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September 11, 2019 / barton smock


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

September 10, 2019 / barton smock

{ prev, ie }



I write to missing things of knowing what took them. given the chance, what could god describe? I don’t know if what I hear is a sound or sound’s hostage, but it’s enough to make light remember losing a child and with it a boy and with him the fourth wolf he killed in his sleep. we don’t come from love, but we love.



after slamming my fingers in a car door, the hand looks for days as if god has tried to pry a nail from a piece of bread. people kiss me and I tell them my footprints can’t breathe. when a bug hits the windshield, my blood gets a star.



I like to think of my grandmother as always on her way to an obstacle course for invisible children

(as combing her hair in a spiderless wind




sadness slips from the torn muscle of grief


are so
and haircuts
are free


use cocoon
in a sentence



to children
who miss



I didn’t lose a tooth, says the child, there’s just one you can’t see. not a single horse has remembered to spy on the devil. that fish went right through me and I dream it back. mom never has a stick. the food in our stomachs dies at different speeds.



not a yesterday goes by I don’t pretend to know everyone. mom has eaten the snail. her father is still being shot.



if I could love them all, they wouldn’t be here. movies make her father angry. he asks her what is always trapped but never surrounded. her heart is an owl with a heart. mirror, she says, but doesn’t. a rain relearns the earth.


September 10, 2019 / barton smock

fast ache

not every tooth makes it into the group of teeth I know about. a mother is told by god that her writing appears read. you eat like a bird then eat the bird for saying nothing. I warm a hand on a burning fish. our water seems distracted. by the ghost of what he’s killing.

September 8, 2019 / barton smock



he shot three of us in the stomach for throwing a snowball at his pick-up truck. none of us died completely. by none I mean a priest and a pilot are changing the diaper of an indifferent baby. by scar we mean we held sticks and surrounded the paw

that our god had filled with fog


it takes we guess three low-flying helicopters and a herd of wheelchairs to scare jesus away from eating the bomb that we made

for men
only dogs
can hear


by stomach I mean both field

and church
are empty
and that whole

reappear in the newborn’s outstanding loneliness

September 7, 2019 / barton smock

{ life.shelf }



on not human enough for the census by Erik Fuhrer:
{ not human enough for the census – poems – Erik Fuhrer }

on Something Akin To by Kaleigh Maeby:
{ Something Akin To – poems – Kaleigh Maeby }

on Hijito by Carlos Andrés Gómez:
{ Hijito – poems – Carlos Andrés Gómez }

on : boys by Luke Johnson:
{ :boys – poems – Luke Johnson }



poems at Underfoot Poetry:

three poems at The Collidescope, here:

interview at The Collidescope, here:

interview at Flyway Journal, here:

Interview with Barton Smock, Author of “Ghost Arson”



MOTHERLINGS, 52 pages, 4.00
poems, June 2019
can be purchased via paypal (
or Venmo @Barton-Smock-1
*be sure to include your mailing address in the comments of the order. any questions can be directed to

Animal Masks On the Floor of the…

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September 6, 2019 / barton smock

Contributors to Problématique Vol. One


Layout and design for the debut issue of Problématique by co-editor, contributor, and art director of Dink Press, Kaleigh Maeby.

The debut issue of Problématique will feature works from the following individuals.

  • Paul Amlehn
  • Christopher Mulrooney
  • Howie Good
  • Kaleigh Maeby
  • Tim Kahl
  • Daniel Hudon
  • Barton Smock
  • Nicole Melchionda
  • Reece A.J. Chambers
  • Ella Rennekamp
  • Kristopher Biernatsky
  • Michael Lee Ratigan
  • Rus Khomutoff
  • R. Keith
  • George Salis

The featured artist will be Paul Amlehn, and will showcase a number of his written and visual works, as well as a brief interview and a collaborative poem.

The volume is dedicated to the memory of poet Christopher Mulrooney, and will feature some of his work.

There will be a few book reviews in the rear of the book, showcasing works by authors included, including reviews of Rus Khomutoff’s Radia, Barton Smock’s Ghost Arson, and George Salis’ Sea Above, Sun Below.


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September 6, 2019 / barton smock

{ recent reflections at isacoustic* }


on not human enough for the census, by Erik Fuhrer:
{ not human enough for the census – poems – Erik Fuhrer }


on Something Akin To, by Kaleigh Maeby:
{ Something Akin To – poems – Kaleigh Maeby }


on Hijito, by Carlos Andrés Gómez:
{ Hijito – poems – Carlos Andrés Gómez }