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July 18, 2020 / barton smock

(percent sign

~

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
moon

*

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
babies
with dog
names
to birth
or touch, our brief

attractions
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

SNOW NOTES

waiting
to photograph
an Ohio
bathtub, my father
chainsmokes
in a stalled
car

(a peephole
disappears

and a rabbit’s
foot

*

TAME ACHE

soap carvings
of birds
pulled mostly
from a son’s
thunderstorm…

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.

*

ASK AND SMOKE

as a zombie
obsessing

over
a star (why

would an angel
learn
to eat

~

from an old idea one had of stars

BRINK ACHE

we died
in that dream
but continued
to understand.

I thought
sleeping
skin-to-skin
with my children
would cure
your fear
of flossing. every bomb

touches god.

I forgot
to be in pain.

*

Afternotes

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
worm
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)

15.00

via paypal (bartsmock@gmail.com)
or Venmo @Barton-Smock-1

~

privately self published:

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

FREE or donation made to:

via paypal (bartsmock@gmail.com)
or Venmo @Barton-Smock-1

~

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