD ACID LABORATORIES.
Seriously cool, both visually
and wordishly.
I think I might have some work in the
next issue.
Get the current freaktasticness here:

https://badacidlaboratories.wordpress.com/issue-3-table-of-contents/

w/ the sun in our hearts






never learned how to bleed
                             very well
and so the windows were smeared and the walls
covered with dull brown hand prints

and i kept trying to apologize but
everything out of my mouth was either a
scream of pain or a self-pitying whine

and this woman i know in the other room with
her saffron-colored thoughts and her
boyfriend with his skull caved in
and his head full of rust

the two of them drilling tiny holes through
tiny bones to let the light shine more brightly

the wolves all waiting at the
forest’s edge for the weakest children

monday and then tuesday and these
strangers at my door with their insincere smiles,
their pressed white shirts, black ties, and
what they want to sell me is a piece
of their god

all they want in return is my soul

fucking vampires
everywhere

assholes with their t-shirt philosophies with
their bumper sticker theologies
just waiting to rape your mind and then
rain gets in the basement and the
missing girls are found

ten years lost behind locked doors and now
one of them a mother and this is
where the idea of evolution begins to fall apart

we are all too busy wading through shit
to worry about ever living on the moon

we are starving and we are blind and
we are hoping everyone else is too

we are willing to kill our heroes
just to bring them down to our level

such simple basic joys of
ignorant hatred and mindless fear

Friday, July 22, 2016

ONE SHOT, MAYBE MORE


I've got some copies laying around somewhere,
I think.
A collaboration w/ D Michael McNamara from 1999,
plain white cover, nothing spectacular.
It was your typical 1990s collaboration,
20 or 25 poems from each of us, alternating.

He approached me about it, then put the
whole thing together.

After he published it, he told me I should join the
writing collective he belonged to.
I figured, why the hell not?
They published a yearly journal of their own work
he said, and some other odds and ends.
I sent him a batch of poems to show to the others and then,
about 3 weeks later,
I got a letter from D telling me that I'd been
unanimously black balled,
and couldn't join the collective.

That is some funny shit.......

Helped turn me into the miserable loner
I am today.





broken hand w/ mirror





in this world where
almost everything is beyond
your control and your
choices are limited to false
god, slave, impotent king

vote or don’t vote
shoot or don’t shoot and
                      either way
the starving continue to starve

grow old
then
die

eat handfuls of dust

send postcards back to
your loved ones, to
your enemies

let them see you
                finally
for the empty threat you
                   always were


METHOD OF SILENCE


This one's another mystery,
1998 from Madman Express
(owned by D. Naibert, out of Manitowoc, WI),
I have no idea how it came about,
or how we initially got in touch
with each other.
I think it was originally an 8" X 11" book,
second printing was the more traditional
5 1/2 X 8.
These guys even had an email address,
which was impressive to me because
I'm not even sure I had a TV at this point....







Thursday, July 21, 2016

WRECKAGE


I think this one was my first contest winner.
SCROOGE'S LEDGER, an imprint run by Paul Dilsaver
out of Pueblo, CO.
A good poet as well as a publisher.
He (justifiably) takes great pride in publishing the
first chapbook by Pulitzer Prize winner
Yusef Komunyakaa.
back in the mid 70's.
Bizarrely enough, I have not yet been nominated for one.






CIRINO


Leonard was a little late getting into computers and emails.  I don't blame him.
He liked snail-mailing out packages of unpublished poems as gifts.  Like I've said,
I have bunches of the stuff, all collected into various school report binders.
He also loved sending out unbound collections of poems printed
on nice cardstock, like little theoretical chapbooks.
Some of these poems ended up being published in "official" collections,
but nowhere near all of them.
Once he started using computers, he started sending out attachments
filled with poems.  They were still always awesome to receive,
but some of the magic was gone.
A couple years ago, I formatted all the email poems he'd ever sent me
and printed them up in book form, so now they're much easier to
go through whenever I want to check out that period
of Leonard's career.  I was very happy with
how the cover came out, I hope he
would have liked it.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LIKE SCULPTURE IN THE UNDERTOW


I have no recollection as to how this one came about.
Good SAMARitan Press from Santa Clarita, CA.
2000.
I remember they kept getting
the title wrong, just couldn't seem to
wrap their minds around it.
It's still listed on Amazon, for whatever reason,
although I'm not sure if any copies
actually exist out in the wild....





PAUL WEINMAN




He was a big name in the small press
when I was starting out.  Dude was
prolific. 

He wrote me a few times, told me once
that he liked my relationship poems,
asked me to send a batch his way. 

He wrote a response poem to each one
from the female perspective and published
the whole thing as a sort of call & response
chapbook called S & M, credited to
John Sweet & Paula Weinman.
Published it through the fictitional
CONCRETE BLOCK IN YOUR FACE THEN, PRESS.

1995, I think.  Definitely my 2-room
apartment days.

There were some extra poems he published
as A Little S&M, a mini-chap stapled
into the centerfold of S & M.
Again, I think my copy might be the only
one out there.

S & M is probably my all-time
best seller, and I don't want to kid myself,
Weinman's participation is a huge reason for that.




ALMOST HOME


BRAVE RETREAT


My KSE run went from 2009 - 2012, I think.
BRAVE RETREAT is my most recent one from them,
a limited edition of 89.
No great overriding theme, just some
kickass words on quality paper with
a good layout.





Tuesday, July 19, 2016

STEADMAN LIVES!


Thought I'd break up the chapbook monotony.
Nice Hunter S. tribute w/ the Gonzo beer........







SCORCHED EARTH POLICY




2000 from Black Hoody Nation.
Apparently I was busy in 2000.
I think that might have been the year
I first interacted with the internet.
This is one of the 2 titles of mine published by BHN
and main man Doug Saretsky.
Back then he was located in Cincinnati,
not sure what's up with him these days,
or where he might be.
Cover art by Michael Crossley.








FAITH IN NOTHING


Cari Taplin and Kitty Litter Press (2000).
I designed the cover myself,
I'm not sure what angsty statement I was going for, but
I'm sure it was awesome.
Pre-computer layout, I think the letters were
those awesome little rub-on letters that
art supply stores used to sell.
And possibly still do, for those among us
always trying to create the prefect ransom note.
Not sure what Cari's up to these days.


ENEMY



Me and Debbie Kirk fell off
each other's radar a while back,
I hope she's still out there.
A very fierce presence back in the
days of the print 'zines and
snail mail communication.
She took the dive into being a publisher
at one point, started the awesome
PINK ANARCHITTY PRESS.
I was one of the lucky few.
She published ENEMY in 2003.
Scan doesn't do justice to the
amazing blood red cover.



Monday, July 18, 2016

NEW WORK AT EVEREST MAGAZINE


Fall 2015 issue, actually, they just realized
they left me off the mailing list, shit happens.
Cool 'zine, cool art, I'm glad to be in there.
Find it here:
http://www.everest-magazine.com/fall2015.html


CONTINUUM


Another KSE chap.
Sort of a longer piece (for me anyway)
broken into 10 sections.
Came out good.
Includes the immortal lines

"and when we finally grow up and
  stop writing these fucking poems"

As if.




THIS MOMENT, REFLECTED IN ICE



1st solo chapbook for KSE.
Had a different title originally
that Bill didn't care for.
Came from a misheard Joy Division lyric,
I used it for something else later.
I think the cover photo is one of my pics,
a giant icicle that fell off the gutter
one year.