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September 13, 2016 / barton smock


30% off all print books on LULU today (thru Sept 19th) with coupon code of THEBIG30


eating the animal back to life
315 pages
published July 2015

of which Kazim Ali says:

Speaking of being captivated, when I was in Cleveland’s most exciting new independent bookstore, Guide to Kulchur, I picked up on a whim a few small volumes that appeared to have been published by the author using Lulu. I was so entranced by the seemingly simple but endlessly complex, prickly lyrics that I wrote to the author, Barton Smock, through his blog, He’s been sending me books now and then and his latest, Eating the Animal Back to Life, is just knocking me out. These poems are desperate, tender, wry, alarmed, god-obsessed, and musically driven. Smock is not published by others, he does it all himself and so the only place you can get his books is here. All the advanced degrees and publishing credentials in the world can’t get you the unspeakable duende that Smock somehow taps into, poem after poem.



& Chickenhouse
84 pages
published October 2015


earth is part earth and there’s a hole in the sound I made you from
98 pages
published December 2015


MOON tattoo
114 pages
published March 2016

…The result of this type of work is that a poem might seem fractured, when it is not. Smock works with both image and symbol in order to create poems that are iconoclastic, alpha and omega…
as reviewed by Krystal Sierra:


shuteye in the land of the sacred commoner (& other poems)
114 pages
published June 2016


340 pages
published June 2016

~ this is a combined publication of these four collections: earth is part earth and there’s a hole in the sound I made you from / MOON tattoo / infant*cinema / shuteye in the land of the sacred commoner [& other poems] ~


depictions of reentry
146 pages
published August 2016


poems, from and missing:


I am waiting to have the one dream
to my ghost

in heaven
the story
of my emptiness
has only
a middle

what I teach my dying son
is be good
to god

here are a few words
on context
and here
its haunted

the past
is lonely
if someone

between birth and death

the gospel
of aftertaste

has its own

has its own


[is it not murder]

to sleep
on your son’s



the boy
there shoving
up his nose

ask him
how many pills
his father
at gunpoint


the number

of clowns
the boy
has seen
give birth, one

to a thing




no longer
a god
the male
finds mother
to worship

I am
what I imagine


who the eyes

in Eden


[it alone]

kiss me like I’m not here

like my belly

think of blood
as the author
of bruise, of the baby

you’ll not


[is this the body science left]

/ does the demon
I’m the same


[the lost art of memorizing psalms]

the food bowl
of a baby boy
is the nest
of a fool’s


something smaller
than my brother
has been killed


[empty imagery]

Adam had no memory of his first wife. as created, he would look at Eve all day and feel nothing.

the vacation house was found to be owned by another family. in it, my mother resisted arrest.

my father was born with six fingers on his right hand and seven on his left. he was not fond of either hand until later in life when the
grandchildren asked him at different times during their visits if he had been tortured.

God created the world because he couldn’t do it on his own. ah, note to self, fuck off. person is place. I might’ve killed a man had I not been poking holes in a poem by Barton Smock.

my brother says it’s part of his condition that he can only explain himself from the waist down. he says he feels horrible in the back of his head and wants me to take a look. he says I don’t know what darkness is. before I can play doctor he remembers he has a story he wants me to write. the outline of the story is off site. in the opening scene brother recalls that a young man is blowing dust from a human skull made of plastic because it’s all the narrator can afford.

the head itself was an afterthought. had god not allowed the soul to come up for air, beauty would have been spared our invention.

a single mother is a twofold mirage. please argue above her quietly. her legs collapse. her child comes first.

your sister is the only person I’ve recorded to have been born without a gift. I was told this in confidence by an angel masquerading as a small animal the size of which escapes me.

I am aware a sparrow exists. not in a spiritual vacuum. people are another hell.

excuse my friend his earlier joy in saying who do I have to fuck to get fucked around here. at age 19 a man exploded beside my friend and my friend went quiet. to his grave thinking his own bomb malfunctioned.


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