diets of the resurrected

diets of the resurrected

A Poem by barton smock

The baby has jumped.  The baby is trying to find its place in the home of having done.  The baby will land and maybe you can say something over it in that voice you do.  In that voice your mother loves more than ruined gender-reveal balloons.  Cold prom balloons.  Than your father’s spit.  Than a star.  Horse’s forehead.  Than a horse clapping for a lap-dancing horse. 




The baby will be dead and bleed like a dream.  For now, it licks without you the insides of a tree.  Have you read its book?  It wrote a book. 




When an Ohio rabbit stops eating, every couple not married thinks they are.  This is how baby, not how rabbit, happened.  How babies not how rabbits.  Ohio.




The baby was on a date and began to feel sick.  Suddenly, the baby’s date was able to crawl.  It crawled into the sea, or something nearby.  Something nearby is always the sea.  A neighbor girl in a pillowcase.  All of her, the whole thing.  And then the sea comes that thinks it’s the sea.  She is saying we have bones because angels don’t know how to eat.




I love the baby.  Apple’s footprint I love the baby.  You love the baby and you lord often that you’ve a more alien emptiness.  The baby can’t see mirrors.  That’s not why it jumped. 


Jesus wants to come back, but god isn’t old enough.




I remember as a brother I fought with mine for the number of toothbrushes we could spot in a horror movie.  I can still tell what’s caused a bruise by the baby it’s on.


Baby the thinking man’s miscarriage.  Lung’s lookalike. Lung’s missing lookalike.  Psalm the plural of palm.




The baby slept on and off in a prop oven. In Ohio, holding your breath underwater is called insomnia. We wrote poems with lines like does anything look more abandoned than a table of contents? Titles like priest of snow, pipe tobacco w/ showerhead, and abuse was better as a sitcom.




On tv, the baby guards a salt lick while wearing the crown of thorns as a belt. Outside the tv, a random sister pulls her thumbnail loose and a paper doll starts to breathe. The fish watches all of it through a hole in the fish.




Its favorite movie is the wind.  Its mother found its father waiting for a cat to die. 


Is there no one to hold its mouth? 


Even god is afraid of sex.




Mom I am the third boy to finish my wolf. Mom the baby likes you when you're eating. Mom the snow has picked the water clean. Mom Ohio. In the food you couldn't help.




Some history:


The baby had heard of a quiet glacier searching Ohio for the lost belly button of nothing and so left us in God, the capital of Death.



Some current:


Absence spares no one and birth keeps a record of who birth skipped. 




Loss is just an absence that’s outlived its helplessness.  I say this knowing there is a tree that my mother keeps two of her teeth in.  I say this unsure of the shape my stomach makes when on the moon my siblings gather the bones of god. 


Our skin is afraid of angels.  Have the baby that makes your ghost cry.




The baby holds its breath beside a bag of blue flour.  My stars I didn’t mean to die so plainly.




This rabbit hole we use for the shadow’s mouth. These squirrels bowing in the priesthood of sleep.  Do we have briefly what we want?  Each of us a bad hand that drops a baseball?  Is fasting a weight class? 


A tadpole is Ohio’s nightlight.  Babies, when touched, belong to the same alarm clock.






Sounds from the childhood of god’s vocabulary.  Animal hair in a father’s shoes.  Lightning.  Brothers reaching into scarecrows for ice.        




The baby tells me in its own way that its mouth is sad and has been for longer than mine.  I need proof, but the movers eat their moth then come for the dark.




You know that spotless child, dead from swallowing a question mark, who believed you could scratch a bullet with blood?  She says we all have a second body sleeping in a hole that never comes.




The color of my toothbrush. To miss god.  Which bible stories still have nudity.  Small things, new to the history of my forgetting… 


Those creatures, that boat. 


A smaller vessel with one of each.




In the mouth of one who opens a sentence with the word verbatim, there is a sorrow searching for the breast of a shadow.  Overheard is not the name of an Ohio street.  The baby is no cook but is the only knower of what my eyes will eat in the dark.  No one in Ohio laughs when you say bornography to your sister who says orbituary.  One can be pregnant and study the wrong children. 




Jesus was the world's worst ghost. I hold my son but can't say what I hold him like. Dad paints with ache. Mom with grief. Our empty babies rate the void.




In most of her dreams, someone else is falling. Sound is the child of two footprints that lose an earring. If there, see my wrist signal yours.




I am allowed one imaginary friend as long as it's a boy when I share it with my brother. This story has no bones. Its seesaw turns to salt. You can't watch porn and say you believe in ghosts.




Ohio introductions:


A god finds its mother in a joke about the food chain and is no longer sad that human babies don’t walk right away


Hunger remains your painting of the angel’s predicted appetite


The wind gets that way by looking for its twin




I think of my mother in her block of ice summoning a curling iron and of my father sending a robot to prison.  Of a leafblower named mercy hugged by my brother for outing my sister’s electric chair.  Of nakedness, poor nakedness, always playing itself in the story of had we not been invented we would’ve had to exist.  Of how daughter she highlights an entry on hair loss in the cannibal’s diary.  Of how one holds the owl and one pours the paint and how both, knowing how to dream, choose this


and how they are both a boy in a bottomless mirror asking if death is still known for its one mistake. 




I was not in love but I did go all the way to heaven to tell someone I was tired. They were there, of course. But there like a sister. Sweeping a church.




Ohio exits:


Owl is maybe a lamb that’s having non-lamb thoughts like did I forget inventing the bruise?




Every mother wants a five letter word for grief but has instead a son whose thick hair grows when yanked. Outside means either tick season or John the Baptist. My blood type is God became trapped in an Ohio dog when the color blue saw his ghost.




I quit smoking and bought a fish I was told had stopped eating. No one noticed. I got angry and then got angry for the fish. The fish did nothing. Like God when it snows.




The name of this church was Mouth but is now The Baby Holds Things Up For Us To See.  No reason has been given for the change.  Ohio disappears from two places at once as a mother might from two hospitals.  We will never be as young as death.  Even now, our eyes touch under a roof that mourns thunder.




Ohio prolonged:


My drug use writes to a jellyfish




There are certain rooms I walk out of to make my son heavier.  Certain campfires disguised as nests.  God is here but has forgotten sending Death to fetch the infant brainwashed by sleep.  Death is here but location lasts forever.




Ohio cut short:


I am gathering the eggs and giving each one a name as if each is a body part favorited by those angels of the geographically vacant and then my mom calls to me and then accidentally to my brother and her voice it never comes back




Ghost and angel are never together when they see God. Their loneliness keeps us apart.




In our hair are the bugs that believe they’ve died on god’s skin.  Does emptiness dream of its original?  I still think babies learn to talk by saying they itch from being looked at.  One of our children will deserve to be lonely.    




A stone waits for its absence to mature.  I count for the infant my knees and do my hair.  What I know of tornadoes can be forgotten.  God was naming your bones when you started to bleed.




Ohio sexuality:


X mourns outdated baby monitor by scoring a commercial for rabbit mascara




When it gets cold, we tell each other it’s okay to use a photograph instead of soap.  It is not common for language to keep its word.  If you’re poor enough, snow takes the pulse of the moon.  We don’t believe in the soul.  But ate something to bring it back.




As grief swallows those insects made of repetition and As god locks herself in the bathroom built for her father and As I mimic choking on the cord that wants to belong to the phone that reads your mind and As her baby waits to hear if it’s a boy or a girl who meanwhile touch and As the beekeeper befriends for reasons known to homesickness the owner of a gun


that was used




Ohio children pine equally for ice and for cigarette. They have hated the holy spirit for dying and have loved it for tracking blood loss in those with longer shadows. I don't think we'll ever be young. Even the fires you set are shy.




Ohio sexuality:


A private pencil erasing nobodies from a blue past.  A way for fish to keep passwords from God.  A toy car from the world’s saddest drive thru and sirens in silent movies overlooked.      


A pink light.  How it cared for snow.




Poverty created the moon as a place for loss to process God. 


It helps to have no one. 




Some future:


A pop-up book about Ohio mosh pits is lost by a beloved chiropractor who has by default become an expert on unicorn pregnancy and who is wearily attracted to cures excluding those for bicycle legs as present in our newborns




Ohio alibis:


Two sisters learn from the same angel how to use an insect bite as a fingerprint




Ohio introductions:


Listening to the rain as it runs interference for echo’s disappearing hair


is Satan with her mousetrap




I want to sleep again on the kitchen floor beside my brother who is reading to himself from a book of baby names for the dead as if such a book exists and I want to imagine the velvet life of the thing that stirs itself so immediately soft in the garbage disposal that it becomes your fear of swimming and erases mine of having bones




Ohio exits:


When you find prayer, ask music how touch knows where where is. Ask hand if it was ever more to blood than a lost slipper. Ask ghost why its miracle spared the angel. Ask horse anything. You are dear to me. If horse is even there.




Satan was the first to name the animals. I know we watched ours die. Anyway, I'm not sure there were two of us. The child was a footprint trapped in a shoe. I disappear and still you vanish.




Ohio math:


A museum of mothers who sleepwalk to get there.


A father’s collection of crying insects.


Yes I forgot to love you.




Oh moral permanence, oh distracted beast- no one asks God about baby number two.  We make guns together in the dream of the stray hand and there are exercises a mother’s puppets can do that will bring a doll peace.  Angel can, but won’t, let mirror look out the window.  I still wrote all that stuff.  I’ll touch zero if you trap its tongue.




Ohio auctions:


A dress worn by the child who ate sadness.  A gas station snow-globe prayed away by a father’s dying goldfish.  A town,


or three people surrounding a dogcatcher.




Get a blood clot and sister will say on the moon they worship these.  If you sleep too long, you’ll become a color.  Rate your pain from one to ten, with five being the highest.  God still thinks we don’t know.




Whose death got you into heaven?  The baby is older now but has the kissing wrists of a failed skier.  Your children don’t love you because they will.




Ohio postscripts:


Shy, I could not collapse in front of mothers who were born on the moon.  As for the children, they’ll die for baby.  For any last fact that others exist.




Dream supply:


A pile of white leaves in the corner of my father’s mind.


Wind and skin, or the angel’s




No longer a fire hazard

the wagon’s

grey hair…


The suicide of God’s first.




Not much happens before you can say Ohio.  Still, we keep quiet.  Depression breaks a mother’s toes and we listen, in a stickless field, to what we hear.


It continues.  The misgendering of past selves.




My son writes to me about the piece of glass they can’t find in his ear.  He says it is like a dream.  That he can describe its shape between the hours of this and that a.m., and its size to a newborn making a grocery list.  He says they have people who look like him, which helps.  Like her, which doesn’t.  My writing isn’t even close.  Aponia, I write, and also, ballet.  Everything in the cold is cold. 





The coordinates a son’s illness leaves for God.  Cigarette


and a mother’s



typo.  Camera the consoler of miracle.  Elevator worship.  Our food’s invisible dark.  The gag reflex of his favorite astronaut.  For whom we carry






Every life is long.  Honestly, I think I just wanted to see my handwriting.  I sang for my children.  Never cooked for my mom. 


owls okay with needle sharing

would explain






The boy, before going to bed, has me kiss every toy in his room. If one is not there, it is missing, and its absence is more vaccinated god than bad child or raccoon's eye. More mother than sister on wrist number three.




Ohio we:


save pills as a god might

the eggs

of a ghost




And what would you have me say?  That I feel it was given to another, the meaning of my hidden life?  We name people every day.  Our yearning, overlong.  Our mother’s mothering of poets and of the creatures they can’t use.  This priest with an ant farm.  Eating’s moral theft.







of sleep


the bee

that stung

my bee




Eating is magic.  Hunger a rabbit removed from its environment.  I can make some sense now, I think, of death.  Of a grandmother’s life of cooking and loss.  We wore our frostbitten noses.  Did things with frogs might an infant laugh on the inside where a nothing was still in boxes.  Took from blood


its blue

now.  Which was wrong.




Ohio sexuality:


Cain faked her death.


Ghost is that itch the wall can’t reach.            






has been found

in angels

to spread

like fish


do you remember

in an oyster

the arm

of a squirrel



is a dream


a pack

of cigarettes


an Ohio





facedown, a photo


of God

with braces…



Ohio solastalgia:


In hell I am passing a cemetery when during a housefire she makes a memorial to the last time you won a staring contest




While close, this is not your messiah’s insecticide.  Are you happy with my body?  Sex is the breathing my teeth do for your hair.  Faith a stork in a sea cage.  Food is no expert but grows anyway


brevity.  They say crow after an apple sets a stone on fire.  Lonely people for appropriate play.




I want for my son a more regular sadness.  Not touch with its vacant déjà vu.  Not the stutter, untapped, of his far beast.  More the fasting of an unknowable fish.  A marionette



at a toy


car.  Are these hands?  They say so little.




Ohio auctions:


The unseen wildlife of the ill.  The handwriting of a moonless toddler.  A whole language saved on an angel’s thumbnail…




I can’t tell if I have nothing or if I’m down to three photos of God.


I sleep

to know

that you’re





I will take for my childhood a mother’s unicycle, a father’s raincloud. 


The broken moon of any man on crutches.  A dog drinking water in a white house.



who draw me naked. 


Bones from her smaller baseball.



Sorrow a glove.  Grief a mitten.  I see in fire the small


for a whale


that my son


in a wave.      


Ohio gets to keep its hidden season.  Poverty


its sixth



Childish, but everyone who’s looked out this window has died.  Our family was too close.




Ohio stories:


I am fondest of recalling my sister when sister in her sleep

could sell drugs to angels.     


Men walk away from their fathers one of two ways with our favorite being Stars Reading Snowfall Before and After My Career-Ending Injury.


Our mother was a spider


it’s why

she smokes.




Their translating of the terrible things we’ve said has created elsewhere animals that don’t need to eat but bite anyway anything that moves.  Neither silence is real


but both belong to God.  My son


my moodkiller

of ruin


in no dream I’ve had


pours gasoline on himself and leads an abandoned bear onto an empty school bus.  Am I pretty this third




if my parents are yesterday and grief?




Her Ohio of war and sleep:


what if I said

I see

in a land of tire swings

your fishboat father

rubbing perfume

on the knees

of stowaways

would you consider

the cricket

God is trying

to land



My mother knew she was pregnant when from a darkroom her surgeon emerged holding a piece of chalk.  Before I had hair, I had hair my sister sang to.  Interesting men didn’t make it to earth.




Early for foster home karaoke, she announces God as the exit sign over the door of her body and sleep as a museum owned by death.  Because I am lonely with not being there, I call it her best scene.  She doesn’t clap.  A ghost gives birth to a chair.




Jumping rope in Ohio:


We burn the house might God see everything we own


Her movie puts them all in one place

the photos

a photo

prays to


When I kiss my son, his ankles glow


Mom I did not succeed




As if speaking were a way of taking back what one has yet to say, the people are quiet.  A group of smokers, perhaps, expressing their fear of needles outside of a funeral home.  Who know of no god that can bury a swimmer.  Whose children say birth as bird and are not corrected.  Whose food is a memory of water gone sick.  Whose dogs get passwords from dolls that blink. 




Moon’s hair on a hospital plate:


oh with the eyes

of a lost basilisk

does god undress

in deprogrammed


my son’s

deer drunk cow




Shaking the  breadcrumbs from his pipe, grandfather goes quiet on pointing out the weak spots of passed over anthills.  His poetry disappears but not before it buries half a baby in the backyard of a surprised mouse.  He is not sure what surprises a mouse.  Nearby, I am only here to chew the distance from the foods my kids won’t eat.  I have with me a change of clothes and a lunch box named God in three toothaches.  The fish aren’t biting, and we say it’s because grief must be getting an x-ray and that it likely looks a ghost praying in the last of its birthday fog.    




Moods for dying wildlife:


Missing pacifier spotted in fishbowl.  Barbershops on fire in the childhood of your puking shadow.  Abusers who rename their dogs.




By poor, I mean they are strangers to brevity.  Like babies and glass. 


By rainfall


the bomb

maker’s map.


By god, our kiss blown god.  By death


that it’s been





Ohio poetry:



loses everything.


With what other formless art

could one address




in the phantom fit

of a rolled

tire.  A mercy


the knee

in kneel




How we end up in Ohio is


I saw in hell a star


that in heaven

I did not



© 2020 barton smock

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Added on January 30, 2020
Last Updated on January 30, 2020
Tags: poem, poems, poetry, prose, poetics


barton smock
barton smock

Columbus, OH

am the author of the chapbook {infant*cinema - Dink Press 2016} and the full length {Ghost Arson - Kung Fu Treachery Press 2018}. editor of more..