Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sheila Murphy, “American Ghazals”

Sheila Murphy

from American Ghazals

Rastafarian vespers clone egress,
The monk-numb falsehood of loaves and fishes.

Sanitation workers arrive in teams
To prevail where other trends have failed.

In zeal one finds no shred of pink.
Drapes fall in deference to gravity.

Silken premises need not be professed,
Merely appear in print with tony graphics.

Ten-ten AM radio features
Group recitation of the rosary at six.

One Hundred Eighteenth

I like saying more than seeing tuberous begonia.
Just as Rachel Maddow loves pronouncing Whitey Bulger.

Infractions have a way of polishing the punishing
Draft copy of the final product (El Producto, signature cigar).

Children seen equal children heard, unless they’re yours.
The TA before our class described tachometer.

Notice lack of restraint when the vote count
Is thirty-three to twenty nine in favor.

June brought us Mary Ellen, and we’re feeling
Bountiful, yes, graced, to know she’s in the Southwest, too.

Soapy little head bent over the stainless
Steel sink, the water an electric river.

Household of coffee, happy windows frame eternity.
This blouse as light as see-through, only trans-brown patterned.

Earth makes noise; pavement, a place for tires to grind
A nano-particle at a time.

One of the many benefits is who is not here now.
The know-it-all who answers what we have not asked.

I fall for everything you put out.
For example, your calling me your scenery.

One Hundred Twentieth

Camisole reduces friction on her soft skin, with silk
To interfere with artifice as epidermis.

Seashine includes salt granules fine to face seemingly incessant
Light that shimmers, light that graces, thereby forming fragile glaze.

Our correspondence failed to notice barricades invented
To reduce our sense of touch, we circumvented nature thus.

Birds together just outside my window transpose one another's
Melody, threaded, splayed and newly threaded into three dimensions.

To story is to wield the under-surfaces of world
We talk about as being held in common, although differently.


Sheila E. Murphy's most recent book is a collaboration with Lewis LaCook, Beyond the Bother of Sunlight (BlazeVox, 2011).  The University of Alberta Press is bringing out the second volume of Continuations (with Douglas Barbour) in 2012, following the 2006 release of the first.  Murphy’s American Ghazals will appear from Otoliths (Qld, Australia) in 2012, as well.  Her home is in Phoenix.

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume 5 (2011): Disappearance

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