Jason Sweeney

There’s no point trying to mythologise myself so instead I basically want to say that all my writing is like air-conditioning. Impure ventilation. Driven by bad sex, violence, television, pop culture, big scary cities, architecture, music and boys. And probably a lot more.

Jason’s debut collection, Boy Stunner, was included in Friendly Street New Poets Four.


He tells me to leave it on the side of the road. Come walking
to my house. I say I’d like to talk. Can’t find my keys. We
never talk. Remember locking up. You always say that. He’s
left a satchel on my back seat. I sweat. A fucking phone call
is nothing. Kind of stranded, holding hands in one of those
hideous fringe suburbs. Leafy and ill-fitting. Unnatural trees.
English. I know about you. You’re a problem. I begin dialogue:
I describe to myself first gear as a dial tone equivalent.
Is this your car? It’s cool. So you were adopted. That I can
accept. Means you made the first call. Waiting period. His
call. Return. Drive by. Engaged. Or not returned. Pensive,
speak it, in doubt, got these swollen glands. Sometimes
children can be so cruel. Was this your school life? I want him
to protect me. Grip my wrist in a floor fight, wet wrestling,
a severe punch to the thigh. Can see myself holding back,
bloody tears, again. Ignition failure. We don’t get off to a
good start. Picking up keys. You could be my father. Be my
school boy buddy. Let’s go back to the car. It’s all I can
think. You say that I’m special. This I thank you for. Please
take me home. After awkward sex. Don’t say another word.
Just keep driving. Don’t stop the car

From Boy Stunner, New Poets Four

Big Wilderness Boy

i am a big wilderness boy. i do not like this place. australia.
can i change my name. i ask with accent. a big accent. a big
wilderness boy. i am ten. thirteen. i am on a paddock. a
goat farm. a treehouse. over rushing creek. i have two sticks.
i hate the smell of gum. i sit here. i want my dutch name.
not mock-irish. i was not born in brisbane. do not tell me
that i was. i want out. give me passport. no photo. pass
borders. transcend. and no photograph. i love the treehouse.
you gave me a name and did not think about it. you gave
me a dog. i loved a dog. this is how you make me talk. with
dry accent. flat intonation. post-english. from education
too late in life. what is an amsterdam. does it keep trout. at
school i saw a river. with brick walls. and tiny boats. does
not flood. memory embankment. at school they ask me to
cook. i am sixteen. getting on. on with it. with fat cheeks.
bloated. they try to walk like me. and say. he eats german
food. at school. say i am a big girl. sissy. i am yes. see me
from the start. in this place. a gaunt gangly anglo boy.
thinking me cultural. is saxon a soldier. they named me
this. with too many s’s. like roses. or slimy snake. and i
want. i want out. i want out. i want out.

From Boy Stunner, New Poets Four


Proseflesh/interstitial replacements: I do not want to leave
gaps gaps in your teeth teeth bitten rose rows of your teeth.
A technopoem. 2 footmarks an entrance point. I place myself
grip teeth on plastic tab a small dental reflective an outline
for my jaw and lips don’t suck. Take handle of direction
straps careful you are in a safe chamber keep still I fashion
blue leaden jacket velcro slips this fits perfectly. Machine in
focus incomparable arms white technoflesh I switch on keep
still mechanical eyes black slits circular robot turns reveals
my piano teeth keys vertical/horizontal incisors machine in
my mouth not kissing sucking biting believes in me embraces
me whole. I am in love I am romancing I am photogenic I
am technomodel wait for green light then move. My virgin
teeth. His first lover a panoramic radiograph. (Oooh I.
Just. Love. The. Way. You. Move. It. Moves. Me. You. Get.
In. Side. You. See. Me. As. Your. Ob. Ject. And. Oooh I.
Just. Like. That. So. Much. Bay. Bee.) Teeth showing white
tinge yellow gums bleed I want your wisdom your wisdom
teeth. Now you could say. Eye am all i’s. No longer afraid
of. His teeth. Mas. Tic. At(e). Ing. Me.

From Boy Stunner, New Poets Four