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September 16, 2016 / barton smock


30% off all print books at Lulu thru Sept 19th with coupon code of THEBIG30

my most recent, {depictions of reentry}, is here:

*book preview on site is book entire

**will send free PDFs to anyone requesting and free hard copy to anyone interested in writing a review (make such requests to


some recent poems:

[dark earth]

animal then man then woman. god was the god of grief. one saltwater thing to another

a garden?


you unusable


[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.


[pastoral enormities]

poverty a calendar we pay for monthly. birth a loudmouth. my other yacht is a crow.



infant, the sooner
than expected
for god.

I have this baby I’m not afraid to use.

you pretend to shoot
and I’ll pretend
to fall. we’ll make a day

of never talking.

the missing crow of thorns.



they wanna put my teeth on a billboard. mom doesn’t care. cremate the moon.



the ten commandments

the blues

my sister’s hair

rubber thumbs

/ bedtime
for the bathed
foot, for the bee

we started


[I lose you when I sleep]

I’d have gone grey
his hair
and he
to smoke
during the gospel
of the bruise



being alone never hurt anybody. I ask online about a coat hanger. in person about a stork. symbolism is dead. it’s not that kind of garden.



“There is no time for comedy;
every stone regains hope and dies immediately.” – Frank Lima

the clueless angel of a working elevator…

(father likes to say
a cricket
in a stone
is not

meal of the orphan
part orphan


[beneath the mirror’s toothbrush]

the doll and the dummy wore for god a wire. she had a dog whistle and she a rape. my fist grew faster than my mouth. your dad was asking a ghost looking for its head how to hold a baby. thunder what it remembered. your mom the palmreader with a broken wrist was pumping milk…


[cleaning the stroller]

lifted from the eyesight of a torn seagull

the beached outhouse of a father’s mermaid


[I am, emptiness, out of breath]

in a wet dream on fire
the arsonist
the mouth
he is trying
to leave

(it is not hunger that eats the horse)

I am past the age of what
in a former life
I died as, a spoon

is a fork

asleep in the hand of god


[the museum of minor fictions]

simpler, then

the seizure
that set
your father
to music

the baptized
of your mother’s

the book I brought to burn
as always

the pair deciding which hand
would come between us
which hand
would enter…

I caught the poor mask
on its own

I am ugly and you are not

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