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May 24, 2019 / barton smock

{ from BLUE MIND }

from

BLUE MIND

~~~~~

and when the creatures came back they were all the same size and my son was still sick and I put my ear to my mother’s and asked for the maker of god-painted sound and my son was a hole and I was grief in a gravedigger’s dream and we ate I think apples there

~~~~~

I miss
learning
of you

does art
lose everything
made visible

by grief

~~~~~

I lost my voice believing in ghosts and before that

spoonfed my brother until he tied me to a chair. this was the beginning of wanting my kids to play dead in front of the nothing my eyes could do. one sockless and one sick. not forever.

~~~~~

there is a book
dad says
(they say

is for children.

god
and the long
day-

find it

and we’ll stop eating
the creature you couldn’t describe

~~~~~

May 24, 2019 / barton smock

Knock-Off Monarch, poems, Crystal Stone

Knock-Off Monarch
poems, Crystal Stone
Dawn Valley Press, 2018

~

My next poem will sound like someone else.
It will be brave, change someone’s mind
about poverty. – from Promise

~

Bullet points and air quotes. Cocoon and echo. Crystal Stone’s Knock-Off Monarch is an outskirt instructional on how to locally respond to, and spiritually receive, those forms that absentmindedly claim to have our vacancies surrounded. In voice, the work appears as a bruise on the neck of one gargling an invisible blood. In word, the work worries that the half-full cup has slipped its mirror. In both, the bruise disappears because it’s been seen. If mothers and men are given first a mask disguised as a face and third a daycare center overseen by a christlike figure, the speaker here allows death to count aloud its own in the middle of a city that makes no sound well. None of these poems escape protection. Becoming is not retroactive, and how moving it is, this anxious vigil Stone keeps for the second self that is otherhood.

~

book is here:

https://www.amazon.com/Knock-Off-Monarch-Crystal-Stone/dp/0936014253

May 24, 2019 / barton smock

Ohio deaths (xxvi)

at the very least, I think god could’ve given loss a tail. I take it anyway

my cut of longing-

say keep my daughter from caterpillar and my son from cigarette.

from each other

both

May 23, 2019 / barton smock

{ misc. }

every bird I take from the ocean becomes a handful of snow

& somewhere the small machine that your father fixed

is on its only leg

/

I listen with my brother for frostbitten thunder

(as sleep makes oven the birthmark of the home

(as god spots crow at the grave of a rooster

/

from

MATERIALS

~~~~~

mothers
while jumping
rope
reminisce
on those
crucifixions
not postponed
by thunder

~~~~~

eating for the child lost by ghost, you are the second of three people who know god’s middle name. oh how I’ve written to avoid reading. to impress death.

a babysitter’s tattoo. the bird-sleep of ache.

~~~~~

in their hermit’s longhand they write of sobriety the unreadable grief and then subconsciously outbid god on the hamster wheel from grasshopper’s dream

~~~~~

years from the event of my body, we pass in the grocery. I tell your children they are attached to nothing, that my arm cast is made of fingernails, that a bruise has a shadow, and that a mouth is where a mouth goes to die. truth has no attention span. it is not my favorite dream. partly this is so because I can remember how with a grey marker I drew on my belly the easier fruits might the identified heal the recognized. (but the kids are ugly and seem to know

~~~~~

one thing leads to another and they call this the past. I don’t sleep because I don’t love god. son I am a barber in the body of a dentist. son loneliness is just a museum of recent prayer. there are crows I haven’t seen.

that other crows have.

~~~~~

we were allowed to keep any item we could draw perfectly. mothers counted cigarettes and fathers died in threes. no one had a sister but all

her hidden talent. on the hand of god, the scissors I lost…

~~~~~

a genetic forgetfulness
in jumpers
of rope

all the turtles
have been touched

~~~~~

ache as a hairstyle. teeth that pray for frostbitten squirrels. a shadow, a circle, their secret

limp

~~~~~

with my body as a thing that existed from the waist-up, I became to swimming what I’d been to lightning and told my brothers that to dream they had to fall asleep before god touched his food. loneliness left its skinny tree and followed my mother into an outhouse where once her sister had counted smoke-rings and where twice they’d sung for their mouths the one about zero the forgotten letter. my father looked at me and I at my son. time waiting to create the sick.

May 22, 2019 / barton smock

mother, barefoot (i & ii)

~~~~~

mother, barefoot (i)

fast

reader, the mother-

pink
illness
through a grey
pig

(the belly button
an ash
tray
for angel

~~~~~

mother, barefoot (ii)

crows three times for the owl that taught god to count

~~~~~

May 22, 2019 / barton smock

softenings

the immediate church
of say
pretty,

this snow an over

shadowed
fog, a story

where old
rib-finger,

long struck by lightning

(tries to use
an ashtray

May 21, 2019 / barton smock

softenings

sound horn
if you bruise
easily, if you’ve seen
a tattoo
artist
with your
half
of awake
pining
on the floor
of a nursing home
for the oceanographer
who trades
nightly
a jack
in the box
for the ghost
of a turtle