so wanted to take a moment in the deeper bone to thank readers and writers and crossers and dwellers. since going live mid-November 2017, {isacoustic*} has published 307 poems by 130 contributors. this is not a staying place, but am glad to reside for a moment in a created space. if I am, if we are, selfless in the wrong dream, this at least has kept a recurrent blood.

{isacoustic*} has so far released four volumes of work and has also released Heather Minette’s second book of poetry, Half Light.

holy fuck, said Barton.

some direction:

volume first, January 2018, is available here:

from volume first:

Kelli Allen

Galloping toward the harbor, crown in our pocket

When roots are horses, nothing seeds to fruition.
It is this way with us, too. We pass tasting booths
in Madrid and on the way down, pocket notes
meant for after curtains blunt wide. We leave applesauce
under the bedroom window in exchange for crow
feathers small enough to pick teeth white on purpose.

A landscape boxed is still one doe curled into her buck
and no chorus or apology proves this wrong. Smuggle
the dead into the theatre, wait for the third ovation—
the full moon does not always mean wolf.

Maybe you’ve seen them—the two knots left
on the wrist. Once, we were convinced venom
could be drawn from muscle to tongue to ground. Maybe
you remember the surface red, weeping, your hand
a paw too large against the satin. This is not a story
about impotent death. We have habits and photographs,

sometimes scars, for such embarrassment. I might hum
the notes of how we arrived, in which old boat, backs stiff,
becoming pine, too. Every sail is an eager geometry near wind.
In this murmuration, starlings build parapets from rising jungle
mist and somewhere in the noise, an invitation will fall
into your lap. You will gesture, break every conversation,
tiny bones pillaring beneath first one elbow and then the next

until the throne is cast for you to fall back and fall soft. Look
at the just-closing mouth, the proof slated for a ledger dug-up
and dusted with beetle carcasses meant for next week’s rain.
What will we do with such a king and how will we welcome
you, robes so fresh, a pulse through the moss, into this body?



volume second, March 2018, is available here:

from volume second:

Sara Moore Wagner


The rain spills in on us as we sleep
in the backyard, tented. My brother wakes
with a face cotton-soft, button-eyed, cuts
into me as our grandmother
does the most bruised tomatoes.
Says run, but we wait:
sloshing, mermaiding, our hair
and the flowers, the candy
wrappers flood into the yard,
vine. When our father opens
the trailer door he is naked,
his eyes rusted, and we are so wet.
When our father opens
the door he is naked
and will not let us in:
A heavy sigh from the heavy
bed. An uneasy dryness like light.
I remember emptiness, the look of skin,
and so much pillowing rain. My brother, still
a face: The only.



volume third, April 2018, is available here:

from volume third:

Jon Cone


There are iron
moments – how
human it is
to speak –

when one says
to another
I don’t know
& I don’t care.

Birds. A nearby
fountain. Two
homeless kings
at dusk.



volume fourth, July 2018, is available here:

from volume fourth:

Triin Paja

October Snow

the women stand for hours and do not
complain. it is the sternness
of a plastic rose, of muted wives
and servants once entombed, alive,
beside husbands and masters, laid down
like silk, gold, a weapon, a language.
it is the way lampposts are valued
as winter fruit that does not rot,
a light that blurs enough
to say shadow, memory, girl.
speech moves in them
like a starling murmuration
before filling a river with
the apple petals of their
photographs. it is a rotting
window-frame barely holding.
it is to believe one’s heart, like a hand,
has furrowed. these women stand,
as horses lash their white manes,
and we say snow, we say austere,
but once I saw a woman collapse
beside nylon stockings, sheaves of dill,
and we hurried, as if she spoke,
as if a bird finally slipped from her,
but only a dog lamented the cold,
snow falling into its opened mouth.




some words for it, my own:

As a child, I told my mother the alphabet was broken after I’d seen it, for the first time, written down. Something about it, there, all in one place. Also, I wouldn’t hold my breath in front of my action figures. I tell you these, here, because it seems necessary to repeat them as is, as summoned, in my reading of Heather Minette’s Half Light. These are poems of ash and glyph. Of men who believe cigarette over bridge and of women who sculpt faces that their own might become unstuck. These are stories, really. Cloaked urgencies. The statuesque inevitable. I saw things in this book and looked from them to see myself, in the mirror, answering a telephone. Minette fashions spirituals for the plainly dressed and has an eye, not only for detail, but for detail’s double. In Half Light, death has only ever happened once, and is resurrection’s safe space. In Half Light, Minette is six years old, nine years old, thirteen years old, and then born knowing age has nowhere to leave its mark. How does one flee exodus? Or record the unnoticed blip of reckoning? How is the firefly not more known for its time spent as darkness? I didn’t read it here, but remembered, while here, that I read, elsewhere…how mail carriers don’t believe in the afterlife. Minette conjures first, responds later. This is a patient language. This, an abbreviated yearning. A father goes from storyteller to jokester because, when laughing, we all weigh the same. If there is mourning, there is also the chance to rename the toothless mermaid identified by her hair. If there is a passing, there is also a poet who knows that loss is, at best, a ghostwriter. Minette knows what she’s doing. To read this book is to haunt its absence.

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by George Salis:

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by Sara Moore Wagner:

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by Crystal Stone:

Half Light release announcement ;



editors: Barton Smock and those he happens to be talking with
contact/submit: isacousticsubmissions@gmail.com

site: https://isacoustic.com/
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Isacoustic-192435501303710/
twitter: https://twitter.com/isacousticVOL
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isacousticvol/

paypal donation link: https://www.paypal.me/BartonSmock or to (bartsmock@gmail.com)

*for donations of 5.00 or more, one will receive a privately self-published work of 60 poems by editor Barton Smock called ~mood piece for baby blur~



{isacoustic*} is logistically a one person operation, but does flicker in a few minds outside of its worried body, and (we) do try to pace ourselves to overtake. mailings of volumes and physical mailings of payments are governed by seen forces but do fall solely on my person, and I as such will communicate fully if behind. the printings of the volumes are facilitated via Lulu, and self-published, and are shipped within 5-10 days of the printing, so there are times when the volume mailings may not reach a contributor for a few weeks after they are printed. please don’t hesitate to contact me at isacousticsubmissions@gmail.com with any concerns, inquiries, pep talks.

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