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May 27, 2016 / barton smock

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* 15% off all print books and free mail shipping at Lulu today with coupon code of MAYMAIL15

mine, are here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/acolyteroad

~

some poems:

~

[raise god]

it’s a nice enough baby with an inability to emit. the adult world worries but no more than than it does for the television’s volume during bouts of ceasefire. parents divorce or parents agree on the same support group. siblings form a circle around a one trick pony. some believe the jack-in-the-box is broken while others believe it’s patient.

[taunts]

death is never early. take the first bite of every meal in front of a mirror. chase the kid while pulling a plastic bag over your head. invent a sibling schoolmates blind. know poverty, know moon. shampoo the elderly from a distance. baby no one. they have looked like hell since before you were born.

[pathos]

our fighting
determines
which of us
is more
sonsick.

relic child, town crier.

I take what I’m given, beating.

cerecloth, snow
on snow
before and after

it buries.

me of course
as I position
myself
to hum

above
a basket.

me as I marry homeward
and kick

ball, stone, stiff
bird

stiff bird in death
doubling as
the rat
of an angel

yes
kick
for reasons known
to another’s

pet cobra

skin to skin
in an unmarked
life.

[costume]

we’re here to bloody the head of the boy who put a clown’s red nose on the girl playing jesus for stopped traffic. if I spoke your language, I would tell you.

[poor lighting]

a plastic doll with a human right hand distracts us from the parrot’s empty cage. we have been writing in unison instead of eating. our poverty is so advanced it keeps a fake diary and a real diary but hides them in the same spot. we are dying in two of our mother’s arms. our mother is elsewhere repeating after the man who does our stunts.

[collapse]

how
on a clear day
my father
is the face
of absence.

how what I mean
cuts the finger

my mother
sips.

how porch blood
is not the same blood
the body
faints with.

how copperhead, how rattlesnake, how lisp

says I myth
my sister
who is still

vanishing
to shoplift
god

from the thunderstorm
we gave her.

[southern treehouse]

as my sister
inspects
her breasts
in the white
piece of paper
we both
refer to
as the one
and only
ghost
mirror

I fry
god’s egg
in the plastic
shovel
I took
from a sandbox
shaped
like a coffin

and shiver
like the psychic
who with
the controllable
sobbing
of her hands
gave our seizures

to animals

[bait]

I didn’t see it
like some kids
saw it-

pain
as clay.

a swat here or there
to the back
of a mother’s
mind.

a man who took a bowling ball
into a closed garage
had no sadness
I could pray
over.

…Santa smoked on the roof
of my father’s house
while I
with a noiseless
stomach

touched
that hunger.

[how to live in the country dark]

toss frogs
into a fire
your father made.

find a woman
who’s abandoned herself
to being led
by a stick

let her blind mongrel
lick your palm.

bury a handful
of gravel
call it
the moon’s
grave.

hide in houses
hidden
from road.

make at least one friend
whose night vision
is a glass of milk.

double your body
by walking
drunk.

[outside the body it is always procession]

I may have lied about being pregnant but I know my fucking kid.

her father quells cocaine.

ants are quiet.

his teeth make sense.

our yell is I’m gonna shoot you in the blood.

elsewhere
is a light dusting
of downfall. sleepily

legal

are the sunbathing sad.

[crown]

i.

a hand towel
over the lid
of any
stubborn
jar-

a mother to a father
or less frequently
a father to a mother
I don’t know why this is
but either way
a gentle admittance

to couple

as if passing beneath
the singing voice
of statue…

ii.

that stage
where a baby
is all
head

[mendicant]

this doorbell
is for the inside
of your house

to some
you’re the giant
you’re not

hearing isn’t for everyone

a fog-softened man
with a baby
might experience
a sense
of boat
loss…

hurt

what you know

[crystal]

a foster boy using an alias teaches my son to shoot.

it’s the tooth fairy on a sad day finds
under my pillow
a handgun.

you know your father
is a night owl.

[dog years]

the longer
I grieve

the more

~

below is an unpublished companion piece {shuteye in the land of the sacred commoner} to my recent chapbook, infant*cinema (Dink Press, April 2016)

(infant*cinema is here: http://www.dinkpress.com/store/infant-cinema-by-barton-smock)

as such:

~~~~~

[shut-eye in the land of the sacred commoner]

~
poetry and god share the same quick death.

I’m on what you’re on;
the eighth day of the world.

~
it’s all in your head. the newborn we had on a mountaintop. the word it knew from memory. its hand that stuck to everything but the dog our dog ate. the cold our dog died from. the tent we called aquarium. that we filled with diapers. that was never full.

~
existence is the wrong inquiry.

I was destroyed by an angel

for having
taste buds.

/ a pinkness

went on
without me.

~
if touch is all it can manage

the hand is poor.

I am the new face
of baby
doorstep.

when lightning
has emptiness
to burn

feed
the fasting
doll.

~
I am old and nothing brings me joy.

I did
good things
but I
was asked.

drunk
outside
of a dog
shelter
I am likely
to remember
a library
pyros
love.

my uncle
he is probably
still
west of me
able

to open
a bottle
with the mouth
of a living
frog.

~
and what
would forgiveness
do?

my kids were never born. yours
they hide
from the number
of people
god
made.

when dead, I was not
a bird
yet
my mother
asks
what kind.

I can’t tell
by looking
if he’s seen
the future
or seen
the future
again. I strip

when my stomach
hurts.

~
it puts me on my stomach

this grief
you have
for the switched
at death

god’s color has returned

the male
animals
in the grey
barn

knew

first

~
I want to say it is yes yes

puberty’s
painted
egg, the island

clock, the genitalia

of alarm…

I want to say it is orange

like bees
like
not all

the hymns
not all

condoms…

~
he says we are men
not because a raccoon
chased a bone
into the factory
of shadows.

he says it’s me
or the bag
of trash
and gives me
a knife.

he says before I was borned
we took
the same
bullet. he says mouth.

I kick
he says
in my sleep
and it puts
a belly button
on a bird
one
bird.

he says them animals
ain’t so wild
as a dog
in drag

and your mother
is the outside
world.

~
the robot is a virgin.

the baby
it goes
from baby
to baby
with no
message.

I want your work to matter.

~
subtitles, ghost
pollen / I sit

facing
my father

he strokes
a large
bumblebee…

~
eating behind the mirror’s back
it was all
hick lore
to me

a scratch
in scar’s
nakedness, a loss

of infancy
awarded
only
to the deaf
who dug up
the ears
of god
for nothing
more
than the sound

of depression
going blind
in the garden
of the hairdresser’s

hair

~
death
my way
of saying
goodbye
to god

had you lived
or enjoyed
amnesia…

~
when asked
I say
I see
on the floor
of a mudhut
a sex toy
having
a seizure.

I kiss the feet
you’re the future
of.

~
not
for devouring
the mannequin
but for eating
the seeds, it was

(in a coloring
book
for cigarettes)

beaten

by a baby
a baby
could love

~
I go with dove to high

dives / I am on

the pill
the swimmer’s
pill / for nine

months
I’ve hidden
a rabbit
from no one’s

hormonal
christ

~
it was for healing the hand of the plain hand
that I
was touched / well blood

on a bread
crumb
massage me
a brainwashed
worm / well comb

all you want
the eyesight
of god / swallow

a hair
in the house
birth
built…

can’t
this once
a thing
die
in the sanctuary
of its double

~
hell is a book.

she reads it
in a room
that’s alive.

attic or no, I want
to miss
my father.

~
nakedness,

give it time
to recover

~
into something from his childhood
a man
is born. never

far off
what crawls
her way.

~
she reaches into the same hat for the rabbit he’s made disappear.

I sleep and the dark takes me for the bone

lightning
straightens.

~
church of intermission. church of the rolled-away church my fever follows. church of it ain’t a baby until it spits. church of the lawnmower left running. of the space you give the grieving horse. church of you when you die in my sleep. of musical suicides. church of the disinfected high chair. of the false bruise. of how to become a balloon in the church of touch.

~
in the library’s dream, the abortion clinic is no bigger than a fingerprint.

~
this is me
praying
for a photo
of my father’s
last meal.

me

praying
to have
the allergic
reaction
my mother
faked.

for proof
of animal
suicide.

a mirror for my toys. dirt for my brother.

~
and we touch to abridge doom in the bed of a headless man. and we struggle to hear a father verbatim. and we ask in a fierce wind a phone booth to please be a fireplace. and a starfish consoles a handprint.

~
/ I was spotted covering my eyes by a dentist whose childhood had stopped disappearing. how big is your family and who wears the mouth? is it true your dad sold to a city gargoyle a spray-can of piss? that your mom had no baby tired of being born? that their suicides filled a madhouse with cubist maids?

/ year nine: your birthday spider is put on film for biting. your sister takes one look at my brain and remembers what to feed and how to clean a cricket.

/ year eight:

~
my son doesn’t want the circle he’s drawing to touch the circle he’s drawing.

the dog
is a heartbroken
wolf.

~
she checks her teeth in the door glass of the oven.

the egg is dropped
and the owl
stoned.

~
when
did your caterpillar
become
a syringe?

I want to hide the clothes I’m wearing.

something touched
is something
mourned.

~
the woman had the suicidal absence of a man who’d just broken to his body that his blood was not the rooster patience devoured. if I peeled a potato, I did so in egg’s hell.

~
praise headgear, worship eyewear.

adore nostalgia, forgive

memorial’s
constant
vigil.

say god
three times, then

say mirror.

~
this is what you mean, kiddo

what you mean
to a bomb

/ it doesn’t help god

that god
is awake

~
for what
does the torso
pray?

the cocoon is music
to the mannequin’s
ear.

sister
she ain’t
been calm.

~
when grief
was password
and not
codename

when gift
horse
was horse
fly

when baby
little baby
shorthand
went all
stork-porn

(on who)

to remember
god

~
outside the dream, I had written the most heartbreakingly clear poem about brotherhood. inside

was this boy
was discovering
god’s thumb
is never
clean. a boy whose mouth

was never
here. all those I’ve met

I’ve left
alone.

~
asleep in the pickpocket’s bed, the baby is a mirage.

I’m so fat
I’m fat
in the dark. I compose

at my lowest
a crucifixion
story

from the basements
my father
wired.

~
putting the meat
back together
in an unfilled
pool

we yawned
at the same
time / brief

painless
the unmothered

between

~
as overcome as I was to be gifted a hospital gown, I had nothing on the angel whose brain / for visiting the eye / was banished…

we are the dead
we’re here
to return

~
by death I mean nothing was beautiful for a very long time.

that, and when did you know.

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