Eratio Issue 17




Revving Evolution


by Rich Murphy







Gill in the Elements



In space the fishbowl weighs.

Atlas shoulders crumble.

The astronaut knows,

but sooner or later the astronaut

doesn’t know: A guppy nose

against the glass. Aquatic

sensibility orders from the menu:

Wish list from barrels.

The deranged background enters

with a shot gun or a cosmic cat paw.

Law practices and law practices,

but law practices. Even a shark

understands nothing: “what happens.”

Sisyphus in a mason jar

pushes up hill: How does one

in the soup eat? The beast question.

The next enlightenment glares

at the spaceship in the tunnel.

More than melancholia approaches

among the threats: pout don’t flounder.







Leaving the Party



Some human tips over,

and the fish bowl shatters.

Goldie flips and flops:

To breathe water into gills

then to absorb another atmosphere.

The old order evaporates.

New symbols point and sneer:

Primary codes lie as shards.

Gibberish in the air,

in ears and on the tongue

isolates for the black cat.

The drop: a kingdom for an ounce.

Droplets fling and fly away.

Lungs grow slowly

or not at all. A vocabulary

creeps and waits before

weighing on golden boy, flat.







Shark Bite



Nietzsche, perhaps expelled.

Catapulted, Freud might have diagnosed.

The fish tank, Turin, hasn’t forgotten.

The fins flapping, the gills swallowing:

nothing. No horsing around now.

A cool cat brushes with minnow bones.

Then physician jackets awarded,

while a straitjacket was worn with pride.

An empirical order wrestled with translators.

The empathizer shrinks. Lunar Projects

fail when they succeed.

All night long a search party howls.

Philosophy that students learned remained.

Will to power flowered.

A symbol orders and goose steps,

and Europe obsesses with purity.

But a mustache invades and conquers:

Even God dies, but never to return maybe.

And the mind slaves and splashes

for borders to the collective unconscious.










Rich Murphy’s credits include books, “Americana” Prize Americana 2013 winner by The Institute for American Studies and Creative Writing.  The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press) and Voyeur 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award; chapbooks, Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press). 



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