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February 16, 2020 / barton smock

from ( diets of the resurrected )

Ohio religions:

someone I don’t know
described you
to me
but anyway
there were animals
not created
by god
by the naming

February 13, 2020 / barton smock

from ( diets of the resurrected )

make death
fear you, not me

we all hear
that kid
& poetry

can’t be
the birthplace
of god

February 13, 2020 / barton smock


I thought having the child
would change
the child

old soul, some said, and sickness
a dream
god rents
to ghost

February 12, 2020 / barton smock

from ( diets of the resurrected )

Ohio puberty:

they sing
in the locker room
to what
is mine, a scarecrow
for insects
and then

they are saying
it backward
my safe

February 12, 2020 / barton smock

{ The Wishbone Dress – poems – Cassandra J. Bruner }


The Wishbone Dress
poems, Cassandra J. Bruner
Bull City Press, 2019


I worry sometimes that I have been invisibly abandoned. That a context left unsaid has given its art to a museum obsessed with displaying beginnings. Beginnings only. And then, but then, there is work devoid of panic, work unlike, work with words not so much chosen but words more revealed, work that enters the dead and encodes the universal to amplify the specific, work that with its subtle harmony of discovery sings as to horn a ghost a backbone and then lures that ghost into the modified regions of beauty and transitional creation, work that asks existence for the emergency past imposed on another’s sudden body, that asks of our being here what violence we interrupted, work that is only named The Wishbone Dress, and is called into sound by Cassandra J. Bruner. Work I wish you…

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February 11, 2020 / barton smock

from ( diets of the resurrected )

there were three in the garden
they were sharing
a cigarette

their god
had said little

no names, no pets

no lonely, allergic


February 10, 2020 / barton smock

{ Ghost Arson; Animal Masks On the Floor of the Ocean; Motherlings; an old idea one had of stars }


from animal masks on the floor of the ocean

long gone are the insects
you forgave

this storm, the whale
of oblivion’s
white feast, this moon

the word


I go places
in my ghost
that are children
when I arrive. they call me

high grass, lord
of the wind’s
blood. most of them
have lost
with dog
to birth
or touch, our brief

to déjà vu


to be unthought of is to be one more person away from pain. no cricket you hear is alone. in my boy’s drawing of jesus, the ears are all wrong. his first sad poem is about an oven. his second calls dust the blood of a seashell. his third is so terrible that I tell my friends I’m just a gravedigger who wants to open a hair salon. my friends they are made of grief and brilliance. they say they like mirrors that have in them, how do I say this?, a lost theft. I sleep and my sister paints my nails. kisses my head. she is no shape and then a shape that occurs to a horse my son thinks will live.


from Motherlings


to photograph
an Ohio
bathtub, my father
in a stalled

(a peephole

and a rabbit’s



soap carvings
of birds
pulled mostly
from a son’s

here and there
a worm
wrapped around
a stone.

all imagery is the same.

if the food
is in your mouth

it’s too late.



as a zombie

a star (why

would an angel
to eat


from an old idea one had of stars


we died
in that dream
but continued
to understand.

I thought
with my children
would cure
your fear
of flossing. every bomb

touches god.

I forgot
to be in pain.



and here I tell my son, who’s never heard a cricket, how long I believed in god.


from Ghost Arson

Wrist Musics

this crow
with its black
knows your father
feels loss
in the neck


Stopping to Pray

how angelic
the nervousness
of insects
offering acne
to god

/ to glacier, crow is not
yet a thing


for purchase:

Ghost Arson (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2018)

on amazon:

at barnes & noble:


privately self published:

animal masks on the floor of the ocean, 124 pages, 10.00, June 2019
Motherlings, 52 pages, 4.00, June 2019
an old idea one had of stars, 58 pages, 8.00, February 2020

via paypal (
or Venmo @Barton-Smock-1