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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 2: March 2020
Poems: 51 words [R]
  40 words [R]
  58 words [R]
  22 words [R]
  36 words [R]
By Barton Smock

[A Quintet of Poems]

 

Drawings

i.

a mosquito 
on the thigh 
of god 

losing 
its mind 


ii.

an old 
idea 
one had 
of stars 


iii.

waiting with an uncle 
for any 
colorblind 
doll 

to pass 
the salt 


iv.

child in a hospital asking does time have enough 
food 


v.

is snow 
the mother 
of distance


Beginning Ache

the crow’s fear of inclusion. eve’s perfectly 
forgotten ribs. the nothing I mean to my 
dentist. the cemetery where all the un-boyed 
went to eat paper. the band-aid in the belly 
of a baptized child. yawn of kites.


Lit Ache

upon waking, my son knows he’s been moved. 
beside him I am crooked until he bites my arm. 
he is as heavy as the stomach of the angel that 
nightly kisses mine. illness has the patience of a 
shadow but cannot teach my eyes to kneel. 
time is god’s tenure as the lost tooth of sleep.


Stem Ache

in your ear is a spider afraid of the way I swim. 

I remain made of 

nothing 
the winningest 
prophet


Tame Ache

soap carvings 
of birds 
pulled mostly 
from a son’s 
thunderstorm... 

here and there 
a worm 
wrapped around 
a stone. 

all imagery is the same. 

if the food 
is in your mouth 

it’s too late.


—First four poems above are from Barton Smock’s self-published collection an old idea one had of stars (February 2020). “Tame Ache” is from his collection Motherlings (self-published, June 2019). Poems appear here with his permission.

Barton Smock
Issue 2, March 2020

is the author of a full-length collection of poetry, Ghost Arson (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2018); a chapbook of poetry, infant*cinema (Dink Press, April 2016); and three self-published books of poetry. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and writes often at kingsoftrain.com.

 
 
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