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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Family Concert Minus One

By: Kyle Sweet

Movement One: a glitching T.V. screen. Arms of licorice, pull the string of strings, you, my brother, the climbing cadaver, embraced, sacred and not sounding.

Movement Two: hair of harried hounds that dig their noses in soil, looking for the corpse, drinking muddied water with their now dirtied tongues, broken paws left behind. Clear corners of skins of snakes, glistening and glowering and glowing. Inside the bark they find him.

Movement Three: the eye of the woods sees through me, eye of my soul, of my heart, drawing out my faith, looking down to the birds of my stomach and their drenched wings of acid, beautifully useless.

Movement Four: return to tonic. Tonic is always there for you. Recapitulation of the glitching television, my sister smashing her fists into birthday cake, a cry of frosted loss. The smell is circus clowns and lavender. Bees fly into the garbage disposal but it’s your fault, your own damn fault because you didn’t put tape over the screen.

No applause for you.


Kyle E. Sweet is an undergraduate student at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Michigan. They live amongst all things abstract and creepy.

"I believe that when we create poetry or anything else, something takes over us. We bust emotional barriers that we keep up to act in the real world. When writing “The Family Concert Minus One,” I was studying music history and became intrigued by how artists have defined and undefined genre over the past several centuries. Just like poetry, music has formulas, but it takes a certainty of the craft to create a new form. I have learned that a willingness to fail and try again is essential to that kind of writing. The narrative I wanted to implement was that of a broken family, no matter which shape that may take. Families are small orchestras. Sometimes they improvise. Sometimes there are key changes. They work through the pit together."

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