"Practitioner Joy" 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. The collection of poems will be published by Wipf and Stock in early Summer. The project entitled is also my confrontation with my practice as a poet and, at least in part, my inevitable death.
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.
There is absolutely nothing to lose in my project. 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 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 80 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 at Southern Illinois University.
Editor Katie Scions of Rumble Fish Quarterly nominated, “Work Quirk,” a poem from the collection, for a Pushcart Prize 2019 and remarked in her “Editors’ 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.”