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July 29, 2017 / barton smock

notes from life under bell

[notes from life under bell (i)]

on video my cousin is singing a song she’s learned by heart. she’s maybe four. I don’t know where to begin. this pond behind her, perhaps? that in my memory is the size of a fire pit. or maybe, here, in the darkening sameness of those sentences strung together by cows. or years from now, even, with the word no and her sister’s lookalike being assaulted by an only child in a library of fragile non-fiction. my cousin is singing a song she’s learned by heart. she’s five. a careful six. sound’s fossil. no city half-imagined. no insect obsessed with privacy. time matters to the frog we catch.


[notes from life under bell (ii)]

there are days he is the son of muscle memory and funny bone. days his hands are gloves from a small god. poor god, he says, and grows. days he can carry a circle to any clock in the town of hours. days his past can be heard by his siblings- you’re beautiful the way you are. days his blood pushes a bread crumb through his thigh. days his scar is a raft for ear number three. nights his brain / the separation of church and church.


[notes from life under bell (iii)]

violence is a dreamer. a boy on a stopped bus is dared to eat a worm. it feels authentic. alas, there is no worm. the devil knows to stay pregnant. word spreads about the girl without a tongue. cricket lover. and then, bulimic, when she won’t sneeze.


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