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January 7, 2019 / barton smock

{ reviews, current, Ghost Arson }

kingsoftrain

reviews for Ghost Arson:

review by Dd. Spungin

Experiencing Barton Smock’s poetry is similar to living in a foreign country long enough to begin to understand the language.

Smock’s language is always intriguing, often foreign, more often brilliant in its ability to put images and concepts in the reader’s unsuspecting mind.

Certain poems/passages all but announce their meanings, as this from Gameshow Fatalities:

“see one of my children worrying less about suicide
and more about where it should happen. see: tub. see: easier
for a mother to clean.”

And some slide an idea into your consciousness such as this from Untitled:

“eternity
is a doll
reading
a menu, memorizing
a license plate
and doll
the first
eating disorder
in space”

Smock can shock, as well. Here, from Gestural Transportation, this standout stanza:

“the bread crumbs were eaten not by birds but by a
starving boy with a lost voice…

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