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January 29, 2016 / barton smock

{ edits, from discontinued collection / PLEA / 2014 }

 

(someone won this collection via a Goodreads giveaway and posted how much they hated it on Tumblr because Tumblr is not attached to their name. also, I assume, because they hated it. my name is Barton Smock. I, too, am a coward.)

 

~

[earshot]

you were a white male and I was a white male and we were young and even if one put us together we were young. our idea was to give winter gloves to those whose teeth chattered and we knew the sound had come to us both. we mowed lawns all summer and mugged a drunk jock who sat reading love notes after baling hay. we bought the gloves and held them until winter but by then we were not friends and song was the retroactive vocal of a father’s forgetting. we divvied the gloves in a sad scene no mother would countrify.

~

[eulogy]

when stalking
the unmanned
spotlight
of your own
death, drink

heavily

with
your takers / you

are nowhere’s
only
sponsor

~

[not monstrous]

a group of boys beats my son for beating my daughter. when I carry my kids, my kids relax. the group of boys are uneducated and think god has promoted a number of them to shave me. my penis looks as if left by an angel to grow alone after not being placed on an infant. there is nothing to be said but one of the boys mutters away that he is set to star in the film version of your father’s suicide and that if all goes well he’ll kill himself for real.

~

[tract]

the television in front of my murderous father is the city his house misses. further coverage is dedicated to a new unharmed person from a race of desert people whose mother materialized without feeling. as my brothers cross shadows in the brightness of kitchen, I join in spirit the manhunt for the victim who’s made off with the right to disappear.

~

[incubation period]

I flatten my father’s tin foil hat to hear farmland again. I am the astronaut god commands me to pinch. my babies are tossed in the general direction of trampolines.

~

[non-event]

I was reading beyond my years to childlike fathers in a house named for the woman whose hair was brought to her by boys her sons had wronged. I was eating what I could of the horse said to have eaten hospital flowers.
~

[locals]

the mother wonders how it is common she lose the baby when she is not the last to have it. my name is silent but no letter in my name is or the letters in my name are not silent but the word they make is. her pain is god’s.

~

[monster]

I want to sit around and do nothing and I want to have a handful of kids that sit around and do nothing. I will call myself the end of god and ask women inappropriate questions by way of populating obituaries with written code. you will want to argue and I will have to get up and we will try together to save the child I crushed parts of. the face of the child will be our slideshow.

~

[light touch]

she imagined herself pregnant. she fell behind her best years which became predictions. she asked me about the men in my friendships. candle-makers, a few with toddlers

a football
knocks over.

~

[straw piece]

I was an entire baby and then a picture of me as a baby. I had as part of the slut shaming process a mother wheeled in and out of the sun. here is a boy with a red brick looking for an anthill. here he was brushing from a woman’s bare back a piece of straw and here it is sticking to my leg. in the barn the eater of stones is missing the privacy of an outhouse. I lie to her face and then to nostalgia’s outlook. I lose blood to the mosquito known for the collapse of my favorite cow.

~

[insult stage]

the very sadness. the very sadness of the intruder who brings his own plate to drop. the very ecstasy of telling a classmate he or she is ugly alongside a finger he or she must choose. the unintended ecstasy of the sadness I use to cum cobwebs while waiting for something you’ll do nothing with. the cutting of the fingers to scale.

~

[stirrings]

being operated on
helps me sleep.

I was your age
when nothing
had been done.

the turtle in my father’s backpack,
the turtle loose
on a moving
school bus.

gods
from a previous
marriage.

I crawled into my mother’s bed
and waited
for my nose to bleed.

you find the cut
like you find
where your daughter
is cut.

a sister ties
knot after knot
and opens
a window
only to vomit
in a downstairs bathroom
from a fear
of heights.

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