Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thomas Murphy

now understand

a bird

means this one

tail-chopped wing-sliced beat-to-shit

not ever flying not ever again hopping

through its short black life

hidden forever in chassis-shadow grief

that one

that bird


at a red light

sitting in the office in the sitting in sitting in the office and on

talk becomes the glossy path to forgetting - just sayin’ - talk

then finding the workman out the window random on the street put away

then a dearth of flowers pointed toward the sky o we were talking

then about sad transits the opening field toward the city now then

boilers elevators guesses tiny numbers and small paper meetings

where nobody meets inside the sleeves of the argument of my name

turn it around and start speaking french and say it and say it

repetez! repetez, geezer! mummer of answers to the ending hours

this is the lasting hungry one the hand outthrust to mercy to birth



This won’t heal.

This will never heal.

This probably won’t             ever heal.


not so insightful or articulate

“ … although I did notice the mother's face becoming unfocused in the 2-3 minute bed talk sequence with her daughter.”

A moment’s material failure to focus.

Who could comprehend the mother’s face beyond the terms of this flat space?

Or a film in which the mother had not been a good one of her kind but had been inattentive.

She stands in the brown light like an early 20th century machine. Look there.

The mother. The mother. There’s an escape for the mother.

All was offered and given to accomplish no certain end.

Except in her shimmering downward can the icy business now be shown.

The mother now appealing to the simple stars she takes for answers, for flying saucers, for angels.

The son stands apart from the daughter, his sister, while the mother completes her delicate research.

She has learned more about winter. The children may be frozen flags. A short line of similarities such as his to hers and back to his.

The mother restates her case. But silently. In the father’s absence. These moments are almost never about the father.

About some inexact projection.


my friends

look look at our misery … heaps of dead gadgets ..

and here I've gone & forgotten you in the storm

of little things … can it come once more from the

top … you slide over and tap and knock me

in the head … a meanness I repeat every time

I stand up to look at the room and talk to it

… it's in my face and pushed out into a victim

space … all of us unhandsome by morning … all

a meanness we mean … as some of the crackup

comes to a bet … will I understand 'a la fin' how

our edges might abut … not like seasons but

asphalt and concrete … the curbs of our sense

in voices … some charcoal for fresh fire or

mystic hunches bent over new cars … once a

very bright toronado … that this low art will

anticipate some really pure arrival … we guess …

purchased to actually serve our modern question

about stage machinery … the parts that come

apart for easy cleaning … we surrender to it

my friends I don't have the time to explain …

but I'm sorry ... and I'll grieve it to the end



i found a planchette

a planchette under the oak

it circled round and spoke

a letter of the ground

© Tom Murphy


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