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September 12, 2016 / barton smock


books are here:

~book previews on site are books entire

~will send free hard copy to those interested in writing a review

~will send free PDF to those interested, period

~can contact:,, or via whatever site you’re seeing this post on

~currently, Lulu is offering 15% off all print books with coupon code of SEPTLULU15

/ poems, some older, some newer:


[I’m a different person when my son is sick]

ask a man what a rabbit hole means
he’ll say

/ everything I had was in that mirror


[white mother]

the holder
of stomachs

the doll
of a depressed



the dreamless baby of a kidnapped mime. a god whose mirror packs light. the hand-me-down

self harm
of the terribly



I slip with god into a movie about a crying baby

/ the museum
doesn’t have
a bathroom



not much happened. after I was born, father stood outside of a church and watched mother go in. before I was born, they had eleven cigarettes between them and smoked maybe nine.

not much happened. my brothers joined me on a bike ride. we made visors of our hands and squinted into the sun. we looked for a hill. we stopped to watch a boy being pulled into a house by a spotted arm.

the loneliest thing I’ve done is buy a hammer.



by morning, the bite marks on my son’s arms have moved to his legs.

as for magic, there is none.

one must go everywhere in person.



are the sickness

are two sons
for a jesus
whose fathers

one heavenly, one earthly

never had
to touch
a woman.

the pain is not tremendous.

lo it has kept me
from hurting
my kids.



I had
all year

the infant is forever in the infancy of immediate hearsay

I was online / had a nosebleed

I was with your mother when she safely evacuated

from nothing’s

you may

in event
of god

instill in my sons

the all


[the minimal class]

I orbit
the idea
of an animal
not thinking
of itself.

to err
is hunger.


[his fastball]

he wants to know what he collects. he prays. he is blindfolded by the parent he rarely sees. he is taken on foot to an empty showroom only he can imagine. he is hugged. not asked, he goes into detail about his outfit. parent flips through a notebook. parent leaves to find a pencil. outside in a miniature snowstorm another parent throws an egg through the tail end of melancholy.


[the stripper]

beauty is the beginning of beauty. a man and a woman wait together for a stripper. you know the man like an intimate thought. like a toddler covered head-to-toe in blue body paint stepping in front of a blue door. the woman is an unfinished stranger whose son comes home to be with war and whose husband rests until laziness subsides. the man is aware he’s the devil and this makes him god. the woman is unaware she’s the devil and this makes it easy. the stripper is watching a horror film and it makes her want to have a child. she decorates her home then tries to remember moving a muscle. the blood you don’t see is fake.


[his impressions of the experiment]

my closest frat brother looks at the toad and says frog motherfucker. tackles me. fact: there is a certain kind of toad that by staying still can kill a drug dog. in this country, a man can sell doves from the back of a white van. a man can run out of doves. my ghost is obsessed with caterpillars. it doesn’t matter what you say. they found that woman.



the phantom butcher hides another pregnancy test

an egg reminds me to bathe my teeth


[waste lore]

death makes two beds

father and son give food a choice

mother mothers moth and math

I count
for a cannibal

nowhere to go to have stillness removed



I think at night my bones are making glue

did my pain
mention me
at all

not to a hymn of madhouse flies


[having a disabled child]


I don’t have hands and my eyes are trying to kiss.


a drone’s
for a landmine.



the stone’s wait-listed heart

a god with something to prove

the common telescope of a haunted cyclops

a round of leap frog
played in poverty’s





the angel
made to sing
the alphabet

the hummingbird’s



the map my birth destroyed
for trying
to mother

the swallowing sound my father starved beside

coming he said from a stone

mourner at the tomb of insect



the demon shits a child in the dream of yours where it first appeared

the mother gets less and less attention for being born

the baby uncrosses its eyes

at a lone urinal, I lose hours to the handstand
the occupiers
of my city

proof a mosquito in the gravedigger’s ear


[credit sequence]

hunger my contraceptive

my wristwatch

someone to boil
the mannequin’s



afraid of its shadow in a previous life. the drowning of nothing’s






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