Two Poems


Rich Murphy





Smarty Pants



The window to the soul coordinates smart

for mates who weeded out lust and lies

from the garden remains.


At first the troubadours tumbled from horses

onto mandolins and cities in the West

hurried out to buy glass panes for organ pouches.


Each viewer found that falling

from hormonal heights into coffee grounds,

the lover awakens to pragmatic routines

that demand attention.


The chirp and buzz from kitchen appliances

teach while secreting glands taunt.


The passion that dissipates

into an oxytocin memory

also drools over fantasies

and drips into weekend hobbies.


Just as just, the synchronized

limping team from yesteryear

looks in two classroom pupils.


The perverse behavior

between science and capitalism

when meeting in the crowded streets

pokes out eyes: After waiting

an epoch, humans see.





Body Politics



The dictator sits in the genome

with a short story and a long pointer.

Skin wraps up skeletal narrative in denial:

Happy Birthday until hapless dirt day.


At the embryo launch site witnesses anticipate

with gifts, legends, hopes, and wishes.


Not long after the orbiting parents tire,

the sun puts up with weather and cosmic forces.


Will goes about the day using an index finger

to accuse various enemies hiding in the landscape:

“Bang bang drop dead,” the externalist says

and jogs everyday rain or shine.

But even the evil doers outside the body

feast at the Metabolism Bistro.


Meanwhile, inside the family gene pool,

big fish chomp on small fish or vice versa

with a rhythm that tells time for bomb experts

who try to haul out water wings and the shrimp.

Who among neighbors would dare go for a swim?


When given an opportunity the tyrant

stands on organ music and tips over a domino

in a ribcage or cranium for denouement.








Rich Murphy’s poetry collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for Americana.  Asylum Seeker is the third in a trilogy out now (2018).  The first collection in the trilogy was Americana.  Body Politic, the second, was published by Prolific Press in January 2017.  Murphy’s first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree was published in 2007 by Codhill Press.  Chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press).  Rich Murphy is online at