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March 6, 2017 / barton smock


20% off all Lulu print books with coupon code of ENGLISH20

mine are here:


very old, very edit, very sorry:


father offers, no, we are bodies trapped in people.

he was known to be monstrous when inside a vandalized church.

yesterday, she was identified by her dentist.
she was recalled as a hunger pain.

man is a rumor
started by god.


[you are here]


it’s old. this
what have I done, this
dark ship. the crates
in their charge
of silence, the ice
and breaking.
we move
in our cabin

our bellies
to stay
the compass
of hurt.


I say I’m sorry
in three stories
I envision
as three orphans
of wiser


our new baby
we honor
like a bruise, a slack

hangs itself




it is just a scarecrow.
I drive to it in a minivan
and face it
and fall asleep.

in the dream I am trying to vomit.
awake I am still trying.
a man is knocking my window
with a woman’s heel.

touching the earth is madness.



the name must be shorter than a pastoral. the baby must outlive your father’s car. asking for the possibility of good sex must not be compared to anything. the person father is underneath must be from your past, your mother. the casket must be a rumor, and open. rumor must be definitive, like eclipse, like eye patch. the door must be placed on the back of a military mom and a photograph is preferred. the doorway must become addicted to selfies. dear boy, humiliate the right dog. tether dog. eat so much my girlfriend says dear boy, dear sea, stomach. you can’t hate poetry and the world. Bob is secretly a soccer mom rubbing a lamp in public and is also sometimes Jesus trying to step on a scale.


[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.


[loss of the family dog]

be alone. enter snowfall as a heavy breather in a white dress window shopping for a red.


that in between heaven and hell, there is war. hell thinks it a nightmare, heaven thinks it hell. hell sleeps more than your sister in love. heaven counts warriors and can’t put an angel on why the numbers keep changing.

as increased chatter is good for morale, call your mother and say you are her appetite.

scoop the brains of your buddies into a helmet.


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