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Saturday, November 29, 2008


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

So the guy who didn't desert his lover of two months time when that lover said
I'm sick and may be dyin
This guy who stayed with him through thick and thin, for six years
Or was it seven?
When on a snowy Sunday mornin the angels came and carried him up to
Back-a-the-bus heaven, this guy

And the two women who adopted the little boy with the fiercest cowlick
And the most godawful tick
Taking his sister, too, who had MS
The little boy in a dark blue suit
The little girl in the prettiest dress,
These two women cuz of their love for each other
(And for their kids, better than any 20 other mothers)

All the on-and-ons, the Janices of Joplin, and Johns
of Elmira, the guys with their soft eyes and softer smiles,
The women whose hearts are red and blue
Just like me, just like you
Only a little better, just a little better
As hearts are when they've been in use
Through years of silence, the science of abuse

Come on
Have the goddamn guts
For now, now and forever after
Squatting on your haunches
On your temporal rafters

Say it
Say it I said
Say it to my sister and your brother
My daughter and your son
Our parents
Our gods

Say how they ain't

They ain't, ain't, ain't, ain't, ain't, they AIN'T

What qualifies
In your reality of morbid constraint
The perfect union of sticks and stones
More perfectly known as

Steve Hellyard Swartz's poetry has appeared in New Verse News, Best Poem, Haggard and Halloo, switched-on gutenberg and The Kennesaw Review. He has won Honorable Mention in the 2007 and 2008 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, as well as the Mary C. Mohr and Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards. His poems will appear next year in The Paterson Review and The Southern Indiana Review. In 1990, his film "Never Leave Nevada" opened in Dramatic Competition at the U.S. Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.