archives spring 2009



The Tulip Neck

Bending, as if the blood leaving
your throat slowly rocketed
forth, you lean blindly forward,

to imagine it, but you like
the rising, his hand firmly combing down
your face against the darkness

of his shape, and 

as if dying, you lean down to your thirst


the mouth of

the horse to the water trough—
but slowly, oh
slower than hunger, the realization of

it awakening.  Languishing
tulip.  Limp,
asleep.  And yet,


upon thy lips
the cup

of the secret spills forth

only the smallest
drink for your madness, drink, drink

unsatisfied by your want, your living—


Estrella Avenue

You open small windows for love
when you care
and someone else means more to you than
yourself.  Mexico

is a dream still, and we are there together.
The wet hustle of starlight
and the dogs run stray—

There is color, and it’s the most
important thing.  It is.  Because it takes a wall of
star-blue to stupefy a man to his very loneliest
self, to stand before

the real life, and not the practiced one
a gate of green pipe cactus in the yard and wildflowers lacing
the shadows, in which we bandage the wounds with work
and get drunk

for love.  The place you are now
writing grants and scheduling the hours.
What a dismal, soulless America
dressed in partitions, so I’m dramatic as chains
like the sea

and when the lyric stops,
its manic, dark murmuring your own
for self-worth,
we’re not in our house in the future in Guanajuato,

for the moment we are alone
kissing the black mouth of a telephone,
each of us considering our own light-year.  bug


Miguel Murphy is the author of A Book Called Rats (Eastern Washington University Press, 2003) and curating editor for Pistola: A Literary Journal of Poetry Online. His poems and reviews appear most recently in Ploughshares, Willow Springs, and Rain Taxi.