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May 12, 2016 / barton smock

{2007, estimations, apologies}

[orphan’s vigil]

i.

strength
not the strength
a statue keeps.

ii.

mother’s hunger
the hunger

of marionettes.

iii.

the beggar
father hides
and the beggar
he hides

behind.

iv.

brother
don’t sleep.

the paper dolls
have been cutting
your hair.

~

[the meek, the meek]

i.

in him like the sewing needle of god’s mother; is lightning.

in you a koan.

ii.

now that she wants the surgery removed
they tell her
the womb
is a hook
that looks like a womb.

iii.

everywhere work.
stalks
pitch

the golden blood
of brooms.

iv.

mother in her rocker
her eyes
tire swings
her tongue

a cat’s tail.

v.

fourteen
my sister
martyrs herself
under the monkey
mad
in the stoplight.

vi.

in a church
hangs a coat
with a man
in it.

vii.

does not break loose
like they say

all hell.

~

[claw & cigarette]

eating is done fast and alone. teeth
chatter
in the corner.

a rabbit
muscles
in the mouth.

sleepwalking

is like something
brother
won

at the fair.

we nudge him. put the bread

back
of the mouth. think injured

deer, slanted

mailbox.

~

[courier]

a man
under a man
on a tightrope.

a local teacher
making scissors
of her hands. yesterday

at the market
one recognized
another

and spoke
all night
through a mask.

~

[equipoise]

we’ve a silent knocker.

a place for god and for god’s
girlfriends.

my asking
is a horse
bellied

by a whale
by which I mean

to talk
of that day
on the shore-

the white herd, the limbs
made wild
by wave-

~

[day of hands]

leave me
like you leave
pianos.

point
where a crow
should be.

be it
an hourglass

hell

and we
on its floor.

be there
withdrawing
one bird
into the clock
when it claws
noon.

~

[consonance]

false gods
are the sons
of belief

~

[bounty]

where I gutted a man
who could not hush
his hunger

see a snake
scratch its belly
with sand

~

[the spared]

a dusty toad gives my father fits. my sisters run through cobwebs. I pluck ticks from our dog and put them to my ear. I think of my blood

in dog years.

~

[hips]

to be moved again by the stillness of things
I muscle into
a still
thing.

what great arrest
to be under
in this room
survived

by a wounded
curfew.

~

[careerists]

dunce cap, crow mirror.
the learning
curvature
of god. she

her anhedonia.

soul
with its push
broom. the tired blackbirds.

~

[library time]

the boy has two weeks
to care for the book
he reads from.

the day before his mother dies
outnumbers
the day after.

~

[girl on skates with bucket]

all of nine, girl on skates
with bucket

avoided parks, happiness, and socks

eraser pink

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