Poetry by Rich Murphy
Brush Work
Greeting nature's gloves
across our cheeks with a grin
and a hoe, we soon don
the businessman's strait jacket.

The circle of unemployed movie stars
around a fire in a deep forest
scares the bird from leaving
any stone undisturbed.

When the hunters flock
to the public gardens looking
for something to push around
they find Howdy Doody
and strings to the mysterious continent
that a mirror or lagoon are quicker voyages to.

Once upon the finger peninsulas
of a reflecting technician
and upon hearing his untangled wind,
the Columbus will eat an aborigine.
Title Bouts
Each canvas compress
once stopped a bleeding.

A moment in the life
of the artist's exposed nerve
throbs on a wall, giving birth
to its wound over and over in a crowd
there to perform first aid in a gallery.

Where there is little success
doctors and nurses go about their business
as bystanders matching colors,
bumping into forms, fading into old age
with picture frames under their arms.

Any healing is an art dealer's nightmare,
and all museum egress empties
back into the sports complex
as though from locker rooms.

First Place Winner is the chump
who gets stretched on a gauze pad
and brushes himself off before he gets up.
The Courtship
Spreading the asphalt, picnic blanket,
the pubescent lad smooths out its wrinkles
and uses heart-shaped suburbs
to hold the corners from the wind.

Burdened with the basket,
the lass rests nature's conduit in the center
of love's unconsciousness
and arranges the conversation
into streets and parking lots and plazas.

Sprawling among the plates and utensils,
the two workers feed each other and play
until sandwiched between two black sheets
and then catch a bus for the city limits.

When love is a steel erection under glass,
the evening does not reveal the heaves
and pots and blades of grass,
yet the ants parade about the cemetery
and swarm the broad loom carpet.
The perfect places are interrupted
by the clumsy feet of a poem sweet poem.
 
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Music by Brian Hutzell
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