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November 25, 2016 / barton smock

{pictures of god don’t sell}


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most recent, {hick lore rabbit hole]:


all publications:


day one:






poems, unresolved:

[opening line from a year with mother]

it crawled out of me and knew your birthday



you strike me as an invasive listener. I love your body. loving mine doesn’t mean I’m not okay wearing too many clothes. does this make me look alone? like, crucifix-on-the-dashboard alone? my mother fell for my father because he couldn’t find a finger to write with. horror movies lift me from poverty into a long period of healing followed by a jump scare. earlier, before you bled into a corncob, my brain had you as a spider spinning an infant. if it pleases god, I’d like to go somewhere time hasn’t been.


[extramural (iii)]

the fireplace is on drugs. get the good rope and tie it around the wrist of the hand I want dead.

on a drive I’ve undertaken to see my brother, it comes to me that odd things were being sold. jesus-on-a-stick. the crown of thorns, extra. I close my eyes. I dare the brain. the brain says it’s off to be forgiven.

brother has one ugly foot and one beautiful. I have this disorder causes me to fully remember dreams*

*dreams only

everything happened in 1985. words don’t mean. numbers mean. tell your gay father he has nothing to do with himself.

the wind is asleep. it sleeps outside.


[the butcher]

most babies here are born without a trigger finger.

but some
get through.


[themes for arrowhead]

if the damn thing is a boy, let it have a knot in its stomach. if it’s not one twin, it’s another. if a girl, find a woman who’s been to nothing and back.

bring me a fat tick from the dog of baptism. owl from the hair of god.


[the boy won’t eat]

to him, these meals
are small
fictions. there is

some truth
to his mother

the weigher
of light.


[screen (ii)]

while investigating the disappearance of her father’s belly button
my mother was killed for wearing a wire


[north of amen]

from the double vision of a dead parent’s dream shiner
to reflections
on the body

of departure,

long live possession.


[naming ceremony]

I was born
impossibly born

to the sound
of footsteps.


loves the woman
who makes the bed
of his last



[my sister, the stick]

a small fire
in the room
with all
the pigs.

a school
a shooting.


[interpretive work]

as the horn
the car
a tornado. touch

as ventriloquy.



god gets fucked-up about which hair to harm on your head. in some, this goes on for years. I have a lucky razor, a father who’s blind in one hand, and a suicidal thought that scares me to death in front of cops. my last meal came to me on a toothbrush.

[lists (vi)]

to an angel

the ghost
of an alien


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