George's Reviews > infant*cinema
Jan 18, 2018
With sparse language, Barton Smock creates semi-prose poems that contain concentrated riddles, such as in the line "follow the spider's trail of abandoned birthmarks" or "one of us is dreaming I entered your body." There are clues across poems, of a broken family, of disbelief in religion and reality, and of the pain stemming from all of that and more. The question of the nature of pain itself is put forth, and its origin: "before it began to go everywhere without him, was pain god?" An evocation of both the trinity (namely, god as his own son) and a child's jarring transition into independence, which can be destructive to the self and others, for who is so easily prepared for the world? The poems are without titles, except for the title of the chapbook as a whole: infant*cinema. "inside my father I can't hear one tv over another. [...] the people watching the fight want to be seen looking at it." As soon as we begin to concretely process our surroundings as infants, we must absorb or cancel out competing stimuli, but even so we need to learn what is what. By then, we may have seen too much, the violence of disappointment, loneliness, and, more often than one would like to admit, mental and physical abuse. But is this what makes humans human?
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January 18, 2018 – Shelved
January 19, 2018 – Started Reading
January 19, 2018 – Finished Reading