Chad Sweeney

A Love Song

Because a corpse-bird lays its eggs
in your mouth
and the hatching

is an act of speech.
Because the shadow
of a smokestack

remains clean.
Because footprints
don't float on the sea for long.

Because a cat waiting
beneath a birdbath
will go hungry

and you in the open
waiting for beauty
will go hungry.

Because a man drowning
in the grain silo
in the deep golden flax

thinks only of the note
in his back pocket
that will not be given.


The city was only a model of itself.

The city with its broken
its avenues

empty of history,
red pigeon on a statue,
shanties carved in marble.

Shadows limped away
from their women.
Antennae measured

the equilibrium of my living room 
where everything
awaited its Friday.

The sentences were thinking
inside me,
filling my hands with rain.


I sell subscriptions to my daily life. 
The violet gleam of girders.
Pain in the shape of industrial pipe

whose center is everywhere
whose smoke is irony.
Worry is proof of my goodness.

I flex my worry and count to seven.
An elegiac music,
tulips yellow the water.

I speak therefore I are.

The Auction

The language sold for millions
for its tambour and its shift.
An attitude of cave flowers
in bouquets of yellow steam.

Before the funeral, before knowledge,
in the social arena, everything unsaid,
her the and his etcetera sang us to life
then pretended we were strangers.

In a two-dimensional house
the stairs are drawn of chalk.
A flat sun holds dominion
in the mirror, dear reader,

and the basement is a theory.