Rich Murphy / Poetry 4.1 / Spring 2016





Conspiracy Theory

Syphoning willed-ignorance
and tweaking cellphone apps
manufacturers generate for the undead.
Lacking poetry, the production lines
spit from straight-faced university facades,
and middleclass shadows emerge with “yes”
on tongue tips and with dashes for legs.

Infiltrators laid in wait in banks
and at corporate headquarters
while insurgents poisoned
with pens 40 years ago,
experimented with group-think.
Sleeper cells embedded in Congress
to become lobbyists when called on:
Slow-motion jujitsu moves . . .
The welfare state rattled, riddled and rifled.
Elite brick and mortar forces
downsized into gas over cities, overseas,
to where the poor plunge.

Stunned and stunted by the crashes
on 9/11and 2008, the audience welcomed
into homes and on streets reality television.
And then the coup began
by co-opting fear and anger,
and spoon-feeding
to saturate keyboards, images, and ears.
Cliché and platitude propagated,
had long been for illiteracy coming to terms.
Shiny swinging objects and beds tether,
or armored cars mow – domestic violence.

The plot came to roil after debt enslaved.
The Corporate Media Awards Ceremony
rhyme at the Grand Ballroom
at The Caesar Palace in Never Mind, USA.


Prologue to the Impossible

In the suspect society,
democracy implodes,
and, to create a black hole
for morals, willed ignorance
denies the violence.
Short term interest
for short term gain
erases memory, history,
and solves problems
using prison, better yet guns.
“Against the wall and spread ‘em.”

Corporate thinking manages:
Public issues efficacize
into private suffering.
The cheerful robots
who studied, practiced,
and blame themselves
own foreclosed hopes
and death urges.

Broad social justice movement
breaks into departments:
environment, race,
immigration, war, taxes, etc.
The boutique activism
provides overtime
opportunity for cops,
one weekend a month,
sometimes two and little else
where trembling shrinks men.

The impossible remains
on the storage shelf
in the basement, down
around the belly,
the only option
and nothing to lose
but fear.

6d23c685-4834-4192-a44a-92f4c02495f6Rich Murphy’s third book Americana was selected as the winner in the Prize Americana (2013) by The Institute for American Studies and Creative Writing. His  first book, The Apple in the Monkey Tree, was published by (Codhill Press, 2007); second book Voyeur was published in 2009. Chapbooks include Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing) and Great Grandfather (Pudding House Publications). Recent poetry may be found in Pennsylvania Review, Former People, Fjord Review, E.ratio, Literati Quarterly, Otoliths, Euphony, The Straddler, James Dickey Review, Harbinger Asylum, Blast Furnace, and Blue Fifth Review: Blue Five Notebook.Recent prose scholarship on poetics has been published in Imaginary Syllabus, Anthology chapters, Palm Press; Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning; The International Journal of the Humanities; Fringe Magazine; Reconfigurations: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics; The Journal of Ecocriticism; and New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing.


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