Pleased that my poem "Constitutional Crisis" is among many wonderful poems in Otoliths 51. https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2018/09/rich-murphy.html
"Scapegoat Borough" and other poems (from my manuscript Epilogue: The Left Behind) were published in Projected Letters. http://projectedletters.com/scapegoat-borough-and-other-poems/
My poem "Word and Deed" (from my manuscript Epilogue: The Left Behind) with great poems in Marsh Hawk Review. https://marshhawkpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Marsh-Hawk-Review-Fall-2018.pdf
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.
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.
The Extinction Squad
Attacking each psyche to build
the cyborg consumer army,
advertisers carpet bombed
with market campaigns
from Internet heights
while public relations firms
shelled with cranium memes.
When the I-beams buckled and collapsed
into the brain pan and purpose cratered
at nerve endings, the white flag
pleaded for solidarity in debt.
Once the trained troops miss
that customers march
when the bank orders, implants
hack to hi-jack until engineers
hot-dogging cannon balls plash
and sipping cocktail spritzers
decide among gene pools.
Switchyard Flash on 20th Century Limited
Only computer hard drives
prompt for species members
to remember consciousness
decoupling from information.
The train that rocked and rolled
for thought loved through tunnels
and over mountains
since memory mimed.
The challenge to the cranium,
coal car to steam puff,
for the human freight
alerted enough to empower enough
so dancers improvised.
Then the engineer, calling all cars,
leaned on an encyclopedia
unaware that track could memorize
every comma in nursery rhymes,
and television screens winked
back at the viewers not yet on a couch.
Asleep at the switch to cyborgs,
the conductor pretended to collect tickets
when in the nursing home for sapiens.
Had space craft among sentient animals
been prized among the chain gang
into a future, John Henry would have joined
in a journey, a conga line celebration.
In the hopeless classes,
how to work hands
and how to move legs,
Though college courses
lead to ignored thefts
for the confident traveler,
the despairing and cowed crowd,
policed into parking lots,
study at gun-point
for final exams.
Humiliated grave seekers dig deep
into ancestry and dumpsters.
The peasantry in lessons
and in spell-being
produce for cringing from afar,
and for appreciative sighs
trust fund spenders.
An invisible handed pick pocket
snatches before the dunce divisions
have added militancy
to the curriculum.
Certainly, the life-long, hard-knock
master program substitutes
for computing acumen.
Three chairs fly
against family and friends
upon a mean graduation.
However, once in a while,
an accurate bottle
fills with gasoline
and stops with a rag.
The Ledge-able Constitution
The hope dope hangs
on each moment.
dig into contingency to hold on
for a foothold in history
or for a hand from the future.
All the while,
where extinction promises
and slavery threatens,
the frown turned upside
down tears at the cliff face.
A gloat note laughter roars
from the Gorge Century
where the poor get picked from teeth.
Bald eagle and bearded vulture
peck at and mess with the grip.
An albatross tugs at the neck.
The mope goat on look out
for a few founders falls in love
with a Mead forecast.
Marx or the brothers dally where?
and saving energy for palms
that take root at a lip,
being won’t accept a grip slip.
Log-Drumming Through Human Wilderness
Dancing to the algorithms
pounded out from Silicon Valley,
the tribes around the world perform.
The romp around cha-cha-ching
beats from tough touch screens
what Freud geeks drummed lame.
The switch-doctor patrons applaud
while observing from the official stands
when the pageant prances, promenades,
and rollicks but mimic in contempt
during private deals. Neuro-circuitry
responds with Dervish hypnosis
to the primitive seductions.
The obedient and useless masses
resent and then envy in traditional costume
until favor blesses with fashion
…and yearning again.
The token hired black sheep, empathy,
fading with neglect on reservations,
always smiles for the cameras.
The redundant irrelevant
imagined communities will pay
for the shortcuts around human nature
with flesh and bones
until senses have no home.
Two Poems from Asylum Seekers published by Americana, An Institute for American Studies and Creative Writing