Spray-painted on the wall,
the same old story
diagnoses and points out
the early trauma and the epilogue.
As soon as imperial impulses
reach across borders,
organs in the body begin to fail.
Minding states and moods
and maintaining internal affairs
(spleen, kidneys, lungs),
the continence for content
stretches or compresses
into cartoon or character.
Even a continent elsewhere
recognizes when aerosol tints
mask calligraphy from stencil.
The whole gang beats up weaklings
who scrounge out a living,
while back home school boards
coast from year to year, truant;
ignored infrastructure potholes.
Guts burst into the streets so,
children run to hide.
Life at the Pharm
The amniotic fluids in time-release tablets,
syringes, and gel caps cradle for the survivor
after mother pushes out the brat.
Vaccines, antibiotics, aspirin, and Xanax
cushion with belly fat for cramped quarters
against a threatening anxiety.
Addicted to sit-coms in Plato’s cave,
the embryo doesn’t sweat
at the steel collar but tee-he-teethes
while canned laughter echoes
throughout “the day.”
Alien cramps and contractions
and a patronizing slap on the ass
places for the space creature.
On a rock orbiting a fireball
while whistling at breakneck speed
to gods know where, the uterine chump
monkeys with placebos,
waits without defense, a will until ill.
Rich Murphy’s poetry collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for Americana. Asylum Seeker is the third in a trilogy out now (2018). The first collection in the trilogy was Americana. Body Politic, the second, was published by Prolific Press in January 2017. Murphy’s first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree was published in 2007 by Codhill Press. Chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press).