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May 5, 2017 / barton smock

{totals, some}

BORNOGRAPHY

it is common for the male cannibal to carry the skin of the due child

fasting is a sin and starvation a commandment

orphans are given home movies and edible pillows

language is a head
we bring it cake

~

DYING AT HOME

bring little, for I am a small room.

my clothes are yours and have always been lonely.

from nowhere
came beauty
to avoid
god.

bruise, ye
from nightgown
to blanket.

be kind, history

to those
in my dream.

~

WHOLE CHILDREN

whose nights come to them in food

wrote lullabies
for cocoon
and stuttered

~

RIBBON ON A BLINDFOLD

suicide
is death’s
unicorn

~

VIANDS

no person was made in the harming of this creature.

hands off, angel,
the baby’s
glove.

~

HILLS AND STARS

for her date with the giant, mom is putting on her face. our time, invisible chameleon, is over.

brain of a white mouse.

~

SOLE

the spell we’re under for mocking the wrong ballerina

it learned here to roll over

there
to be
on fire

childhoods of dog-breath and wand

~

AMBULATIONS

poetry and suicide
the two left feet
of a child
forced to play
horseshoe
horse
a waste
of strangeness

~

THE BLANK

does nothing
in hell
but draw

~

EMPTY

grief
has a swimmer’s
stomach

~

ACOLYTIC

it does what it can
the world
to belong.

I saw a wheelchair
chase
an ambulance.

babies don’t know
they can’t be
alone.

we peopled this.

~

SUPPLICATION

is voice
the shadow
of song

swimmer
whose blood
has feathers

~

WE GOT OUR HANDS ON SOME FINGERPRINTS AND DID NOT FEEL POOR

the invisible man’s ghost, them polaroids

of sister’s
feet…

dream differently, microphone

~

GOD AND TIME ARE THE SAME AGE

a child, an oven

how both
distract
touch

~

BALLERINA

dog whistle, nothing’s church-bell:

my mother, handcuffed

still worships
wasp

~

MOTHERS, ACOUSTIC

we are maybe
inside
an Ohio
factory

childless and ready

for a refresher
on orphan
etiquette-

word is
there came
a cow
from the nothingness
that drank
nowhere’s
father

and sleep
is death’s
babysitter

~

TOO DARK NOW OVER NOTHING TO CRY

cavity
a clock
dreamt
by a scar.

the scalpel
the ear’s
idea.

birthplace, hide your own.

no animal
harmed
in the making
of god.

~

REPAIRS

the past
misses
your child
also

~

GOD IS SILENT IN EVERY LANGUAGE

mom is driving. mom is washing the spider that closed her mouth. sister has a stick of gum but says she doesn’t. dad is half-asleep and cutting the fingernails of the babies he dropped. there’s a scab on my arm that looks like my brother’s nose. we pass church after church. sound horn for buried bees.

~

CAMPESTRALIA

i.

hailstorm a midwestern cairn for cracked eggs

hiccup
the small
afterlife

ii.

figures, maternal
step naked from a.m. houses
scream
to be
collected, we’ve all seen

the rooster
reenter
the clock

iii.

birth, go to heaven-

god
is time’s
way
of showing
history

that death
has no
experience

iv.

and the pestersome
bats
are asleep

in the cross
of Ohio
crows

~

LATE POEM

one can only write so long
about loss
in pencil

find my house,
dog-on-fire

~

A SPIDER, WORRIED

this cloud from a father’s mouth
before it is ruined
by some kid
who’s learned
recently

her shapes
and not

to smoke

~

HER FATHER, HIS PIPE

all

them broken
babies
of tornado

drills…

eat, she says
to a fog
machine

~

LIGHTNING STORMS

in a wedding dress
worn once
and haunted
by paper cuts

going
at her dolls
with a fork

~

LEVITATIONS

mom is trying to iron a spacesuit

car horns
they foil
hypnosis

~

THE RAPTURE

grief is grief because it attempts to mourn the infinite. my leg’s blood becomes a branch. I breathe and think I’m eating.

~

TRANSFORMATIVE MELANCHOLIES

frog
in the throat
of a lowing
cow

dad, smoking

two nearby deer
nosing that headlight
into place

poem is dead

~

OTHERHOOD (i)

loneliness the born artifact of my father’s rented dream. god the hobby of replaced machines. forgiveness the eldest stowaway and mistress of the seasick hologram. the monster you became to attain formlessness. mom a rabbit. her dying frog. hunger erased by what it loves.

~

OTHERHOOD (ii)

it is not real, of course

the trailer park
on fire, the accepted

field-

wheelchairs
crossing
without us

~

FIRSTHAND

are they gone

the cats of the doll-faced arsonist

how does one
earn
loneliness, or slip

from an overlong

baptism

~

RATTLE

forget, sorrow
your anniversary

in case
you’re not
alone

~

ROOF LOVE

alien
to me

were the ashtrays

failed boats
of teeth

for my angry
quiet
brother

~

TIN

give childhood
some time

let vengeance

travel

/ say it wrong

my name

while whale

watching

~

LATER FIGHTS

our lost
way
of thinking

forgave
different
films

~

VACUUM

lose them all, dogface

teeth were pills
god couldn’t
swallow

~

PHYSIQUE

pain a shadow’s bed-hopping rain puddle

idea
a boy
in a homesick
elevator

~

PEAL

the sculptor’s son dreams of acne

a sister so light
so moved
by shadows…

mom a statue
good
with faces

~

BOY LORD

boomerang,

the toy of the lonely and the gospel

of the weak
dog…

perfection
is bad
art

~

LAST BLUE THING

choking
inside
a whale

/ sucker
from the world
of hands

~

KEENING

(i)

a week ago, sister bled to death on a rocking horse. today is the short memory of our pig farming father and the suicide of the knife-thrower’s surgeon.

(ii)

notes will be notes from when I was alive. all men, amen. oh infant, teacher of spiders. the future of adult bookstores. yes they are dreams and yes they go to church. lose a finger, it becomes a ghost. a paw and the children think maybe their mom is having a mother. I’ll sleep with anyone. doctors each from the birth of my past. animals denied the policing of crow.

(iii)

I wash my own body. put behind me the death of outhouse slapstick. a dog is barking at a tractor. an older dog, wearing sunglasses, lets the baby do whatever. only some of these churches are mine.

(iv)

flashcards for women in labor. predictions for memory. sheep.

the hidden breads of snow.

(v)

history is not a person. these are the kids it tried to name.

(vi)

elevator country. the hangings of nothing pregnant. baby knows a shadow that knows a shadow can tell a map what to do. can get a small library to carry books on men eating men in the right bathroom. baby is here for trying to stay. its tongue came out that way, stuck to its nose. a moral choice on behalf of its mother whose water we drank blind.

(vii)

I was having trouble remembering my dreams so I began to see someone who wasn’t. my demeanor was approachable, he said, but cerebral. he said we were in unfamiliar territory. he asked me if I’d mind looking at some pictures he’d forgotten to draw. jokes of the trade, he said. the first few dreams I think were his and were probably so by design. the two scarecrows, witch-hunt and crucifixion, came soon enough but were paired wrongly as husband and wife. their little klutz.

(viii)

I thought it was a movie about dancing and you thought it was a movie about the devil. our feet were warm. remember the alarm? worlds to which none were added.

(ix)

I imagine it puts a hole in a demon, this combing of underwater things to protect the toenails of painted men. mom is this void the last of its kind?

(x)

this was in my dream. and this. and she was there and she has two kids, a boy and a girl, and a husband, there he his, who’s killed himself. I kept saying, after every thought, behold. went home with a woman who insisted she was born pregnant. slept like a wolf addicted to car alarms. saw the saddest foodfight.

(xi)

the man lives in his car and his children live in a store that’s out of everything. his dog has forgotten how to eat. things are on what any good god would call a collision course. he shows me nude photos he says he can’t look at until he knows for sure that the people in them are somewhere naked. he wants me to work on writing with a sense of place. not me, he says. move grief.

(xii)

I was still new
to the angel
when I reached
gloveless
into the deer
for the baby
god
froze

mom looked for a large moth
to stick
with a fork, brother

made to strangle
a coat

(xiii)

pain had a son whose right hand became the receiver of a jailhouse telephone. whose left remained a seashell. pain’s wife a daughter whose shadow became a puppet when she’d floss.

(xiv)

/ seen shoving a burnt doll into a book return

the nobody
birth
reminds

(xv)

puppets for dental hygiene

god
the animal
on auto
pilot

(xvi)

the overmedicated bear cub

and the jawbone
from snake’s
nightmare

/ driven by flower

this moving
van
of loss

(xvii)

orphaned by imagery,

the vision
comforts
foresight.

writing
is a non
event.

ghost? my one

for boredom’s
three.

(xviii)

I am the least, no

I am

look what they’ve done
to the lightning, dad

to your scarecrows, mom

all the toilets were in the trees
the trees were taller
a flat

bird
how
the fuck, roadkill

was on
the moon

(xix)

a chicken with two heads. a burning bush. a cane only a dog could love. a barber whose hair, nevermind. an arm cast bearing the hangman’s faded autograph. invisible milk

and the nothing you bring to my godless poems.

(xx)

that, or a seven day vigil for the one he destroyed

(xxi)

having one word for my voice, I would read to death from the book death borrowed. my armpits were those of a mannequin thrown from a horse. I gave no birth. I ate what I could of the kidnapper’s dream. upside down fish. crippled fish. boatloads of black sheep

puzzled
by the eclipse.

(xxii)

killing the firstborn is so yesterday. let’s be lonely. maternity leave for clowns. ant farms on airplanes.

(xxiii)

to the man who enters this poem looking for a gun. to the woman whose animals pray. to the giant with a memory like a model airplane. to the boy burying his sister’s bloody nose. to the bottle-fed scarecrow. to the dollmaker on the bridge and to the doll-god of country eggshell. to the possum and to its babies in my brother’s ballcap. to god’s only with god’s disabled. to a shadow’s early work.

~

OVERTURE

curfew, pregnancy, dream-

this plan
to stop
talking

~

SECRET

I occur only to the animal that wants to die

~

BASILISK

angel: I know

my son’s
disease
is lower
than pork, that suicide

means god
has a say
in how
we’re prepared…

also, that above
the lake
in which
my father
sees

a strange
fish
there flies

a burning
bird

~

SCOURING

two birthmarks

one
temporary, one

invisible-

when god
was young

~

CRY SHAPE

it comes up in conversation how his dogs, blowjob and retard, were killed during a bout of baby-proofing. biters both; like mirror their mother. she is only god in that we sent her a son. he says this, and also this: the act of swimming is a creature that comes to my knees. we bring him the raccoon. no raccoon, no moon.

~

PURSE

memory selects its future and trauma stops to eat. we are in the Ohio of dieting apparitions. oh, some cigarette made to last. a buried joystick.

~

MOUSING for RA Washington

history doesn’t repeat itself so much as curse the language it just learned. this is their there. escapist fare for those still fleeing. and I thought my hands were loud. one headset per foster home. shadow envies prayer. prayer has lice and ghost
a bathroom for both dreams.

~

PLANE

as violence
might recall

nothing’s
gospel, I wear

a mask
and poke
your baby’s
eye-

forget beauty, ah

/ the description of a monk in the notebook of a nun

~

EVACUATIONS

the dollhouse needs a second bathroom and those responsible for the film I’m watching have nowhere to hang the astronaut

~

NO MEANING

give death a sign. pumpkin seeds to the weatherman holding his throat. nostalgia a reason to ejaculate. a gas mask to goliath.

~

WIZARDRY & ABUSE

fascinated
by the ear

children
I’ll not

kiss

~

A LETTER, SILENT

a letter, silent

dropped by a word
into window’s
bible

cot, diving board, empty pool. southernmost

search

for earpiece.

medusa

her headless
horseman

~

FLIGHTS

i.

a brother
on the roof
with his raft

and the white mouse
his baby
takes
like a bottle

ii.

the coming
of radar’s
crow, the lights

of illegible
ambulance

~

ABUSE IN THE MUSEUMS OF AFTERTHOUGHT

you’re not small enough to be alone in the world.

old ghost-brain
gets a bike.

~

UNTITLED

“you are the secret watching the private act”
– from Citi, by RA Washington

ruins are for playing tricks on the past and god is the mugshot newborns love. hand is smaller than the hand it knows of. I am here for the nudes of the amateur basilisk. look at me when I exist.

~

COMER

I am looking for the mark on my body that will tell me how near I was to you when I fell asleep. we can’t know where touch has been. the third animal to which I pray

was it always
deaf

~

ARK AND HERD

dreams my dialect coach never had. birth and the boring outcomes of immediacy. oh grief, the first to mourn the fast learner. it’s your story, but you can’t name it resurrection, your spacecraft, without considering the mortality of your audience. I sleep crooked while watching ugliness. I love my brother like a leg but he brings to choir exit music for nomads. what does god think of the future? we carry the virus that killed our ghost.

~

AFTER THE POEM

the point
was to describe
you
to the image.

to go
in sleep
from bear
to bombed
bear.

~

ANNIHILATIVES

(i)

as drawn, the boy’s
alien and cow
evoke rescue

dream: a toothless sheepdog is spooning roadkill in a wax museum dedicated to famine

go on, birth
take silence
from a baby

(ii)

dream: a contortionist on a stretcher

bulimics
at a tortoise
crossing

(iii)

you drive a clown car into a crowd
it is how you mourn
the accidental burning
of a doll’s
body-sock
and this I understand
as a city
kind of thing
as a way to eat
darkness
among friends
darkness
from a stomach
a way to lose
blood’s password
yourself
in bread

(iv)

the present happens at different times. fetus, comma, tadpole. surgery, please tell this mask

my face went down on nothingness.

(v)

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream: a mummy obsessed with what doves eat

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream:

dream: sock puppets on oxygen

(vi)

the brainwashed and the blindfolded will then switch children
and you will spend a year
a year
at least
throwing a slipper
at a farm machine

dream: grief a mile
grave
an inch…

you won’t eat much
and your eyesight
will trade its crow
for a bar of soap

your father will fake his death
to distract
room service
from his country
roots
and an insect
inside a stick
will die
and the stick
will live

(vii)

go home, sadness

of exposure
to birth

(viii)

the first murdered woman was not killed by her sister.

stop me
if you’ve
not heard

(ix)

this dream again where no one likes me

the overeater I sleep for

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One Comment

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  1. barton smock / May 16 2017 4:13 pm

    Reblogged this on kingsoftrain and commented:

    Lulu is offering 20% off all print books today with coupon code LULU20. mine, are here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/acolyteroad

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