Skip to content
July 4, 2020 / barton smock

from ( diets of the resurrected )

I don’t care what the image has gone through to get here, as long as it’s not me who’s seen god. Before the movie starts, a father asks a mother could she love an arsonist in a wheelchair and she answers no. Most scenes you pretend to pull the unkissed ear of a secret child. The movie ends and I’m not sure how long I’ve been wet. Touch is diversion’s heavy reward. The afterlife a shortcut to loneliness.

June 30, 2020 / barton smock

but here we are putting our fingers in the boy’s mouth

rare for an angel to want its own ghost

all fish
hate god

June 25, 2020 / barton smock

works, where, and

my small press writing day entry:


on my collection Ghost Arson, an interview by Crystal Stone for Flyway Journal:

Interview with Barton Smock, Author of “Ghost Arson”


poems elsewhere:


poems, inquiries:





Ghost Arson (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2018)
via paypal (
or Venmo @Barton-Smock-1

review by Dd. Spungin:

review by George Salis:

at Cruel Garters:

I’ve been reading “Boy Musics,” a prose poem in the book Ghost Arson by Barton Smock. The poem perfectly captures that rarely whispered vulnerability that comes with being a boy (being human.) The poem opens with the speaker and his companion “counting cigarettes on the roof of a closed sex shop in Ohio,” an apt setting to explore what is open, what might be okay to share. The speaker shares that his father is gay; the companion shares “three poems by [his] dead sister, the third of which she called dead sister.” These kids are doomed, as left to their Mid-American whatever as Ohio, as passed over as the lower middle class. It’s “too late for crow and all the deer have been hit.”

Still, there’s a tenderness here. Poetry survives unlikely odds, as does sex. Smock confesses only what needs confessing. The poem and its companions in Ghost Arson never fail to surprise in their detail, and they never flinch as they stare down the big themes: “a vacuum runs below us. you ask me if I’ve ever wanted to see her handwriting. it’s nothing like yours but maybe one day.” These lines that conclude the poem give me shivers. This whole business is visceral. I love the book, but seeing the handwriting might break my heart.

-Glen Armstrong



works, 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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

all self-published collections are free with request made to

or with donation of any amount
via paypal (
or Venmo @Barton-Smock-1

June 24, 2020 / barton smock

all these anxiety machines

but no one to fix
an invisible

June 23, 2020 / barton smock

from ( diets of the resurrected )

It is a secret life that denies the double. From grief to grief goes a new strain of quiet. Rain of quiet, we wrote earlier. Did you know we were together? No god but this ghost of a thing that never was.

June 20, 2020 / barton smock


in every house a late arriving room

I remember
more often than you
being poor

god talks that way to distract the mourners

June 17, 2020 / barton smock


A mid-day animal on land dumbstruck by the holy effort it takes to forget god. The nocturnal grief of apples. Alien and angel having a quiet moment before abducting from the high-dive our least favorite swimmer. The naming of the star my cigarettes worship. A pawprint sleeping on a heartbroken whale.

June 12, 2020 / barton smock


A palm overtaken by the long audience of touch, a hand

left for god
by a spider, a child

packing snow into the dream of a mother’s knee,

a shadow
eaten by a rock, a rock

eating nothing
in a church, the angel

to a lost
microscope, the order

in which
we’re imagined

June 9, 2020 / barton smock

slow missings

fog’s invisible feast, a flashlight

kissing the itch on the face
of god, the toy

baths our machines worship, the hunger

that returns my ear to my father’s
stomach, the soundless

of owls, the first camera

that knew what would happen

June 4, 2020 / barton smock

foramen, a note


Black lives matter.

read Hanif Abdurraqib.  Scott Woods.  Camonghne Felix.  Bettina Judd.  Barbara Fant.

read Black.

place your body when and where and however you can.

Defund the police.

{isacoustic*} is on hiatus.

View original post