Sunday 5 May 2019

2 Poems by Rich Murphy

Ancient Script

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).

No comments:

Post a Comment