3 poems by Laura Sweeney

Laura Sweeney


If you are careening toward the darkness
standing at the intersection of New
Beginnings and Old Era Road, confused
about how to recover from a rut
remember bad shit happens but bitches
who are bad bounce back.  Walk the tidepool
against the current.  You do not have to 
be discreet reserved or level-headed.
You do not have to be whimsical or 
calculated.  Or thrash so hard you’d think
your arms would be buff from paddling
though you’re no closer to casting out 
into the sea.  No.  You only have to
know there’s no safe harbor waiting. You
only have to release your wild poet’s hair. 


I’m gonna get up on my soapbox 
and let er rip get the fingers movin’ 
let the juices drip or let it all go on 
without me lie down take a nap from 
the pussy riot protests v. fascism crap.
While they kill the intellectuals
kill the poets kill the journalists 
my blood is boiling from the collateral. 
Instead of readin’ Daughter of Persia 
who bargained on her education
turns out silly me I was duped shoulda 
had kids dropped out made the bargain. 
Now I’m more in debt houseless finagled 
tired from movin’ horizontal not vertical.


She’s a real know-it-all, a scoundrel from 
fiasco to fiasco. But she recalls 
someone so fragile in the hospital. 
And don’t be a hypocrite afterall. 

She’s a fraudulent fleeced but she’d 
rather bask in her garden than sleep 
with an ax. 

She’s an improper woman who knows
propriety is overrated. 

Her methods are scandalous as she 
wonders how to feed them turmeric 
a quarter teaspoon per day. 

The whole shebang is ridiculous like 
a straight jacket thrown over her 
though her complaints are legit. 

And by the way what is their diagnosis? 
Dr. Cray-Cray Certified Ratty Raccoon? 

Who scold her about policy.  Don’t 
ask questions.  Don’t challenge. Don’t 
be defensive or combative.  Though 

she strives to go with the flow. Like the 
classmate who slipped one hand into hers.

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Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in Iowa and Illinois. She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist’s Conference in Oslo, Norway. Her poems and prose appear in sixty plus journals and ten anthologies in the States, Canada, Britain, Indonesia, and China. Her recent awards include a scholarship to the Sewanee Writer’s Conference. In 2021, she received an Editor’s Prize in Flash Discourse from Open: Journal of Arts & Letters; Poetry Society of Michigan’s Barbara Sykes Memorial Humor Award; and two of her poems appear in the anthology Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism, which received an American Book Fest Best Book Award in Current Events category and finalist in the Social Change category. She is a PhD candidate, English/Creative Writing, at Illinois State University. 

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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