Sheila E. Murphy

How Do We Unrest

How do we unrest together? Form
fitting innocence delimits our
aspiring to a feigned rapport,

shuttering the views of
youth in peril
seeking to distinguish flowers
from devouring clans who pluck them.

Set the tone with pursed lips making
points sans impact vocalizing to the
empty chairs chastising

gravitation light and whims
downsized to form
a colony of dogma leaving home
a glut of old codes that demand a clash


The Way Jim Worked

He allowed daylight to be itself. He took in glimmers of the depth and surface and arranged them for a while. He spoke longhand in a gentlemanly way. Fruits of his labor were to come. I know the leisurely approach would warm us as we waited for the chime, seeing a finished thing not about itself. It was about the way he thought. This long-term way of seeing that perfection might occur as soon as summer or whatever season he forgot. Each part came true, meant not the whole until. I see his voice instead of hearing it. He came into the building where I write. He stayed. It was a quiet rather southern time.

Waiting for arrival just the same as waiting for another time and place

Glenn Bach

from Atlas

About this light: a million dirty moons
in the sweaty air, a thousand cattle in the hills.

Cat shriek, overspill of TV just out of ear-
shot, breakers of traffic in the cool still.

Palms never sleep as buildings roll on ball
bearings, coils thick as twisted torsos sway

like reeds in the dusty breeze of the big one—
—quakes hop-scotch across faults as P waves

rearrange the topography: down suddenly
and sideways: liquefied soil like so many

drunk molecules or strings of energy shifted
into new social circles. Concrete loses to weeds

of rising rents in L.A., of the lifeless air within
this structure, rugs over carpets below stairs

worn in patterns, in pathways, in dark streaks
down the middle of each freeway lane.