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May 25, 2017 / barton smock

{prematurely, paw five}

my latest will be available in a few days…it is titled {paw five}, 124 poems, all small and cocoon and absence of worship.

am currently making 10-15 hard copies of it available for free. send request to bartonsmock@yahoo.com

~

and, here’s the whole fucking thing:

[lost priest]

I come from a place where a school bus hits a dog and the bus driver barks and all her kids play dead

~

[boy in darkness]

blood is a movie and none of it

yours

~

[the story outside]

a boy in a diaper
covered in flour

a sadness specific to elevators

cocoon
on every
menu

~

[lightning storms]

in a wedding dress
worn once
and haunted
by paper cuts

going
at her dolls
with a fork

~

[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.

~

[late poem]

one can only write so long
about loss
in pencil

find my house,
dog-on-fire

~

[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.

~

[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

~

[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

~

[annihilatives]

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

~

[annihilatives]

dream: a contortionist on a stretcher

bulimics
at a tortoise
crossing

~

[annihilatives]

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

~

[annihilatives]

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

my face went down on nothingness.

~

[annihilatives]

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: sock puppets on oxygen

~

[annihilatives]

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

~

[annihilatives]

go home, sadness

of exposure
to birth

~

[annihilatives]

the first murdered woman was not killed by her sister.

stop me
if you’ve
not heard

~

[annihilatives]

this dream again where no one likes me

the overeater I sleep for

~

[empty]

grief
has a swimmer’s
stomach

~

[ribbon on a blindfold]

suicide
is death’s
unicorn

~

[ambulations]

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

~

[supplication]

is voice
the shadow
of song

swimmer
whose blood
has feathers

~

[childhood (i)]

the body of jesus
pulled from the sea

~

[childhood (ii)]

I am, in the dark of an unwashed submarine, kissing his head

like it had
a message.

~

[curvature]

in my plainness a seesaw

in her dream jaw her dreamboat’s jawbone

in our daily belly

in the church of rolling our own
a film
ghosting
a film

in a rug made of bread a tooth made of bread

in mannequins where small things kneel that are living

in claw-marks and in jigsaws of the crucifixion

in

crows balloons of the strangled

~

[a scream in Ohio is my elsewhere parade]

allow me, wind, my unnoticed resurrection and forgive my smaller ear. the sex we had saved to cut the bread of bilingual angels is now a ghost watching sleep improvise. church bell beats dog-whistle and rocking chair empties horse.

~

[the hazing of our assigned animals]

when it was said
cannonball
I heard cannibal
and wondered where
was my helmet

my dad as a boy was bullied
by evocation, as a man
by the flawlessly
deaf

puppet to puppet, I only have two hands

the future
is all
you see

~

[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.

~

[whole children]

whose nights come to them in food

wrote lullabies
for cocoon
and stuttered

~

[firsthand]

are they gone

the cats of the doll-faced arsonist

how does one
earn
loneliness, or slip

from an overlong

baptism

~

[roof love]

alien
to me

were the ashtrays

failed boats
of teeth

for my angry
quiet
brother

~

[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

~

[conception]

lost
like you
my memory
twice

~

[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

~

[god and time are the same age]

a child, an oven

how both
distract
touch

~

[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

~

[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

~

[last blue thing]

choking
inside
a whale

/ sucker
from the world
of hands

~

[no system]

food on my plate, I am always one suicidal hairdresser away from my past…

lead your lives, touch

~

[darker farms]

food
saved
from a house
fire

the cult following of nostalgic paranoids

a star, this deer

as it prays
for moth

~

[morale]

image
made
no beast.

think of it-

death
was human

~

[would you say, mouth]

that god
made a deal
with nothing

~

[fealties]

mowing the lawn
dad swallows
a bug.

sister is folding her eyelids back
and brother

his diaper
stays on.

mom on a small map
is making
noise.

the animals are what god sees
in animals. soon

a birthmark
on a tooth.

~

[snakes are made of nothing]

I don’t know why it is that this thing in my father merely comes loose when in me it disappears, but am grateful that my mother can hear him getting ready for church no matter the rattling of my hunger at the weepy shapelessness of spoons.

~

[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
bat
asleep

is the cross
of Ohio
crows
the blank

does nothing
in hell
but draw

~

[transformative melancholies]

frog
in the throat
of a lowing
cow

dad, smoking

two nearby deer
nosing that headlight
into place

poem is dead

~

[father with his stomach missing]

a fishhook left in a dream

a peeping
tom’s
basilisk

~

[holy ghost]

I have a camera
sets a trap
for silence

an animal
you can borrow

a full-grown scarecrow

death’s first parrot

I have children, a suicidal thought
that can love
up to three

a pilot’s
paper seashell

~

[parade for sorrow]

I miss
blinking

~

[access verses]

a classroom, a house

but never
the ghost
of a church

the boys
they play
scarecrow
loves
horse, and the girls

the shepherdess
on a boat
names her dog

hey, distance

lose
the baby

(says
the empty
box)

~

[pairing]

my body at three years old
is being carried
to a mailbox
by my mother
who blizzard
or no
puts her ghost
on the map

~

[holding the baby]

a deleted voicemail of a boy asking his mom how to prepare a past meal. my handwriting an insect I want the best for. dream and the moth it won’t finish.

~

[the mud on god’s cheek]

at birth we are given a ladder we can’t see.

our feet

bare

~

[farness]

the last robot to name its baby.

two smokers
back-to-back
in the high
corn.

the spoonfeeder’s ferris wheel.

litterbug’s
shadow

~

[vespers]

them raccoons out there is tarrying*

up

yr bible

*tearin

border: my eyes can’t stop what the back of my head is eating

mirror: a godless hyphenate

my man is a body whose moon is vacant

they is out there to flood

sightseers

with basilisk

porn

in the valley of my choking
the fingers of my father
are going
dog’s-collar
purple

out-the-way churches. and acne

~

[viands]

no person was made in the harming of this creature.

hands off, angel,
the baby’s
glove.

~

[lording]

she puts down the book once it begins to read like it remembers being written. it’s my book. do you know this man? his sight returned while he ate. boys play freeze tag to sadden birds.

~

[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.

~

[committal]

leafing through the milkman’s picture-book of outhouse graveyards

happy to taste the gum on the buried shoe

reverie a learned behavior

god a tornado warning and hearing
a ghost town, this

a cigarette from the purse
of a past

/ mother

~

[shift]

asleep
I am headless
in a clawfoot
tub
the half-awake
boy
on my chest
the disoriented
pulse
in the hand
of god

~

[tin]

give childhood
some time

let vengeance

travel

/ say it wrong

my name

while whale

watching

~

[rattle]

forget, sorrow
your anniversary

in case
you’re not
alone

~

[two koans]

deader
than his animals
that could speak
to language?

~

[doll traffic]

it is not a darkness to call it the demon’s untouchable telephone

I’ve referred
to worse
and anyway
time is the gospel
of disappearance

in stories, my brother has a tail
and speaks
mailman

perhaps there’s not enough to do

the tree has horns

~

[peal]

the sculptor’s son dreams of acne

a sister so light
so moved
by shadows…

mom a statue
good
with faces

~

[later fights]

our lost
way
of thinking

forgave
different
films

~

[tell]

/ my death I was here to gather proof

/ my children
to paraphrase

~

[questions for shadow]

god
as spotlight

unmanned
or not

~

[anklebiters]

what in the history of blood
has blood
discovered

mom is hanging laundry from the future

regret is still looking
for a god

I learn cocoon
and boyishly
cross my legs

the lightning
when you saw it
was it clean

~

[form]

a creatureless forest
in the minds
of men
with shovels; a field.

/ birth outgrew its crooked coat

~

[cognate]

to build something inside the church
they had to close
the church

those who wouldn’t normally disappear
were said to be helping

shape began its story
with veal
and ended
with the man
dad choked
for nine
months

I imagined
foreign
injurious
objects
and my brothers

spoke
from a sandbox
of seeing

a late
deer

on the roof
of a nursing home

~

[dreamlike weaponry]

it’s no small animal that the world came back for us

~

[so, bullet]

only god himself can enter the church of the easily missed

so make
of boy
a stray
being

~

[poem]

to present oneself so falsely-

be happy
for the work

~

[apple]

in defense of snake, this is my mom’s curling iron

/ ghost
a vacancy
I cannot
dismiss

~

[no kids in Eden]

door to door we are selling knock-knock jokes

I am the body
travel
came with

~

[war footing]

a parrot
sawed in half
by peace
or quiet

~

[notice]

hooked on silence, oh sleep

/ long before its descent into me

~

[windowless the museum of weight loss]

brother puts the basketball under his shirt so he can light my cigarette.

we born
to miss
animals.

~

[infancy]

who is my brother?

a boy
fishing
from a ruined
helicopter

where is my sister?

being seen
by a ghost

am I alone?

dumbfounded
by rest

has anyone called my mother?

these tracks belong to the animal

drinks
from your father’s
bowl

is there a name?

for some
words

tell me there’s a church. small
to a turtle

~

[boy lord]

boomerang,

the toy of the lonely and the gospel

of the weak
dog…

perfection
is bad
art

~

[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.

~

[tongue]

a prop
fingerprint
from the object’s
dream
of being
touched
or a pig
that gets
fire
to keep
a diary

~

[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.

~

[beauty]

you look like someone
who’s not
famous

god

before he died

~

[under god]

we are photos
of a dreamless
fact

~

[films for headcase]

i.

amnesia
the perfume
of a dead
ghost

ii.

sleepwalkers
for a more
christ-like

hand signal

iii.

blue hound at a pilot’s grave

~

[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

~

[levitations]

mom is trying to iron a spacesuit

car horns
they foil
hypnosis

~

[in the past I am describing god to my attacker]

I don’t take good care of things.

I can’t even give you
examples.

~

[reflect, time, on what you’ve done]

the insomniac
the conductor
of the sleepwalker’s
train

the centipede
a sort of
wrecked
spider

bunny-eared
watersnakes…

god
took all
my mom’s
ideas

~

[reading and writing]

which one of us did loneliness hear coming?

~

[dead child]

the future
the past
both are ready

to talk

~

[mom is using after the dream a home pregnancy test as a microphone]

I am counting
the realest
sheep-

my brother’s toothbrush
good as new

in my broken
hand

~

[her father, his pipe]

all

them broken
babies
of tornado

drills…

eat, she says
to a fog
machine

~

[the more I sleep, the more there is of the future]

I can dream my son’s weight in birdseed

bird
the swimmer’s
bread

~

[wreath]

i.

upstairs
the last
to go

ii.

iii.

door
is so
forgetful

~

[each ear is an only child]

shaped
by a scarecrow
barber
known
to cut straws
for quiet
angels

~

[satan]

awake and watching his bird feeder

~

[a memory]

I roll from my mother
my father
sketching
the ghost
of a stone

~

[nostalgia while we wait]

no god. no wind.

sick son’s kite.

the pea

asleep…

~

[reader]

of everything
his writing
destroyed

~

[the book of boy]

/ be buzzard a shadow stuck in a trash bag

/ be knees full of milk

~

[sympathizer]

the many plain
sons
of god
their parking

tickets

~

[declination]

in forgetting how many to save, god wants to know

are you still
seeing

things…

I remember the animal, the appropriate

mask…

once held, is the baby
less
wild

is the room
in the room

~

[poem]

remember to rub them, the hands of the slow learner.

and to say their prayer

the one for the bald princess

& her child’s
perfect
somersault

~

[gutless data]

it is always a neighbor of ours tries to schedule amnesia and gets put down for suicide. it is always me on a farm machine hasn’t moved in years writing a poem for mom. it is never a mediocre ventriloquist marries a better.

~

[theaters of removal]

I have for appetite a pair of scissors and for despair a silent vase. I have a louse like a flower and a crush on a doll. I take my meals with a three-shouldered angel. the head of my abstract dog is highchair real. food is a ghost. I rake the hair.

~

[straying]

mom takes photos of things we are near.

a piece of gum that won’t bleed.
a plastic bag from the head of a carousel horse.
the circle’s dark past.

~

[unrisen]

this oven
this chapel
of the television’s
right
to privacy…

which paw
for mom’s
mosquito
bread

~

[the outright sadness of his vanished physique]

far be it from me
to stir
the madness
of fish.

age allows that we are younger for god.

sleep
is a shadow’s
bookmark.

~

[absences]

imagined
while losing
loss
a dolphin
the shyest
mourner

witch
in a swimsuit

~

[after’s daughters]

the disappeared inventor of the present

her reflection
in surprised
water

~

[hell on moon]

the building we enter to worship the church.

stones of boated nights.

a somehow
seasick
deer.

~

[the swimmer a storm-cloud from the land of grief]

not a fish
here
can go
missing

~

[imp]

the man digging in his yard is looking for his dog. this is my lucky window. in this much silence, a baby could get a tooth. a mom a finger if a car door slams. the man digs and the ice comes for its heartbroken road. wounds move in a deerless world.

~

[born]

disguised
as

as if
I would know

~

[upside]

/ this talk of home

/ bush of the hissing baby

/ snow

that can see
blood
in the dark

/ events

my body
held

/ first haircut,

broom, crucifixion

~

[animal masks on the floor of the ocean]

mouse, teacup of the missing stork-

owl, lamb of night-

this was god. he was sad and everyone noticed.

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One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. barton smock / May 26 2017 5:35 am

    Reblogged this on kingsoftrain and commented:

    book now available on Lulu, here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/paw-five/paperback/product-23198602.html

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