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July 31, 2022 / barton smock

( reading ( blood to bathe us in its blue past ( & ) untouched in the capital of soon

so I did this really long rather awkward reading from my last two self-publications but I do mean what I say or at least what one can hear of it:



hard copies available, PAY WHAT YOU WANT:

untouched in the capital of soon, 187 pages
poems, Sept 2021
can be purchased via paypal (bartsmock@gmail.com)
or Venmo: @Barton-Smock-2
or CashApp: $BartonSmock

blood to bathe us in its blue past, 217 pages
poems new and selected, May 2022
can be purchased via paypal (bartsmock@gmail.com)
or Venmo: @Barton-Smock-2
or CashApp: $BartonSmock

PDFs at GUMROAD
August 23, 2021 / barton smock

Poem-A-Day at poets.org

I have all the words that have gone missing to say that I am thankful for being in the August 2021 run of Poem-A-Day at poets.org as guest edited by Kazim Ali

Read my poem here

about the poem:

“I can't speak for all fathers, but my own fathering is littered with necessary and fake finalities. As such, I wrote this poem by hand on a small piece of paper while worrying about the long and short lives of my children. In the spacing of the poem, I tried to honor the little room I'd given myself for its projected concerns.”
—Barton Smock
September 25, 2022 / barton smock

the soft of grief, the lost of art

A grape goes quiet above a photo of a woman who is pretending to eat for two. A mouth opens inside my thumb. I can't close it. 

You're here longer
than someone else.
September 23, 2022 / barton smock

2018, edits and doing away

RABBIT HORNS

A plastic doll with a human right hand distracts us from the parrot’s empty cage. Our poverty is so advanced it keeps a fake diary and a real diary but hides them in the same spot. The dark, the ocean. I have two reasons to believe god has not stopped creating. Anger has gone the way of the milkman. His doomed child with her piece of chalk. Her puppets all of them slapped into believing the mirror’s memory is for show. A mime bites into a bar of soap. A man not making siren sounds is pulled over by a man who is. After a child drowns in a child, the church bathroom is scrubbed in full view of the elderly. While thunder remains god’s most solemn prank, the moon is the bottom of a prop tree. My father in the shower holds a cigarette above his head. There are egg shells on the floor of heaven.

A GUN GOES OFF IN A DREAM I DON’T HAVE ANYMORE

Death takes its place at the head of the table to tell the only story it knows to plates of untouched food. Father lifts up his shirt to show me the wire jesus wore. In the trespass of elsewhere, two brothers approach two dimming flashlights set upright in cemetery mud that in your recollection are the horns of an empty beast. I return to my mother's spot as it's a microwave.
September 22, 2022 / barton smock

( without link, fail, journal

just now 2022

aw man someone just reminded me of this song and I lived once in Palmyra PA third floor of a house wife and kids and in the winter it was cold and in the summer it was hot and in the winter I would have to knock the icicles outside into a bucket so they wouldn't destroy the cars below and then I'd melt them for some reason in the bathtub and we didn't have a showerhead and everything was carpeted and money was as scarce as it is now rare and in the summer the neighbors across the street would fight and my listening had a temperature 

2016

I don’t know what right I have to be touched by a gospel song. birth has a wrongness about it. I have four kids and they are cried elsewhere for being poor enough to share a blindfold. this whole thing is like going window to window with portraits of our invisible neighbors. I hear this man and no there is not a special place in hell.
September 21, 2022 / barton smock

( words toward films, Christian Tafdrup’s ‘Speak No Evil’, & some others recently

An arrival numb to departure, Christian Tafdrup's Speak No Evil is an out-of-body duet unsung by people too close to partnership and camaraderie to see a single evil let alone name any tune not already on another's tongue. It is important that a film this alone remain within itself at length, or forever, and with performances and visuals that achieve both the hermetic and wild, it painfully and almost perfectly leaves itself an inheritance of inaction and etiquette enough to afford its callous but necessary payoff.

...

Noah Buschel's The Man in the Woods is alive and at rest, and is not sure its past life will see us in ours. Off kilter but never out of focus, it manages homage in mood while also rejecting it, kindly, with a creatural pulse. The performances are all ace...not the least of which are found in the quiet and decisive hurt of Jack Kilmer, the comically shy sadness of the trinity of Odessa Young, Gus Birney, and Jessica Carlson, the dual mirror in the broken partnership of Marin Ireland and Jane Alexander, William Jackson Harper's steering of the man alone with inner wilderness, and Kevin Corrigan's deft conducting of a music abandoned by chorus. This movie tricks magic.

...

What an elegant and rhythmic note to the gospel of the inner outsider Sparrows Dance is. Director Noah Buschel writes for the body and directs from the heart of the criminally underseen. Marin Ireland blues all flame and sighs invisibly through an invisible mask, while Paul Sparks convinces light it has a shadow and tells it to keep looking. Rarely has watching and breathing been so lovely to do at the same time.

...

Creatively and gloriously unreliable, Vincent Grashaw's difficult and restoring What Josiah Saw chooses how it begs and gets two-headed performances from all involved. Nick Stahl gives his ghost a ghost, Scott Haze retraces steps that didn't touch the earth, Robert Patrick closes every space in which he appears, and Jake Weber gets the story wrong with a menace that kills the right. But, damn, this is really Kelli Garner's movie. From the moment Garner's Mary puts the path in her path with the body language of anti-destination, the movie makes a scenic witness of its periphery and goes about vicariously burning itself beside the salvage of Garner's nervously resigned vision.

...

Talking itself into and out of the unanswered blue, All My Puny Sorrows guts both the nearby and the distant using the same hunger for recovery as bellied by any lost sister of loss. Alison Pill and Sarah Gadon glow wounded in performances that separately heal, and Mare Winningham keeps detail as something some god has locally misplaced. I was glad for all of its conversations and for its half open way of unburning books, for how Pill baptized the submerged, for how Gadon let others believe they’d invented the headlight, and also for how director Michael McGowan left often the camera alone to become its own silent letter.

...

We’re All Going To The World’s Fair has to it an unworried precision that had me thinking I might have forgotten to shut down, in another life, an electric toothbrush. If any pulse is taken, it’s the pulse of separation and director Jane Schoenbrun is songbook tender and secretly protective enough to hum the art of this film into the disconnected wrists of those whose online has no off. Schoenbrun and lead Anna Cobb make of knowing a current terror and no sky here falls that hasn’t been dropped. Cobb, with deadpan abstraction, gives a performance worth of sleep’s eternal jump-scare and works with the film outside of the film to put an end to vice-versa that we might more blankly keep those who are constantly notified away from those who appear by looking at the vanished.   
September 20, 2022 / barton smock

unkeepings

Search histories of the kidnapped as erased by the ghost of a wedding photographer. A toad and a train car turning away from god. Leaving's 

display 
kitchen. The last birthday marked for touch.
September 19, 2022 / barton smock

my cousin writes to me about snakes

there's no skin where my skin pretends to cry

September 19, 2022 / barton smock

some old things rearranged and I know you’ve been here before but there is a work I did not create called the tornado that lost our emptiness

Eating is magic. Hunger a rabbit removed from its environment. I can make some sense now, I think, of death. Of a grandmother’s life of cooking and loss. We wore our frostbitten noses. Did things with frogs might an infant laugh on the inside where a nothing was still in boxes. Took from blood 

its blue 
now. 

Which was wrong. 

~ 

I want for my son a more regular sadness. Not touch with its vacant déjà vu. Not the stutter, untapped, of his far beast. More the fasting of an unknowable fish. A marionette 

gazing 
at a toy 
car 

~ 

Ohio moons: 

the child we could not bury and the child like it 

a ghost crying over the loss of a plain colored pet 

unmothered sisterlight 

the time between oranges

~ 

Moods for screenplay: 

It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 
It is always just before the sadness that I stop brushing my teeth 

Small again 
the star is little

~

AND

hard copies available, PAY WHAT YOU WANT:

untouched in the capital of soon, 187 pages
poems, Sept 2021
can be purchased via paypal (bartsmock@gmail.com)
or Venmo: @Barton-Smock-2
or CashApp: $BartonSmock

blood to bathe us in its blue past, 217 pages
poems new and selected, May 2022
can be purchased via paypal (bartsmock@gmail.com)
or Venmo: @Barton-Smock-2
or CashApp: $BartonSmock

and I say

September 18, 2022 / barton smock

installment 4 of Lou Poster’s ‘The Kindness of Strangers’ ( at Schuylkill Valley Journal )

Lou Poster's  'The Kindness of Strangers' is dense and gutting, and is at Schuylkill Valley Journal (svjlit.com) 

SVJ is doing a serialized release of the story, and the fourth installment is up today.

first installment

second installment

third installment

fourth installment

September 15, 2022 / barton smock

more and more poems about sleep

a cigarette burn and a bitemark fight over a tooth from the dryer

jesus
was just a kid
September 11, 2022 / barton smock

installment 3 of Lou Poster’s ‘The Kindness of Strangers’ (at Schuylkill Valley Journal)

Again, if you read to hear backward, or to set a trap for touch, you owe it to your present self to check out Lou Poster's first published work 'The Kindness of Strangers' at Schuylkill Valley Journal (svjlit.com) 

SVJ is doing a serialized release of the story, and the third installment is up today.


first installment

second installment

third installment

~

Lou Poster is a Native West Virginian, current resident of the poorest county in Ohio. Appalachian songwriter/singer/storyteller. Son of a third generation coal miner.