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March 23, 2016 / barton smock


if you can enter the coupon code without hating your life, Lulu is offering 10% off all print books today with said code of HUMPDAY10


my most recent book is here:


below are some poems from ‘eating the animal back to life’ (July 2015):


an infant with still hands is said to be fingerpainting in hell. a man who wears a hat to bed is said to give god hair. a boy who strings up dead rabbits left and right is said to be fighting a toothache. a girl who punches herself in the nose is said to be a plain woman who on roller skates entered a strange traffic of hearse and horse as two of her mother’s footsteps.

[first appeared]

father kicks me under the table
for biting

a ghost hears thunder.

[notes to abuser]

I have had to tell time using only repetition. there is a tattoo I want on a body I don’t. I can see what you see in me. none of my sounds echo. I have a son. I prepare for him past meals that leave nothing untouched hoping he’ll learn to chew on his own. he has three rooms upstairs and three down. when his bed can’t move, he says something to a door.


your attacker has a history of being baptized. identifies as male. was found hallucinating in a movie theater run by his father. we shot him not knowing he’d already been. his mother says his stutter is an act. she is what we call empty inside. you look like your father.


I blow into the infant’s mouth as if I could prepare an echo for what’s about to happen. in my dream I am turning on a flashlight that thinks it can scream. in yours, reincarnation is all the brevity our lord can stomach.


when I think about you

I don’t


after we roll the dead dog from its towel and into god’s mouth

we take
for its tooth
a fly’s

satan’s kid continues to play chicken with a farm machine

in a slow
not still


in a hotel bathtub
beneath a crooked
two boys
on thumb war
number seven
are seen
by the same
their colorblind
his dry spell, his bug
when their mother
was the god
she went back
to being

[a photographic memory that applies only to acts of eating]

in the oar I broke on my brother’s knee
I found
a human

here is a lamb
in the reflection
of a star.


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