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July 18, 2016 / barton smock

{runoff}

20% off all print books on Lulu through the 18th with coupon code of LULU20

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

also, I have three remaining signed copies of my chapbook [infant*cinema], published by Dink Press- will send for free to anyone interested in writing a review- make request to bartonsmock@yahoo.com

some:

~

[depictions of reentry (iv)]

/ the tadpole torching my stomach in the museum of the heartless alligator

/ the spider the star in suicide’s eye

/ the crow in the devil’s purse

~

[depictions of reentry (v)]

/ you can work here for nine months

/ it’s not like riding a bike
it’s more
like kneeling
in the center
of a stickman’s
nightmare

/ never you mind
the bloated
baby’s
yellow
tooth

/ at least the sick

they confuse
death

~

[depictions of reentry (vi)]

night terror, the handwriting
of imago’s
child…

/ resurrection, a memoir

~

[depictions of reentry (vii)]

/ the hands and the crushed mind they crawl from

/ god of the briefly ugly

/ the homeless child of nostalgia’s native

/ graveyard
our game
of telephone

~

[depictions of reentry (viii)]

we laugh about them now

scarecrows
the stepchildren
of apocalypse…

pregnancy as suicide prevention.

be wowed
by stuff
on earth.

~

[depictions of reentry (ix)]

before I got sick
there was a sound
my mother
could make
and a bird
perched
on the arm
of a snowman…

angels, yeah

some
grab their ears
when trapped

~

[depictions of reentry (x)]

the unlit candle

desertion’s birthday

the voice
is not god’s
that experiments
on children

but ask
away

the dog we buried
is sometimes
on fire

watched
we think
by our sister’s
cooking

~

[depictions of reentry (xi)]

and in dreaming
of what to use
for its body
and its blood

the devil
began

to starve / when it snowed
it snowed

on a tooth / this was in

the same
Ohio

where brothers
ruin
now

with hiccups

games
of hide-and-seek

/ anyway, sister said the crow had it coming

and I made this face we called

god
as a boy
tasting
a star…

~

[depictions of reentry (xii)]

mom needs a jar of jelly to call the priest. try as he might, my brother can’t seem to get his tongue stuck to the oven door. my hands are here to hide the fact I’m wearing gloves. dad snaps three pictures before passing out. the voodoo dolls of my invisible babies have passed each other underground. I am thinking of things you can do.

~

[depictions of reentry (xiii)]

a suicide
from my past,

a surprise
party
for death…

/ if I lose my voice long enough
will they let me
wear
the mask

~

[depictions of reentry (xiv)]

the newborn
yawns, reveals

god
to be
a biter

I don’t
in my sleep
do anything

let alone
impressions

it’s hell on an image

the mirror’s
alibi

~

[depictions of reentry (xv)]

I went outside and hid god under a rock then went inside and put a pillow over my brother’s face. don’t worry, my brother lived and god grew stronger. in fact, by morning, my mother was so at peace she finished my brother off with a cotton ball. my dad bought a boat and said the older they are the smaller the mouth. people came from a mirror called practice.

~

[depictions of reentry (xvi)]

with a sock in its mouth

suicide
the birthday
ghost

/ having heard
of the shadow
animal’s
ear
for the hand
puppet’s
collapse /

passes through
a wall
into a room
where a balloon
eating out
a prophet
stops not

to hiss

~

[depictions of reentry (xvii)]

the sisters compare how many months they’ve stayed pregnant

/ nearby,

a boy
believes
he’s guessed

from no more
than the image
of a swollen
fish

which alien
showed interest
in our
despair /

(I am looking for a place to whip my brother that is not a bathroom)

/ my father
he is waiting
for the price
to come down
on a thing
he says
will prove

theft
has no mother
and forgiveness
no god / as a dentist

dreams
it’s all
in the legs

~

[depictions of reentry (xviii)]

surely the boy should have seen by now his father hit a man. a girl walk in on a television. a bite mark on a baseball. a bug-eyed nurse. a dog on two legs. a god on four. a scarecrow on a diving board. himself as a baby. the band-aid

my dream’s
blindfold.

~

[depictions of reentry (xix)]

a woman places my hand in the stomach of god

as fire
the stickman’s
barber
betrays
my hair

~

[shuteye 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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