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Wednesday, August 04, 2010


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

I’m fine reading reports like the one coming through right now about the man who killed 8 at the beer distributors in Connecticut, then killed himself  I’m fine reading about the cluster bombs dropped on Serbia and the Serbian snipers who picked off Bosnian Muslims as they waited in line to buy bread I’m fine reading about the Jews of Hungary who were rounded up late in the war, in mid- ’44, after everyone knew the war was lost

This guy I know - Dmitry – tells me he’s proud of me for reading what I read  He says that if people chose to remain uninformed the insanity will never stop  He says that it’s hard stuff to process, but he’s making darn sure that his kids know about the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda and Darfur  Dmitry takes his kids to documentaries at The Film Forum  Dmitry is positive that for change to happen we must remove our blinders

He’s probably right  Don’t you think?

And, as I said, during daylight hours I am fine with all of this

At three in the morning, though, and I’m not sure why, I turn into something else  My reflection in the oven door isn’t me It’s scary, actually At three in the morning, I sometimes fall to my knees  Dmitry would laugh, but at three in the morning I even sometimes pray to God

It scares me, this change, this middle of the night change This middle of the night change into the man I saw on the news today, leaving the scene of the shooting,  the man who   “…did not want to be identified, (who) … quickly got into his car” At three in the morning me becoming the man who did not, could not, would not  Save The Day  The man who only wants to get into his car and find where daylight went, saying, as he drives away: “It was a sad day I was in there”

Steve Hellyard Swartz is Poet Laureate of Schenectady, NY. He is a frequent contributor to New Verse News. Swartz is a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Patterson Review, The Southern Indiana Review, The Kennesaw Review, and online at Best Poem and switched-on gutenberg. He is the winner of a First Place Award given by the Society of Professional Journalists for Excellence in Broadcasting. In 1990, Never Leave Nevada, a movie he wrote and directed, opened at the US Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.