Smarty Pants is from my manuscript "Epilogue: The Left Behind. It was first published in E.ratio Magazine. Click above to hear a reading of it. Thank you.
When outside Plato’s Cave capitalism’s crisis horizon threatens with precarious “every conduct is economic conduct,” “I once was mine; now I am theirs,” and “homo Deus” (a new species of humans from the loins of the wealthy only), prophetic voices are needed in an effort to counter and perhaps change the narrative’s and the future’s direction. This collection of poems attempts to do just that. It is an alternative voice offering a way forward that promotes the ideas of Hegel and Nietzsche through Peter Sloterdijk’s You Must Change Your Life and Slavoj Zizek’s Less than Nothing. My current project entitled “Practitioner Joy” is also my confrontation with my practice as a poet and, at least in part, my inevitable death.
There is absolutely nothing to lose in my projects. Poets know well that we will die. Yes, yes this manuscript is poetry, but its sibling, philosophy, lurks within it. These poems break further from poetic styles from my past in that they are more stylistically confident in their conviction to name and in their embrace of a way forward not only for a person but for humans without corporate capitalism and without Homo Deus threats. While the poems are different from what lyric poems are being published in journals today, I ask that you consider the submission seriously. I believe they are the future. (I believe in my new –to me— poetics and believe that my manuscript is what Blake called “firm persuasion.”) While the manuscript has grown to 79 pages and will grow no more, when it was 64, it won as a semi-finalist in the 2019 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.
Prophetic Voice Now
By the financial crash of 2008 neo-liberalism had become known as the scam it always was, and capitalism, in crisis, now needed and needs neo-fascist politics as crutches with surveillance under one arm and militarized police under the other. The news reminds us daily of Brexit, Trump (and those like him), and the inequality that is bound to lead to violence. Prophetic Voice Now argues why the prophetic voice by screen, fiction, and poetry writers is vitally important now while we are outside Plato’s Cave, experiencing what Zizek calls the "edifice of the logical interconnection of all possible illusion:" We get to try again, to "fail better," perhaps with dialectics in mind.
Given that our global and national cultures are interregnum at this time and that we are at the threshold of such phenomena as the-internet-of-all-things and transhumans (or what Harari calls Homo Deus), the paper explains why giving voice to alternative myths (or ideologies) may help redirect the current direction. The paper offers an example, urging changing one’s life through practice to become a member of Zizek’s “fragile absolute” in the struggle to reclaim the commons as space craft (Ecology, biology, intellectual property, etc.), referring to a place where humans value their being, their becoming, lives as Nietzsche’s acrobats. The paper refers to Harari, Zuboff, Brown, Zizek, Sloterdijk, Heidegger, and perhaps others in its argument and has time for virtual question and answer exchange.
My poem "Pop," first published in Cliterature, a feminist journal, of literature and then published in Voyeur my book that won the 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award, will be anthologized by Cliterature.
Editor Katie Sions of Rumble Fish Quarterly nominated my poem "Work Quirk" for a Pushcart Prize 2019 and remarked in her “Editor's Note” introduction to the Winter 2018 issue, “Award-winning poet Rich Murphy offers up “Work Quirk,” a poem that reads, and we mean this in the most complimentary terms possible, like a flesh-eating virus.”
Thank you. https://rumblefishblog.wordpress.com/issues/
Something to say rampages
through the cranium.
Bushmen shinny up the brainstem.
Temples rumble with china shop revelation.
A voice box mashes into finger tips
while tectonic plates sound out
and shape for the décor and the elephant.
When eyes sizzle with broken dawn,
a secretary for a state
heads for the round table.
Navigating the unscaled,
the note taker for trunk and task soothes
where wrinkles on clef paper challenge.
A stenographer in climbing shoes
interprets for an independent mind.
Passion rattles in the percussion section
while an engraver attends to observe
and to recommend to the wind
instrument and keyboard.
Negotiating to strike deals
between experience and “thud,”
takes in time and gives back change.
So metaphor police rely on a forger
always returning to the scheme
to move heaven toward earth.
The gray day seams with silver lining
as long as the misunderstanding
results in wallpaper.