Sheila E. Murphy
From AMERICAN GHAZALS Seventy-Second Meridian Street laminates a curfew Held in place by history subject to amnesia. Spring time far from any latitude condoned By primacy despite the tilt toward recency. One continually falls for a curmudgeon Who remains confused as to why this stinging label. The woman in the photograph had been a partly happy Child until she grew into her mother's wrinkled chic. Karate leads to flinching the receiver Barely knows and resists requests for explanation. No appointment necessary, although lifetime contributions Are recommended in exchange for an abstract form of protection. Seventy-Third What an easy daylight, only a minor sprain On right foot, heater coming on, the shiny window. Sacrifice has remained alive in the idea realm, In contrast to its proponents who have passed. Words leave peace in place until the volume is turned up. I have so many syllables I will neglect to say to you. My child, who held you close to her when I was galavanting Through knowledge, through clauses twisted into hypertext. Mantra after unsaid mantra, hurt has been alleviated By mere shifts in focus, fraternity, equality and freedom. Lanky lads who still drink offer large fractions of their income To their future cleansing, to which resources will be deployed. Capsicum as catalyst for various herbal infusions To the aging body seeming younger by the timepiece. Seventy-Fourth On either side of me, five by seven photographs: Each of my brothers, and their energy soft, piercing. Blessed daylight shines through thirty-two degrees this morning. I chaperone activity belonging just to me. Open-holed flute keys allow the fingers to define The level sweetness of each note's pronunciation. All love remains accessible when I am breathing. All love stipulates awareness or unawareness. Configured span of pure attention reaches destinations Quite apart from pure forgiveness, mere figure of speech. To watch oneself convey an openness to growth confirms The hand sketching what the hand has yet to learn. Seventy-Fifth Blue silk exposition of new morning as your grace alights. I wink to the incessant treble clef of your blond insights. Use of decisive force where musculature would be Opens the figurative skylight to young birds rehearsing. Symmetry's the fallout from dimensional break dance From which a man named Joey worms his way across floorboards. If I could purchase reeds, I would play saxophone With hundreds of percussion players wholly entranced. Parcels, all of them selected by an individual with taste, Arrive at once, and there are gardens expertly evolving. Choreography amounts to a response to unanticipated Motion, tremors of that, silhouetting multicolored ambivalence. Seventy-Sixth For you I have been willing to hurt this much Not in a vacuum and also porously. Gems germane to obfuscation taunt me where I reach Toward, to ward off, circumstance replete with nature. Miniscule playthings mark the good and pliable Flat plane to which I have aspired once more alone. "Shepherd me," I asked of no reluctant follower: "I shall be your saint for all eternity." Watch silos float along the field, as though collecting Sustenance tucked away within, informed surrender. Seventy-Seventh Snappety strip mine solace aftermath, the damned Fine sun splits hapless long divulgence into slips. Minders foretell all their fears in ridges meant To fracture ardent predisposition as though unmovable. East of chaperones are miscreants en route to daybeds. All the lively women in the back come toward the frontline. Saturation is a nicely day-fied deity come some soon Weather mat due for a hosing chafe about to mystify some sordids. Make your way toward delivery minced into the slow-go Cinch appliance of a heat pump marshaled toward unwork. Seventy-Eighth There is the stippled, only water, where to place Inevitable commas as though lapses were aroused. Mention whether the bullet and whether entry minus exit Means grazed on a continuum so responses are still happening. Avenging weed, the small walk, and the coffee, and the near- Term darkness and the constant television, and the ability to download. Records of the years in Ann Arbor, records of the learning, Evidence that something other than the shrapnel took place. That I am not, have never been, an incubator, something About business opportunities, meaning of a single word. Seventy-Ninth Circumference of praise fits tightly to memory. One serves dark tea stippled with awakeness. A temperate conversation leans in on Accidents until the congregation is informed. A pieced together flow amounts to preferential treatment Of the elderly, their in-laws, even assembled neighbors. What of the word frankincense why do we know it When each morning, the bell tongue sounds firmly on cue. Music occurs in my very blood, even unrecognized, As people I have met retrace the steps I do not know. Eightieth Questions begin to form when you remember I am reading, But I can answer nothing until I reach one paragraph. The individual who shared with me the Alexander Method Lived philosophy that proved one had to be from somewhere else. Indiana stiffens the soul; alternatively, Indiana lands On beachways from Lake Michigan that shift resolve to walk uphill intact. Even cement inherently dissolves if you are willing To wait long enough, believing this inevitability. Look at these long-stemmed tulips gifted us for luncheon Here at home: petals stiff and beautiful red-yellow. If I breathe exactly as instructed my intention Will become contagious to the people I will always love. Eighty-First Sobriety turned sobriquet anointed him at first: He broadcast a reconstituted innocence. The more intake, the less even the out-take(s) Plural as contrarian salvos mistaken for mature. One ransacked the pleasure boat for curfew notices. One equally limited oneself by inference. What jealous looking roses had congealed Into ferocious answers to neglect. "You're on your own," said he, phonetically Imperfectly, yet clear and to-the-point. If an insult weighs something, how does that affect The unwitting recipient of such injustice? Limber, lambent suffixes seem barnacles Affixed in permanence to vessels minus names.
Sheila E. Murphy is presently at work on a book-length volume of American Ghazals. In addition, she is preparing work for publication with Xexoxial Press in collaboration with K.S. Ernst. In 2011, the second volume of Continuations, with Douglas Barbour, is scheduled to appear from The University of Alberta Press. Luna Bisonte Prods recently released a collaborative Pamphlet of visual poems by John M. Bennett and Sheila Murphy, titled Piedra Portátil (2011). Two additional titles in visual poetry include This Is Visual Poetry from Dan Waber's chapbookpublisher.com (2010) and Permutoria (with K.S. Ernst). Luna Bisonte Prods (2008). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Murphy