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July 13, 2017 / barton smock


recently reading alone:


recent book {the boy who touched all the eggs}:


poems old:

[rare disorders in the very young]

after a spell is cast by one using a pseudonym

we start



reported missing
by some


[the meek, the meek]


in him like the sewing needle of god’s mother; is lightning.

in you a koan.


now that she wants the surgery removed
they tell her
the womb
is a hook
that looks like a womb.


everywhere work.

the golden blood
of brooms.


mother in her rocker
her eyes
tire swings
her tongue

a cat’s tail.


my sister
martyrs herself
under the monkey
in the stoplight.


in a church
hangs a coat
with a man
in it.


does not break loose
like they say

all hell.


[his fastball]

he wants to know what he collects. he prays. he is blindfolded by the parent he rarely sees. he is taken on foot to an empty showroom only he can imagine. he is hugged. not asked, he goes into detail about his outfit. parent flips through a notebook. parent leaves to find a pencil. outside in a miniature snowstorm another parent throws an egg through the tail end of melancholy.



on a clear day
my father
is the face
of absence.

how what I mean
cuts the finger

my mother

how porch blood
is not the same blood
the body
faints with.

how copperhead, how rattlesnake, how lisp

says I myth
my sister
who is still

to shoplift

from the thunderstorm
we gave her.


[notes to Franz Wright]


in no dream did I see you emerge naked from a lake smoking a cigarette you seemed afraid to touch with your fingers. in no dream was there a ruined enough tree that could take your piss.


we are not doing too many things at once. we are merely extinct. god’s final act is god’s only. we harp.


[the lost]

before it is dark enough to carry the television into the forest and leave it, a mother checks the oven for her loaf of black bread. her overseas child follows a dead fly to another dead fly and so on. her sensitive brother turns over in his grave to be on all fours. her wiser husband rips the cord from the base of the television and uses it to whip the basement door. when the door opens, any dog will do.


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