I am director of writing programs at Emmanuel College in Boston where
I teach writing and poetry as literature courses. My poems have been published widely in such journals as
Rolling Stone (yes, once they published poetry), Poetry Magazine,
Grand Street, New Letters, Negative Capability, Confrontation Magazine, Barrelhouse Review, West 47,
Aesthetica Review, New Delta Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review.
My essay 'Vanishing Artist: American Poet and
Differend' was published in Fulcrum: An Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics and again in
The International Journal of the Humanities.
A Peck of Peace
The fruit that bruises itself
in your chest fell from a galaxy
through the sky of your eyes’
desire for genesis or compost heap.
Polishing your heart each morning
to pretend you are the teacher’s pet
earns you the martyr’s stool,
a career of schoolyard fool.
Thieves mashing the planet between
their boots and the asphalt of outer space
demonstrate the propulsion of passion
jejune in its insecure membrane.
As the blossoming suns fade
from sight, instructing our petals
of guileless guilt in loss, our breathing
becomes the master of the wait,
and we innovate for tools to become
the experienced crafters of innocence.
The Apple in the Monkey Tree
Golden delicious apples define
the tree of the Milky Way and Civilization
upon which creatures graft themselves,
wear broochers for eyes, and moisten
their lips with Buddhism’s sponge.
Our lust fills our heads with its food,
our hearts with its drink, and our souls
with earth blossoming as does any
accidental big bang in outer space.
We worship the positions of the suns,
the theory of fact, and climbing limbs.
Wealth balances among the branches
possessing a globe in our hands that reflects
our fates. Kindness is the pulp of our drool.
Wisdom convinces us that at their cores
flying embers have arcs and turn to ash.
Few chants intersect a flesh so that they
transcend the fall of ripe fruit.
The Fiction of Science
Thrown from the sea bottom,
the Mediterranean sponge grew
into the perspectival King Kong
absorbing cities to feed
its rootless fruit. Two corneal
dust balls swept into their pores
congregations of customs in squares,
turning them into cortex,
while farmers, millers, and holy men
matured to become machines,
electrons, pixels. Beneath the Alp
that buried them in history,
flocks too dry for consuming
remain in routine that brought
staves, straw, and no salvation.
Scaling granite and glass
for a better vision, the Empire
State Building Clamberer once
in full-body beard, now wipes
clean the slate each decade
and then sips cosmopolitan.
copyright © Rich Murphy