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July 24, 2014 / barton smock


the parents he doesn’t believe in tell him he is god.

I ask him
if it’s true.

for your own good,
two people meet in person after person.

convinced of its shadow,
the heart

I ask
before I ask
again. the holiness

of my disrepair
belongs to a city
where none are killed
by my son

for being

July 24, 2014 / barton smock

not the mystery of god

I will be pumping gas into a make of car I call off-white when a passerby of guessable hostilities won’t know enough to ask if it’s my dog coming dazed for every one of its legs down the road at me like at a spot it senses I’ve disappeared near and I’ll have to agree with my mind it’s the damn dog for sure and it’s not far from where my boys are huddled in a borrowed blanket smelling smoke and I gather it won’t be long before the dog is nothing more than its best instinct so I let the lever and reach through the space where a passenger should be blowfishing on a window for my last gallon of milk to pour on the car like a rehabilitated pyro to give that dog something to see and something to lick.

July 23, 2014 / barton smock


I will have my own brand of insignificance.


to prepare for this character, I meant to gather household items I thought would together be helpful in making the sound of a strange woman saddled with an abundance of me time spanking the daughter of her distant but as yet unrevealed relative in a toy store but instead I was overcome by a pain much like the pain a man compares to childbirth and as such I slowed myself long enough to fashion from three sons a triangle with which I woke my wife.


you shoot yourself, it doesn’t matter where, but only if you see a homeless person, it doesn’t matter where.

if you have a job, you’re issued a gun.

July 22, 2014 / barton smock

all night grocery

instead of the sex talk
I play for my boys
a song
that says
while they
bleep themselves
into the seeing
of a thing
thought to be
a fear
of apples
when in fact
it’s the worm
they’ve not

the worm
their strong
are based

the same worm
that turns
into a spider
for nightmare
the one
where father
for places
to be closer

to a rock

July 22, 2014 / barton smock

(on not being a rock star)

July 22, 2014 / barton smock


we recorded, badly, birdsong.

we lit sparingly.

we scissored
for puppet

we asked
was having
a boy
the trap
we’d set
for the wonder
he’d come

as always, we ate
from a basket.

July 21, 2014 / barton smock

shame retrospective

our neighbors have gone underground. I hear beneath me the beatings my son wants to answer. there is no way to keep quiet but alas we are addicted to betterment. bike lock and wheelchair. the outsider’s visual aid device. things invented by no one for the housebroken all. my daughter puts words in my mouth and I use them. my younger self is an alert. think now of what you will say. address the secret responsibility of having mice. my wife goes next door often and comes back with the food she left with. we eat for a week. we blame each other for being so close. our visitor has no ticket. as the visitor explains, the ticket is god. few pregnancies fit the bill.


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