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August 10, 2016 / barton smock

{all and thing}

some recent:



the fish are biting and my father is wanted.

thunder the size of a seasick dog
has crushed
my sister’s
for crushing
pills. for every

to heaven

there’s a shadow
passed out
in a dream.



the dog moves from sun to shade

its master writes of the beating
a woman

I saw
I can prove it

the size of that tick

does anyone
remind me
to eat


[memorial (ii)]

the boy
whose first
was pain

they put something in his food
to make
him drink…

one animal
out of how


to avoid


[memorial (iii)]

has nothing
it remembers

I’ll know an animal when god sees one

the guard
I slept with
gave me

pain, indicia, Amen


[the path]

a tooth fairy sitting on the lap of a cannibal has just intercepted the message meant for my sister’s eating disorder. I like that movies have no future.


[pink verse (i)]

like maybe god got into your head and left her mark on a clue. like maybe you’re the meal a father imagines he’ll make to injure an animal. like maybe there’s the eye has mama’s strong stomach and the eye has her hypnosis. like maybe you have one leg because it’s the leg taught baby to burn its food on a pig. like maybe talk is the scar this language looks at while going from snow to ash.


[pink verse (ii)]

there’s a kid on a bike with a machete and she’s run your brother up a tree. your brother is taking off his clothes and the kid has a toe she treats like a loose tooth.

you watch as your mother tattoos the parts of her body she doesn’t like.

the cross on her ankle
an insomniac’s
plus sign.

I say to the bird of the chipped brain
that faith
is fascination’s


the food is gone that was seen by prayer



the owl-headed man
can he do
in the crocodile’s
of disappearing
but watch
the egging
of a hearse…

a woman
found dead
in a cake


[notes on the saints (i)]

younger times, I’d lose some of my hair when bathing the sick. now older, I am not a private person. I foresee helping father with his winter gloves and him thinking I’ve returned his hands. if sick, one shouldn’t be grateful for the inclusion. there’s a shit son in all of us.


[notes on the saints (ii)]

in madness, explain a chair to the ocean. read by the glow of the unborn. scrape.

/ I am not close to any named animal. I flicker

in two



[notes on the saints (iii)]

a crookedness within a white cat. a naked boy on crutches. a girl in a pink jumpsuit jogging in place beside a man rolling a tire. all of this says I’ve witnessed my father by himself on a child’s swing sucking two unlit cigarettes. we don’t exist until god begins to worry. our neighbor is an old woman with a gun. she is afraid her color will suddenly change. when she chases my father home I understand the riddle of his cigarettes. around him I pretend to be asleep. I hear him watering a rag and wait for him to press it to my nose and tell me my dreams are bleeding. when a kitten, the head of our white cat would stick to the refrigerator door.


[notes on the saints (iv)]

not a mark on her body was admissible. visibility should have no viewing hours. the angels need pictures of the poor. first blush, we had her as someone’s muse.

my handwriting suffered. my cursive began to match a popular suicide note.


[in the asylum we’d sun ourselves with angels]

he crushes
a cocoon
because it has
no god

/ I have not sinned since taking an active role in my dreams


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