Rich Murphy

The Self Express
Matter is spirit reduced to the point of visibility. Albert Einstein

The fright within the freight
doesn’t jump out with a “BOO”
from the Greenville Garden 
Aum and Drug Center.

To find the fear, 
the long-sure-man (or woman)
must hold onto breath, 
dumpster dive into a cargo car,
and surface with a life:
a spirit mortally wounded,
a resource depot,
or the walking dead.

Zombies and mummies
buried from all thought
pop up from thin air 
populating the countryside.
One peek at the night sky piqued enough.

The information booth personnel
befriend without stars, mystery,
or questions, framing each word
with conventional concrete assumption.

From nowhere through DNA and psyche 
energy limped on limbs into the living: 
A birth bereavement ceremony
that lowered the head for the work ahead.

A routine discovery that challenges 
the awed into a flower bed rumbles out 
chills to those who care to breathe.

Keeping It real

During the day-long fluency illusion
(coffee next, teeth next, work next) 
a sublime moment within a misbehavior
may slip into Troy, the great deadener:
a dropped pen, a call from the blue.

Quickly, chills scurry up vertebrate
by vertebrate beyond the brainstem
and out through the skull.
Yes, Earth moves and beasts 
and petunias ride atop . . . for a while.

Allowing the background in 
at all times as the thought train
tows the cargo, the day also
requires that the senses make.

The fact and the galactic whirl 
often callus from head to toe before noon
so that the scout wakes on the ground
but soon picks up a track for logic
to calibrate the inevitable from the possible.

The Imposter System

A foggy mirror under a nose
tells little about a human sack
stretched by bones.

Even a foot away, the here
and there remain in a silence.

An air bag within the awkwardly
stuffed duffle lifts and collapses,
and intuition hints at a thump
pump also somewhere inside.

What animates a senses organ
into interpretating the same old story 
seems to whisper when reflected upon:
a soloist in the ruck.

The travel catch-all may make up
a history for perimeters,
but even the gas pouches breathing
repeat for what can be.

The charge when fluids and tissues
meet livens up limbs and the tale
with twists and turns for a species member
who from all sides within converses.

Rich Murphy’s poetry has won The Poetry Prize at Press Americana twice Americana (2013) and The Left Behind (2021) and Gival Press Poetry Prize Voyeur (2008). Space Craft by Wipf and Stock also came out 2021. Books Prophet Voice Now, essays by Common Ground Research Network and Practitioner Joy, poetry by Wipf and Stock 2020. He has published several other collections of poetry.
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