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May 2, 2021 / barton smock

Thimble Lit Mag / Skin To Skin In An Unmarked Life

Thimble Lit Mag is a cool place for anyone to be, and you should definitely be present and become a patron of theirs. Also, they are having a drawing this month for my chapbook Skin To Skin In An Unmarked Life. 

Read about it here

April 30, 2021 / barton smock


city 39

My copy of god's longing

was it sent


city 40

The dream on its deathbed
sees a film
on emptiness


city 41

Animals pretend to live here

But don't
eat much

April 28, 2021 / barton smock


city 36

A running shower that prays impossibly on the body of our lowest sibling for the return of a bomb-maker's homesick drone


city 37

An angel burned for soundproofing crows


city 38

On tv a lunchbox designed by my ghost sells so well that a mom

April 28, 2021 / barton smock

(further on former films

We Don’t Belong Here is anchored by a trenchant performance by Catherine Keener, and is also wonderfully adrift in the presence of its lead, Kaitlyn Dever.  Anton Yelchin and Riley Keough are also excellent, both sweet and dark, and Yelchin’s lines about death can’t help but feel far from home, but close to homecoming.  It doesn’t quite get where it’s going or know where it’s returning to, but is careful with its oddities of faith.  

Frank and Lola asks its two leads, Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots, to do too little with too much…but both are intense and Poots actually steals more than Shannon.  The whole endeavor is at first sad and a little mean, and then less sad and more mean.  There is a scene where the two leads part, and it is a killer.  The film has a great look; an emptiness trying to drain itself. 

The Levelling is all facial tic and repression, and registers wholly.  It starts in the middle of things being gutted, gives its hollowness space, and lets its finale fill with the missing.  Ellie Kendrick is the real thing, is oracle, and David Troughton tricks silence into doing the work of response.  It’s a great film.

April 26, 2021 / barton smock


city 33 

Bagging the bright mouse in the deer faith of my youth


city 34

Tooth decay carried by god over the capital of After


city 35

All secrecy genetic

is our last

April 23, 2021 / barton smock


city 32

sleep cries itself to death
I wrote

a poem
to the poem 
You love


April 21, 2021 / barton smock

soft-focus slaughterhouse – poems – Dylan Krieger

soft-focus slaughterhouse
poems, Dylan Krieger
11:11 Press, 2021


With a punk patience for the previously prophetic, poet Dylan Krieger, in soft-focus slaughterhouse, predicts with the grey comedy of deep presence what pain is losing to our collectively photographic memory of being invasively untouched. This is a verse the closes distance with the body actual, a verse that does not suffer suffering, a verse somewhat for the uncrucified astronaut indebted to imagery but really and wholly for those who can remain nostalgic for prognosis while knowing how sick it is to leave one’s affliction to another. This is a poetry of essential saying, of wordplay and wordwork, and language needs to catch up.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here

April 20, 2021 / barton smock


city 31

while naked
On this


That later
the forgetting
is small

April 20, 2021 / barton smock


city 30

God didn't think we'd create sleep

April 19, 2021 / barton smock

(dear, film

Danny Madden’s Beast Beast is a film of spaces both dedicated and random, and of a time not sure if it’s escaping or being told to leave. Its DIY beginnings resist plot but then succumb, and if its more local parts seem an ill fit for the smallness of its universal body, it does well in the wounds of opera as it interrogates exhibition with display and asks performance whether the lines have been said wrong or were they just given to the wrong person. While Will Madden gives his character just enough nothing to own, Shirley Chen and Jose Angeles come separately from another movie that becomes this movie and they take root in that brief claim.  

Psychologically patient, Kourosh Ahari’s The Night is a knockout of a horror film that follows a couple and their child long enough that something behind us begins to live with the guilt of being temporary. With the dual portals of imagery and language, the performances by Shahab Hosseini and Niousha Jafarian go from ghost to ghost, barrier to obstacle, knowing that a shallow grave is deeper than a jump scare and that one eye is never surprised there’s a second.