March 21-27, 2011: Rich Murphy and Jay Passer

Rich Murphy


Bio (auto)

Rich Murphy’s credits include the 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award for his book-length manuscript “Voyeur;” a first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree; chapbooks Great Grandfather, Family Secret, Hunting and Pecking, and Phoems for Mobile Vices, Rescue Lines; poems in Rolling Stone, Poetry, Grand Street, Trespass, War Literature and Art, Tryst, The View from Here, New Letters, Pank, Segue, Big Bridge, EOAGH, Chiron Review, Borderlands, foam:e, and Confrontation; and essays in The International Journal of the Humanities, Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture, Fringe, and Journal of Ecocriticism “Body of Evidence” is 2011 finalist Eudaimonia Poetry Review Chapbook Prize, and “Crib Sheets” is 2011 finalist Teacher’s Voice Poetry Chapbook Prize Derek Walcott has remarked for the cover of his book Voyeur: “Mr Murphy is a very careful craftsman in his work, a patient and testing intelligence, one of those writers who knows precisely what he wants his style to achieve His poetry is quiet but packed, carefully wrought, not surrealistically wild, and its range not limited but deliberately narrow It takes aim.” He lives in Marblehead, MA and teaches writing at VCU. 

Visit Rich’s Twitter page here:

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Rich Murphy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.



Untie these shoes.



Jay Passer

Bio (auto)

Jay Passer lives in San Francisco, CA with 3 house plants and a stuffed yellow duck His work has appeared most recently in Nerve Cowboy and ALBA: A Journal Of Short Poetry, and will appear in the June 2011 edition of He is currently at work on a cycle of haiku composed on his cell phone.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Westward Ho 

After a week on the lake
Sunburn and fly-rods and bluegills
And her old man
I caught one by accident
“Oh yah, you got yourself a good eatin’ fish there!”
Pronounces the staunch Norwegian Christian Fundamentalist fisherman Here we are
In the tool shed scaling scores of sunfish
A day after I’d nailed his daughter
In the very same shed
Bent over the sawhorses On the portable radio the leaders of Israel and Palestine
Meet to discuss over whose land shall the blood spill
For the millionth time since
The penning of the
Old Testament “Yah sure, they’ll never quit fightin!”
Pipes old Jack What’s Jack got to worry about?
Jesus is his Lord and Savior I nod solemnly
Heathen beast with clown paint for a face
With luck the talk turns to basketball
And the Lakers heyday in Minneapolis
Vern Mikkelsen and George Mikan and Elgin Baylor
“They had quite a squad in those days, ya know!”
Sure thing Jack, I thought, and tonight I’m gonna
Fuck your daughter in the backseat of your
Lincoln Continental
Parked under the birch trees and evergreens of Minnow Lake
Morning and aboard the rowboat
The old Nordic whip ties the leader to the fly
Casting abstract signatures over the cold pristine water
And keeps pulling out sunfish one after the other
As if in their plentiful manufacture
Old Jack holds stock and shares alike Later fried in butter and sea salt
Jack confides, “God’s own fish, the sunny!”
Loon calls over the lake
Blue heron takes flight with awkward subtlety
And the neighbor calls to the boat
“Anything biting?”
“Oh, well a couple tugs here and there, but we just got started!”
“Well save some for me will ya?”
“Ya sure, you want the big ones or the little ones?”
“Oh, the big ones I suppose, that way I don’t have to catch so many!”
“Okay then!”

Back to the city west
On the airplane
After a week of idyllic sanctuary
$1.43 in change and a loose button in my pocket
The stewardess slips me little bottles of
Black Label on the sly The plane could go down
A flaming meaningless speck
I wouldn’t ask why






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