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October 1, 2014 / barton smock

notes for night owl

a brother wets the bed

is reminded
of age, the number

of kissable
girls-

in another life, he has
this one

there is no
imagining
of his
surprise

October 1, 2014 / barton smock

my dearest neighbors

for Meg Pokrass

before we knew what was going on, we knew the myth of what was happening and followed suit. my kids told me I was taking their childhood. I told them it was the long hair of their mother made me do things. she thought she was seeing another man until that same man lowered her into my arms. we think of him when we pray because when we pray we’ve all a job.

September 30, 2014 / barton smock

express purpose

i.

a child’s edition of your father. in which

the unused
scarecrow

is found
hiding
the dirty

mags, the cigarettes

of a sister’s worry, and other

inanimate
markers

of accounting, meant to be

traded
for fireworks, for fat frogs
not given
to snake…

that is, had the boy
lived
to unsee

the water
he didn’t
make…

ii.

(my handle on death)
is holding
a book.

an overfilled
pauper’s
grave / transcends
its archaic

reference
to belly. all mothers

are single.

September 30, 2014 / barton smock

answer (iii)

she kneels
and she kiss

grasshopper

she fight
to be

fluent
in longstanding

interruptions

she father
the skirted
issue

she make for mother
no baby
but tends
an entry
in

its travelogue

she not wear
anything
under
her clothes, tells me

she pray

to headcase

September 30, 2014 / barton smock

we say o and we say angel

we proceed
as in recess
of mourning

outward
of the brief
city-

longing is a pup, a kit, a word
the stupid have
for infant
ape-

we constellate
in godless silence
only to form

our tragic
figure’s
jawbone-

it may be
there’s no future
immune

to the draw
of evacuation-

but sway

beneath the high
empty

crib

September 29, 2014 / barton smock

answer (ii)

because god
knocked herself
so silly
I became

pregnant
with a praying
child. it entered my story

to tell me another

of bomb
removal
and nervous

energy…

September 29, 2014 / barton smock

lovers of farmland

I cowered early. my mother received one leaf per nakedness. in my youth, I was touched into being a mold of the unborn. I was said to be overheard and I was said to be with mother. I was spotted by a spoonful of milk being fought over by those I slipped from to watch tv in the smallest museum of childcare. when I am most alone I count backward for my newest boy and for god’s limited son. soon is a heaven of affordable pills. comfort is knowing all my boys have eaten late. yesterday gives birth to a pecking order.

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