Skip to content
November 15, 2018 / barton smock

{ to date: ~separations for unlikeness~ }

separations for unlikeness

~~~~~

god bless the hypnotist who takes up smoking when it goes uncured (my transformative stutter…

god bless the breathing machine, the fog…

the donkey so beaten it recalls itself as a whale’s untouchable nose…

and god bless god for my short life as a father, for my son who says, meaning eyelash (cyclops…

~~~~~

it’s not my imagination that I’m the only foreigner my body recalls, but is that god can change with my stomach the shape of his tears

~~~~~

waiting for her cigarettes to dry, mother starts a bath and says above them that it’s not like any of you are becoming a rib. death, short a person, continues to eat the language god hasn’t. trauma makes a compass of time and place

and brother is not yet the sitting creature of a thoughtless life. I am not there but am allowed to be. I so miss birds.

(the ghost fame of each tadpole

~~~~~

a shadow’s private gravity (a fly on a grieving radar

~~~~~

the boy whose clothes have been taken will swim for hours and for hours know why the soul hides death from god

~~~~~

do they not
look

finished

ear to ear, the toddlers…

their tornado
still theirs, and today’s

sermon
still in the mind
of their mother’s
exterminator
boyfriend
who is having a thought
as rare

as his past, of a god

spotting
from a cobweb
a carcass

and deciding

~~~~~

apparition, or mom
at her most forgetful.

mouth, a shapeshifter’s
chew toy
godless
as a belly button
and babied
by grief.

face, face.

~~~~~

tell me again
how it is
that dream
stops
tooth decay
in angels / why it is

that I can hear
in the darkroom
post-god
the ghost
muscle

of weeping

/ when it was they found the suckling

and not the bones
of a wave

~~~~~

not uncommon in a household of grief

for one
to be bad
with names.

(the radio
an animal
that misses
its bones

~~~~~

I would ask that you name
your dog
loss
is not
a teacher (then love a longer kitten

(like an angel
might
an ashtray, more

even
like your mother

a thing on its way
to being

bird
(or shaped

~~~~~

I eat more in your absence than you do in mine. our animals never meet. I’ve a painting and you’ve a picture of eve reaching for an aspirin. an angel is a ghost on fire.

~~~~~

pushed a lawnmower. jumped on a trampoline. ate with symbolism the freer meals. painted for death what death could sell to a mirror. accused my hair of arson.

~~~~~

before an astronaut can miss a tooth

I see my mother

her face
in a cobweb

~~~~~

pushes
every smoker
a grocery cart
for a six-
fingered ghost

not

true
all children come from god

(the theatrical
parent

~~~~~

there are ways to be happy. you can say priestess and watch your father’s cigarette slip in and out of sleep. you can crush a pill for the dog that’s begun to move like the rabbit it died chasing. you can lick the spoon the mirror’s

(map

~~~~~

father likes to say that touch has lost its mind. mother

be like hunger
and forget
nothing.

(the boy is the boy who teaches death
to read
and I am sad
for death
for years

(in the toy aisle, in a circus
restroom, at the roll

of my son’s
spotless
eye, and at the gate

of the all
girl
cemetery

(also shyly

in the more traditional
babies
of god

(their hesitant
Fatigue

~~~~~

in those moments when non-fiction scares only the grey brainchild of poverty

(that fucking angel disrobing a stone with fog…

please read
to feel
nothing

~~~~~

November 15, 2018 / barton smock

to envy the mouth its nothing

to envy
the mouth
its nothing

I speak

in a language
that hides
its tail

(above the flower it takes for god

to imagine
my father
bent

November 15, 2018 / barton smock

lack

the few words you know

body, child, root
in places

that are strange

a footprint, a pair of scissors

god

(unmarried

November 15, 2018 / barton smock

all the swimming our sleeping ruined

for bruise
the clock
of the salted
fly

November 14, 2018 / barton smock

untitled

every other fifth paw
has
to her
a soft spot
for gasmask, that tooth
shaped
sigh
our infants
lose
to the sleep
god created
for bear

November 12, 2018 / barton smock

person Kate LaDew, two poems

ISACOUSTIC*

Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. She resides in Graham, NC with her cats, Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.

.

you find your youngest daughter

now your only daughter
swinging her sister’s rosary
back and forth back and forth
upending jesus like a carnival ride
the ones that made you sick
made you watch from behind little metal gates
as your children and everyone’s children raised their hands and screamed.
you snatch the crucifix mid-swing,
beads popping from between your youngest daughter’s fingers
your only daughter’s fingers
clutch it to your mouth, lips against the centerpiece of mary
breathing in and out in and out
eyes closed, squeezing so the whole scene is a negative in red and orange
as you lower your hand, opening it in time with your eyes
and find the imprint of christ…

View original post 171 more words

November 11, 2018 / barton smock

optics

as our mother
pigeonholes
imagery
for non
believers
we smoke
for the same
child
a cigarette
to improve
the longing
of our father’s
aim
and later
disappear
from grief
like a deer
from a phone booth