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November 30, 2021 / barton smock


The sleepy fictions of any longing

My distance
keeping yours

The scar

in spoon's
November 30, 2021 / barton smock

untouched in the capital of soon / rocks have the softest shadows / etc sorry

rocks have the softest shadows, 237 pages
poems, Dec 2020

untouched in the capital of soon, 187 pages
poems, Sept 2021


can be purchased via paypal (
or Venmo: @Barton-Smock-1
or CashApp: $BartonSmock


FROM [ rocks have the softest shadows ]

~diets of the resurrected~

Ohio prolonged:

My drug use writes to a jellyfish


There are certain rooms I walk out of to make my son heavier. Certain campfires disguised as nests. God is here but has forgotten sending Death to fetch the infant brainwashed by sleep. Death is here but location lasts forever.


Ohio cut short:

I am gathering the eggs and giving each one a name as if each is a body part favorited by those angels of the geographically vacant and then my mom calls to me and then accidentally to my brother and her voice it never comes back


Ghost and angel are never together when they see God. Their loneliness keeps us apart.


In our hair are the bugs that believe they’ve died on god’s skin. Does emptiness dream of its original? I still think babies learn to talk by saying they itch from being looked at. One of our children will deserve to be lonely.


When it gets cold, we tell each other it’s okay to use a photograph instead of soap. It is not common for language to keep its word. If you’re poor enough, snow takes the pulse of the moon. We don’t believe in the soul. But ate something to bring it back.


As grief swallows those insects made of repetition and As god locks herself in the bathroom built for her father and As I mimic choking on the cord that wants to belong to the phone that reads your mind and As her baby waits to hear if it’s a boy or a girl who meanwhile touch and As the beekeeper befriends for reasons known to homesickness the owner of a gun

that was used


Ohio sexuality:

A private pencil erasing nobodies from a blue past. A way for fish to keep passwords from God. A toy car from the world’s saddest drive thru and sirens in silent movies overlooked.

A pink light. How it cared for snow.

/\/\/\ \/\/\/

FROM [ untouched in the capital of soon ]

~far notes~

The bomb is never here long enough to know it’s found us. Son in bird years you’d be dead. A stomach holds on to its hand-shaped sleep.


Dropped on its head for saying footprint, the baby begins its work of collecting only those sounds it can scare. Its father mothers otherness as one who watches a film to make the world worse. Its brother hunchback and sister backstroke are viewed as two stomachs waiting for hunger to dry. Because my mouth is empty, I want to kiss you to the sound of god counting footfalls on a mountain path. For one, I have never been completely covered in bruises. Also, I was in the spotlight when my mother was asked to describe a sponge. Instead, she identified the break in the letter where a father changed pens and childhood as the longing of Eve.
November 29, 2021 / barton smock


Illusion is hallucination's lost journal
and mirror
is its found.

Look, the water will always want to be your hair.

Put your father
on a boat 
that's asleep.
November 26, 2021 / barton smock


In the hips there is a knowing that water is made of patience.

I am still creating a god 

that's hard 
to look at 
November 26, 2021 / barton smock


Death introduces again

its slow 


Reading a poem
fixes only
the poem


The past runs on a loop


out of nowhere 


November 24, 2021 / barton smock


In a game of telephone they've trapped a starstruck loneliness. My amen and your amen need the same light

switch. Our sick son knows we can't be from the future.
November 23, 2021 / barton smock

hypnosis for clumsy gods

in Ohio a blinking fog no older than a bandaged deer leaves in a hospital a hole might the angel need previously more than the nothing it learns at a spelling bee that never ends
November 22, 2021 / barton smock

older cities, from ‘untouched in the capital of soon’

city 121

My memory isn't what it will be.

Povertavoid, avidsad, handbefore. 

She wants a flowermysonisdead.


city 122

We get our thunder from snow's dream.

A baby

with a fork and an outlet.

The wind is slowly eaten
by what


city 123

There's not much to know, really.

The puppeteer sleeps all day
and the fisherman
all night.

Hide your hair in your mouth.


city 124

Pop-up books about sleep.
The rabbitwater ocean.

No one is the one keeping god alive.
November 22, 2021 / barton smock

self, selfsame

So, my brother Noah Smock wrote the below kindness about me a few months ago, in regards to my poem SOONISMS being featured at Poem-A-Day, and I said thank you and cried to myself and to others but meant also to put it somewhere for good.

Also, please check out the work he does for the Baltimore Community Toolbank HERE


What Barton says about this piece: 'I hand-wrote this poem on a small piece of paper while worrying about the long and short lives of my children.'

Barton has been writing and putting in work as a self-published author for years. He has built an audience when and where he can. He's done so around a *few* other commitments (namely working full-time and being an  incredible, committed, engaged father of four). 

My brother is also the biggest supporter of anything I've ever done. He regularly donates to the organization I commit myself to daily. He shares any victory of his brothers broadly. He is kind and giving and only curses when he's cooking or driving. My life's pursuit is to make him laugh so hard he falls to the floor.

This little story is the perfect description of who he is: 

When he was eight, his younger brothers wanted to play king of the mountain on a dirt pile located at a construction site near our housing complex. It was the 80s. Construction sites were playgrounds of endless possibility. 

But on this day, Older Boys were already playing on the 'mountain' we wanted. So as the oldest, Bart was nominated to Go Talk To Them. I don't know what was said, but an arrangement was made: Yes, we could play on the mountain *if* Bart let one of the Older Boys punch him in the stomach. 

So Bart looked briefly back at us, then stiffened his gut to accept a single blow below the ribs. He hobbled back to us, holding his stomach. Through clenched teeth he said, 'You guys can play. I'll be right there.'

poem is HERE

November 19, 2021 / barton smock


An oven too small to be left on.

An ear that makes an animal-sized hiccup.

A bidding war started by god for the children of our unprotected hypnosis.

A miniature loneliness.
An error-free nothing.