spork press . oeuvring
archive of printed pieces
archive of online stuff after 5.7.11
online stuff before 5.7.11 (poetry) (fiction)
nothing to see here
audio / podcast
submit to spork
FB   ///   TWIT

5 Poems || Oscar Schwartz

please skip to the last line of this poem and read from

the bottom up


never to speak again

and so by this line the lovers have already left each other

feels that the other is a blind conformist

yet the person who read from the top down

feels that the other is by nature inconsiderate

because the person who read from the bottom up

but then there is an insurmountable tension between them

they will meet here in this line and fall in love

the other from the top down

one from the bottom up

there are two people reading this poem


god will send you nudes


if you’ve been feeling guilty

about all the sinful things

you’ve been enjoying on the internet

and you try to seek consolation

in the presence of your grandma

she will say fuck’s sake just go to

confession you devil child


but what she couldn’t know

is that if you leave your room

there is that fear that the internet

will die of loneliness without you


at night alone you wonder whether

if you looked hard enough

you might find god on your facebook feed

constantly posting status updates

like a distant relative who is the only person

more active than you who is rumored

to send nudes to the boys in your school


quietly you feel that

in this way that you might find faith

and befriend the lord, and maybe

in time, god will send you nudes


the world’s youngest desert


in a young desert

one of the youngest on the planet

where the sand is still clean and the dunes

mountainous the camels infantile and adorable

there is an inbox and in this inbox

there is spam

the spam tells of anti-ageing medication

of botox and silicone and it is

written by hand in the cursive script

of your mother, bold and legible

just like the permission slips

she would sign and leave

by the door for your sisters

so they wouldn’t have to swim

in the ancient desert of school sport


you were only six at the time


after six years of life

you went to a michael jackson concert with your dad

who was wearing a silver leather jacket

(or at least it was shiny)

you were wearing a skirt with butterflies

he told you to stand on his shoulders to see better

when michael jackson moonwalked

you felt all the butterflies on your skirt

turn into razor blades

(or at least it felt different)

michael jackson threw his towel into the crowd

a woman caught it and put it to her face



language giving birth to itself in our mouths


your name is xyz

you have been accused of a terrible crime

you have to go into hiding and take on a pseudonym

from now on i will refer to you as sarah

sarah, you are not alone in this

because in the future most of us will be forced to use pseudonyms

in the second future no one will know their real name

children will be born and given a pseudonym

pets will be given pseudonyms

abstract nouns will be given pseudonyms

it is possible that by the third future we will call ‘happiness’ ‘rebecca’

and we will call ‘rebecca’ ’seaweed’

in the fourth future the giving of pseudonyms will be non uniform

meaning that in the fifth future we will be endlessly confused

and in the sixth future we will talk aimlessly

hoping to be understood by coincidence

so that by the seventh future we will talk with no meaning

like parrots and we will be living in caves too

but then for some unknown reason the eighth future will happen

and everyone will be free

and we will come out into the sunlight

and start swapping our names back

i can imagine it now

you will walk up to a beautiful man and you will know straight away

you will say to him you look like someone called sarah

and he will say to you, you look like someone called xyz

and you will embrace for a minute then shake hands

and in the ninth future you will swap your names back

everyone will start swapping their names back

and this action will be repeated over and over

and we will authenticate each other

so that by the tenth future

we will once again feel language giving birth to itself in our mouths


Mark Leidner – Blackouts from Oscar Schwartz on Vimeo.

Oscar Schwartz is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. He is currently writing a PhD on whether computers can write poetry. He tweets @scarschwartz.