Rich Murphy’s credits include books, The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press) and Voyeur (Gival Press); and chapbooks, Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), and Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox).
Bear Right and Keep to the Left
The berth along the normal expressway
allows for most every body in lanes to pass.
On the way to the cemetery,
roadside rest stops run quick quizzes,
and often hand out certificates
or strap boarding house beds to backs.
From cry baby to pigeon hole hospice,
the I Witness Institute operates
to impress the traffic lights
behind such enemy lines as
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,”
“I saw the best minds of my generation . . .” .
Neighbors get Bonnie and Clyde wherever,
or the drone heard buries with cross hairs.
Harboring within Miss Manner
or convening beneath pin stripe jargon,
a citizen docile but capable carries on ideology
without stripping the median.
Without exit, the well-contained vehicles
maintain the surfaces with crushed bone
on clover leaf or strait-away.
The toll road ends the green project
at the jaded crescent among fallow fellows
with faults put on the line
for the one last scream role.
The Grand Canyon between
promise and practice swallows cities
slopping in garbage and plans.
The two lips resist buttoning
The landfill that might satiate
with a belly-laugh sits wealthy,
a mountain top with suspension cables.
Guffaws send airwaves across gulps
and burps up broken dreams
and masticated lives.
Yawning signs give “heads up”
on both side along the road.
Oh, ouroboros nose!
Students stick to ribs
while blue collar workers
get caught in the craw.
Dead pigs line the river bed
where pork sandwiches reign.
A nation with diverse engagements
decomposes in bowels at banks.
The unemployed articulation
to the past empties the digestive tract.