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May 1, 2023 / barton smock

( WORKS re: permissions, bluepast, sooner capitals, apartures

All below collections are privately self-published and are pay what you want. Be sure to include your mailing address in the comments of the order. If not comfortable providing a physical address, you can request a PDF copy with an inquiry made to

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untouched in the capital of soon, 187 pages
poems, Sept 2021

blood to bathe us in its blue past, 217 pages
poems new and selected, May 2022

apartures, 125 pages
poems, January 2023

deer as permission to die in ohio, 43 poems
chapbook, April 2023


FROM ( untouched in the capital of soon )

city 115

Ballet or the lost
of a snowstorm


city 116

Oh how gone it is the ghostjoy of lighting a mother's cigarette in a dream that gets my mouth wrong


city 117

Death maybe saw Jesus as a way out of watching God kill


city 118

God comes to me in a god. 
Sleep is a footstep worshiped 
by a mother's ear. 

The baby is asking for more time. 

I don't know what to add. 
Poor mom. It's not a trick.


city 119

Not until there is a city 120 will you have the dream that gives death its memory back. I wouldn't describe it as easy. We sent the wrong hand to study your hand. We had a grandfather walk in place before we knew he had a dog and all we could do with his wife was watch. Rain wrote a spaceless poem. If it was like taking a toy phone from an angel, we never heard.


city 121

My memory isn't what it will be.

Povertavoid, avidsad, handbefore. 

She wants a flowermysonisdead.


city 122

We get our thunder from snow's dream.

A baby

with a fork and an outlet.

The wind is slowly eaten
by what


FROM ( blood to bathe us in its blue past )


A drop of blood lands in an eye-sized field. 

waking up
to cry.

Hide the hidden ant of your son’s loneliness.



in the dream
is a small
on a decent
but the dress
code isn't



God can't read grief's handwriting. This is where most of us come in. We tell the kids they're dying because one of them is. I hope it helps. Find a hole in three of your father's shadows. Lose the rabbit.



I was touching people with other people and my movies were getting made. Pain drank my sons away. I remember my daughter asking god what's the hardest animal to be. Her drawings got better, and then worse. We knew what to do, but did nothing. You haven't seen anything until you've seen an angel reenact running out of ghost blood. Aliens grieve in dog years. 


FROM ( apartures )


We walk to the car. Sometimes the car is different. If I look closely, I can see that I’ve put my son under my shirt. A video of a mother’s finger getting shut in a car door gives me a toothache. Searching lessens the find. There aren’t many pictures of us with our mouths open. There are things we can to do make it look like we don’t go outside. Choice is a medicine. You can eat or you can write, but you can’t do either. Clearly, thunderstorm, jesus had such a short memory that god became necessary. All babies in my dream, dream.



Time gives itself a childhood.

Alien, animal, beast, breast.
God loves 
a beginning.

Painkilllers don’t age.



We buy mirrors instead of art.

The wasps 
scrape and gather

then drag themselves to a higher emptiness 

when I hold
the baby.

Men lose first
a button
second a broom
then love
a dog.

Everyone outside is sick.

A paper cut 
sets fire 
to a ghost.



A hand left alive on the floor of a snow-moaned barn. The quiet ice that keeps the still death of a dark orange dog. A boy so recklessly loved that he loses an eye burying spoon’s double. Not the eye that is rain’s last egg. Not the toy car with the baby inside.



In the shower, I hold a plastic sword. The ways I am here are few. A neighbor kid says that god hates twins and it’s going to stick. We are years away from our daughter. After church a woman hops softly out of her shoes and walks into the high corn. To her, her shoes are missing. Silence has an extra stomach. The bird can scream if you hear it.



a puppet box
for some 

crucifixion, a dress

the exact
of most
hands, death and sleep

to touch, a blank



FROM ( deer as permission to die in ohio )


In reverse, the baby looks like it's helping the doctors build a machine. I smoke on the roof and my brother gets a nosebleed in the cellar of a house we're not going to buy. Art invents time to impress pain.



Cannibal on the 
moon, ghost at the piano.
The rain gone missing.

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