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February 22, 2018 / barton smock

{infant*cinema and the number 42}

today and tomorrow, in honor of my 42nd birthday, the kind Kristopher Taylor and Dink Press are offering free shipping on my chapbook {infant*cinema} with coupon code of BARTBDAY

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infant*cinema, Dink Press, April 2016, 7.00

https://www.dinkpress.com/store/infant-cinema-barton-smock-dp2

of which, the some that said, say:

Barton Smock’s newest book is filled with enigmatic poetry honed to the barest minimum of language, without a scintilla of excess. In one poem and elsewhere, Smock states that he “does not want to be seen as a person,” and the scant information he has shared in various publications and the rare interview certainly reveals little but that he is a father, husband, likes movies, and writes daily. Yet in infant * cinema, poems that first appear as fragmentary and surreal dreams, prayers, visions, or confessions still evoke a completeness that lacks nothing, wants nothing. Smock reveals a world filled with grief, death, suicides, disabling conditions, and a family’s complex relationships across generations. While the poems mention “lonesome objects,” “melancholy,” “numbness,” and “collected sorrows,” Smock’s masterfully minimalist poetry leaves the reader intoxicated by a rush of original details and bleakly exquisite imagery.
~Donna Snyder, author of Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press) and I Am South (Virgogray Press)

Infant Cinema can only come from the mind of one writer, Barton Smock. I’ve been following his work for 10 years, and the only thing I’ve come to expect for certain is that I will be transported to a world thick with an atmosphere of vivid imagery, and seemingly juxtaposed and ironic concepts. Infant Cinema is prose that has all those elements, and reads with heightened poetic force.
~Joseph Jengehino, author of Ghost of the Animal (Birds and Bones Press)

With sparse language, Barton Smock creates semi-prose poems that contain concentrated riddles, such as in the line “follow the spider’s trail of abandoned birthmarks” or “one of us is dreaming I entered your body.” There are clues across poems, of a broken family, of disbelief in religion and reality, and of the pain stemming from all of that and more. The question of the nature of pain itself is put forth, and its origin: “before it began to go everywhere without him, was pain god?” An evocation of both the trinity (namely, god as his own son) and a child’s jarring transition into independence, which can be destructive to the self and others, for who is so easily prepared for the world? The poems are without titles, except for the title of the chapbook as a whole: infant*cinema. “inside my father I can’t hear one tv over another. […] the people watching the fight want to be seen looking at it.” As soon as we begin to concretely process our surroundings as infants, we must absorb or cancel out competing stimuli, but even so we need to learn what is what. By then, we may have seen too much, the violence of disappointment, loneliness, and, more often that one would like to admit, mental and physical abuse. But is this what makes humans human?
~George Salis
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review for infant*cinema, by Forage Poetry editor Emma Hall:
Review of infant*cinema by Barton Smock ~Emma Hall

One Comment

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  1. barton smock / Feb 23 2018 10:56 am

    Reblogged this on kingsoftrain and commented:

    last day

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