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January 4, 2021 / barton smock

/ Dec 2020 / rocks have the softest shadows

Have put together a collection of work less present to present, self-published. Am not thrilled with Lulu’s new cover options as they are limited unless I want an ISBN and title page and no those aren’t really things I want. Am more toward font and unfollowable handprint but the guts of the thing still make the right shape.


rocks have the softest shadows
Barton Smock

237 pages
Dec 2020



pages 1 through 41, DIETS OF THE RESURRECTED
pages 43 through 80, from AN OLD IDEA ONE HAD OF STARS
pages 81 through 167, from ANIMAL MASKS ON THE FLOOR OF THE OCEAN
pages 169 through 208, from MOTHERLINGS
pages 209 through 212, AFTERNOTES
pages 213 through 235, New Poems


can be purchased via paypal (
or Venmo: @Barton-Smock-1
or CashApp: $BartonSmock


work from the work itself:

we talk of teeth and of how a son closed his mouth in a dream. two of our children hug and as one are mistaken by mirror for the jawbone of god. dog is half-thunder, half-ambulance. limp if you love me.



with frozen
stomach) (the wrong

grave) (movie)

that ended


I think of my mother in her block of ice summoning a curling iron and of my father sending a robot to prison. Of a leafblower named mercy hugged by my brother for outing my sister’s electric chair. Of nakedness, poor nakedness, always playing itself in the story of had we not been invented we would’ve had to exist. Of how daughter she highlights an entry on hair loss in the cannibal’s diary. Of how one holds the owl and one pours the paint and how both, knowing how to dream, choose this

and how they are both a boy in a bottomless mirror asking if death is still known for its one mistake.


a fish looking for its graveyard

I was in the dream
I was writing


because a ghost can do what time cannot, a father gets over being ugly. I have a sister who rings a bell and you a mother who swallows a whistle. the order of my love is wrist, wrist, neck. my brother thinks he’ll be crucified for having two left feet. acts like a dog when it rains.


the clown while cleaning a paintball gun watches a kite as if kite believes there’s a puppet in a cornfield. this is what I mean and don’t mean by loneliness. I learn smoke by combing knots from my mother’s anthill hair and snake by setting a rope on fire. certain diets will bring the baby back. whose blood is this, whose ball

of yarn (were soft things said about losing teeth


today, I will cradle nothingness for a star I’ll never see. ask my sorrow what it remembers of yours. soften the mirror

in its yester



the room
for a room
in the home
of god, the soft
by toothbrush
to birthmark, the nothing

we want
like children


One Comment

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  1. barton smock / Jan 14 2021 11:47 am

    Reblogged this on kingsoftrain.

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