archives fall 2007



Fright or Flight

Citizens of secret cities polish floors
beneath their beds with the crisp fronts
of shirts. Skies of springs and foam
held up by posts and frames never rain

and no god sags in the clouds drawing
the wrath of outdoor threats. The snow
of interiors piles high in shoes. Bootstraps
are put to rest. The safety first students

graduated from under desks and frequent
fliers shifted their compartments from
between their knees. Chased by a sense
of fear, mop heads show up for work

and crawl after pay checks. Backbones
of dust cloths never stood against evil’s
thin air in an epoch of blue capes
and telephone booths on every corner;

two sets of neighboring eyes have
never confronted each other at
the attitude of between five and six feet. 


Rich Murphy is author of Great Grandfather, a chapbook forthcoming from Pudding House. His poems have appeared in Rolling Stone, Poetry Magazine, Grand Street, New Letters, Negative Capability, Confrontation Magazine, Texas Poetry Review, and many other journals. His essay “Vanishing Artist: American Poet and Differend” was published in Fulcrum: An Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics, and again in The International Journal of the Humanities. A second essay, “McLuhan’s Warning, Frye’s Strategy, Emerson’s Dream,” was published in the latest issue of The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning. He has taught creative writing and literature for over twenty years, and currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.