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May 13, 2020 / barton smock

person Emma Alexandrov, two poems


Emma Alexandrov is a student and a writer currently rooted in Atlanta, GA, Portland, OR, and Poughkeepsie, NY. She edits Windows Facing Windows Review.


Labyrinth Project

Sharp of being, you are embroidering my heart in the hollows
of our silences. We are tracing paths: by night, you take me
in your hands, a fish arcing muscular in capture.

Then, moored on a table, my core loosens in a dish of light,
whistling as it’s flooded and emptied of air. As you watch it
from across the room, threading the needle, it bristles to unfold.

It’s in the stitches that cell slush means body and
carbon whirrings mean soul, I know, but my throat can only
splutter at the spoiled water dripping from our thread because I know

I must be placed, unbalanced, back into the grey
with your golden line binding shut the new window in my side,

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May 13, 2020 / barton smock


the ocean is god’s shadow.

the eater
of those looking
for food.

the hole has one dream.

I’ve love
for your mis
gendered Cain.

May 8, 2020 / barton smock

{ older, oddly, sorry }



the man digging in his yard is looking for his dog. this is my lucky window. in this much silence, a baby could get a tooth. a mom a finger if a car door slams. the man digs and the ice comes for its heartbroken road. wounds move in a deerless world.



to be
as asleep
as a father’s
left leg

as a birthday
for a window



you’re getting better but birth is still a joke that grief gets wrong. that luck forgets. dog is too old to look at the animal it younger replaced. care is mostly silent. a cricket in a cake. my tiny saw.



it didn’t take long for the frog to become real to those around me. some would bring it back and pat me on the head and some would laugh when I told them it’d never tried to hop away before. some would say it was the frog that was depressed and some would pray for the frog I was lucky to have. when it began to speak, I told myself that’s just how frogs talk. god came to me sooner than most. mom joked that he must’ve known I had a frog to get back to. my sister maintains to this day she had no intention of eating the frog as she was only trying to impress the snake her eyes were made for. by the time I woke her up, her hunger had ballooned and she leapt at me the odd leap of grief.


May 3, 2020 / barton smock


There is a part of my left hand that seems to know a fish with a nosebleed. If I could open the book of touch, I would open the book of touch.  My son has a cough that haunts the leg of a wasp and his singing lives in a blank mother’s bottle of glue. Death recognizes more creatures than god.

April 28, 2020 / barton smock

{ The Flavor Of The Other ~ poems ~ Clara Burghelea }


The Flavor Of The Other
poems, Clara Burghelea
Dos Madres, 2020


Clara Burghelea’s The Flavor of the Other is both a progressive exit and an appearing act. Inside of each, stillness awaits no inheritance. Full of confessional reserve and prayers that maybe begin with amen, these poems carry the exaggerated possessions of location as the divided theft of void and oblivion. Burghelea knows taste as a portal through which one can swap hungers, and makes of self an otherness versed in the familiarities of a becoming not saddled with being. If it is here that migration and exile are two birdwatchers marked by the same talon, then a reader may place themselves as one combed by any scar that holds hair as the body’s longest fire while another counts backward then forward using absence as census.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

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April 28, 2020 / barton smock

.afternotes. (previous entries)



of her son’s feeding tube, she says the shadow in her stomach has pulled off its ears

distance is the god of those who don’t need rest

would any one of you cut the baby

into thirds
to make

me a mother?

is that circle dead?


about the baby,

has it forgotten how to smoke

mom she rolled ache into our socks at a gas station

there’s no one to tell
my eyes

I’m early

to the quiet of egg sac


are ankles


and here I tell my son, who’s never heard a cricket, how long I believed in god.


a circus worker
as one
who dreams
of being brainwashed
in Eden

the details
need some space

every bee sting
has a ghost


wash oh please
my forehead
with a mother’s
handprint, be

as sweet
as my brothers
over the belly
of the lover
who’s by now
their matching
tattoos, score

the earlobe
of a nail-biting


the angel in the mirror
is not alone
all the time


you die
in this poem
so often
by my
that god
to salt
them less
the tornadoes


I thought having the child
would change
the child

old soul, some said, and sickness
a dream
god rents
to ghost


Worm got itself worm hearing sound beg god for a shadow. Hold tight I guess what glows with desertion. They never ran did they

them trains
I was pretty on?

(I miss you telling me who to miss)


it had to happen
your birth
for us to know
how much
of our breathing
was changed
by a mask

stay small, leaf
dying is death’s way

of asking
to be buried
does it hurt

that we visit
your dog


April 27, 2020 / barton smock


and its use? this yearning, this alien attendance to the unsupervised moment? a childhood, perhaps. rugburns on the bellies of those who fall asleep to the song of you swimming from the water in your body. god returning to find again that our absence has been rearranged by the last infant to receive nostalgia. our self-harming sock puppets fresh from the diary of touch. an egg in the churchbell’s brain.