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December 23, 2016 / barton smock


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my Lulu self-publications are here:

my brother, Noah Smock, has one here:

and, I read some shit:

and, I write fuckloads:


after leaving its memory to the hibernating bear, the insect died. I don’t know what story you’re trying to tell. the angel has three fathers. the angel was born to blackmail a ghost. this bald motherfucker thinks I need shown how to chew my fingernails. the mask is my elevator and the pig my coffin. I have a sister was made to make an egg disappear. a father who’d shave to give the thing in the stomach time to plan its escape. the angel vomits into a pink wheelbarrow. shows affection.



god save mantra. the baby. the unicorn tantrum. god save the ventriloquist. the museum of shrinking things. the things themselves. the angel working the knots from an extension cord. the exodus followed by the exodus of my father’s turtles. god save the condom. the flag of the scrotum. the handcuffed mother of sleepwalking illegals.

lordy that’s a lot of people

observes the refugee. what the dream tells us about the headache is worth repeating.

I cross my legs in the soul’s bathroom and suck on the business end of a squirtgun. if I jerk enough, I can make the newspapered floor into a headline that reads season slows for Ohio toddlers. I can’t remember the last time a toddler ran past me or, for that matter, the last time a toddler ran. god save the translucent. the abused are never more alone than when their abusers get help.

my child. my diver who wets the bed. my worrier who rescues domestic scenes for animals accused of gaslighting. my swimmer. bather of grasshoppers. my lovely bird alone in an airplane.

two things to do on an empty stomach are:

hold a séance.

follow the spider’s trail of abandoned birthmarks.

in the video, the young woman is being force-fed cake by a man with a ruined tongue. my mother can’t eat and watch at the same time. your mother is holding me and wondering what happened to this thing. our fathers are veering into the realm of film criticism. where you are depends wholly on my sister’s makeup. god’s parents have no concept of time.

what was pain? was pain the spoiled dog of the blackmailed priest? was pain the story of the bear that triggered my father’s insomnia? before it began to go everywhere without him, was pain god? was it holding the note so long the cured forgot they’d been? or maybe it was entering the high corn disguised as my brother mid-seizure? was pain a rival church? as we ask, is death being made to account for its own disappearance?

I am on vacation and this dead body is kind of amazing. you remain my sweetest brother. brother, god is only the end of the dream. I dream the ocean is a doll that comes to my knees. suicide has a room all to itself. can narrate what I’m saying.

I smoke because I can no longer tape record my anxiety.

it became outgoing. buried fish by the bucket in the backyard. brushed my teeth while calling my mouth the secret of the washrag. boated darkness from stone to stone. chose to love. loved duration.

inside my father I can’t hear one tv over another. I have a body fit for radio. I picture my mother as a woman who can eat without moving her mouth. the people watching the fight want to be seen looking at it. I’m not the only one pretending to cheer. my first word was said to my first dog. that dog told dogs to give a fuck.

she is pregnant and he is not. at the same age of the boy before me, I am given by sister a blindfold to place on any woman looks like my mother. there are so many. I tell myself it’s my body and my body where every bone believes that god lost his eyesight to a vision man had of a moth bumping into a crow.

nightmare: her father prepares the pull-out bed to show her Jesus is gone.

I know you from Adam.

one of us is dreaming I’ve entered your body. brain injury or no, I feel I can do whatever the devil can do to the scream that wakes him. who was it found me with god’s help? I have some names. all middle.

one could create food with a mouth like that. one has no stomach for violence. one swallows like a gunman whose right hand knows you’re missing the back of your head. one is a chewing machine. one is quick to cook for the tortured. spoonfed, one is hunger. artifact of the longest meal.

your human life distracts god from the animal’s plot to kill him. those tagged as dog meat can eat their weight in nostalgia. in the end, your mother will confess that the absence she felt was an oversight. as for the world I took you from, you’re all it can think about.

insomnia sends to the attic the dog-walking angel. the dream’s cripple breaks its own thumb for losing a child’s nose. some melancholy kid explains to my son how there’s a fly in the body being sad about bones. my son nods his head as if sounding out the severity of his mother’s double vision. disability, like belief, has the patience of god’s ghost. has the time gone from nothing’s noise? god save the book of now. I don’t want to be seen as a person.

god does my mother’s work while father lands a night job as a yard sale cashier. my sister continues to believe her baby is a lightweight. my brother goes from motorcycle to breathing machine and back. dogs pace and cigarettes last. the postman’s darkness moves into a paper doll at which point he asks satan for an airplane. I was here when I got here.

satan worship expands to include birdwatching. the first thing a boy hears a father say is enough about me. such a boy finds his mother not only talking to a bird but telling it what to do.

she shakes the baby she thinks is fruit. she screams at my mother for covering my ears. at home, I am made to tell father the whole story which has somehow come to include a fork. it is not uncommon, he says, for an ugly person to hold a fork where others can see it. then: two things can light the cigarette in your brain, and one is masturbation. now: a good ghost story gets you into heaven.

grief. grief in that, beside any baby, I am the one person competing for my loneliness. grief in that my brother’s fasting secures a pair of scissors.

grief in that I glow in the light.

oh skeleton made in my image. oh you. oh you and your baby. cereal of ant bones. oh the hills of the uploaded hills. oh men men only. quoting the born. collected sorrows oh passing of the nest. church of the stalled car. oh as we attend.

sickness paints the house of my mother’s conceptual therapist. the devil urinates in public as part of a retrospective honoring the films my dead brother didn’t make. as a ghost, I am given to haunting the confessional. I hear little more than how my mouth is a magnet for baby talk. the beauty of the father isn’t pain. pain can create the present it predicts.

open with

in the numb habitat
it calls home
where an example
is made
of clone

if it learns to walk, it’ll never be the same.

the child asleep in the astronaut’s photographic memory. the child asleep in its father’s arms. the child asleep in worry. worry as an inquiry attended by the stairmaker’s angel. what do you resist? helplessness. as in arrest. as in christ.

if found unresponsive, know I am doing one thing well. if god was alone, why speak? torture is part of my country’s space program. ask any swimmer if the body ends in the body.

headaches that keep a mother from needing shoes.

not about
the piglet
but dissecting
the wrong.

of feeding
a snowball
to a scarecrow, of not feeding

the disabled.

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