Scott Murphy


Unimaginable Energies

Captain Oxnard stood fingering his ray gun,
feeling within its Cycolac shell the hum
of unimaginable energies and tried
to imagine them. Thwarted,

he extended his arm and pushed
the trigger stud. One quick hurt-the-eyes violet
lash. Unimagination rendered into demonstration
the flaming wreck of an '86 LeSabre and Oxnard

paused vexed, imagining a stick,
a marshmallow, a little less power.

Minerva Adrift

The dark seems tiger striped.
Mote-hung light in sheets
gets in between the boards
that Emmett nailed across the windows
on the day he closed the house.

She sees, Minerva does, from her corner,
curled on the torn divan.
What eyes she sees with, no one knows,
nor have any seen Minerva,
not since Emmett left.

It was late October and she watched his back,
the small valise in his left hand
that swung with every step. Inside,
his next-best shirt, a union suit for winter,
and her photograph.

This Spring, awake again,
Minerva scratches faintly at the door.
The crocuses -- her crocuses -- pry up the clods
beside the walk. The silence
waits to wake to birds.

Old in the city, turning frail,
Emmett moves king's knight and puts it down,
king's bishop three. It's chilly in the park.
Ice rimes the edges of the concrete chessboard.
Birch twig shadows write a language on his back.


If pomes werk rite
they brake the armor
of the hart.

Hooked to some star
we go def to the pome.
Hooked to the sky we mite
drown looking up at rine.

Rite pomes are damajing things,
useliss if thay never hurt,
never hurt as escaped pleasure,
never hurt as pain.

It cant werk rite.
Thair's always one more thing
under the rok
another brayve flash of dezire.