Three Poems by Joddy Murray

These three poems by Joddy Murray reveal the significance of the insignificant: the unseen and unsaid…

by: Joddy Murray


    “Try, my philosopher, this world.”
              —Czesław Miłosz from “Poet at Seventy” (1986)

Where else will mountains stare so intently at the skies
while never blinking away? Part of my problem is temporal,
like Easy Bake light bulbs. Solzhenitsyn said something 
like everything should be “the concern of all,” but I’m 
easily bored and there are too many types of boredom
to be concerned about. Whistle with the sweeter wind,
the one not hesitant to curl in on itself like a salted slug.
Bathe me with your own sweat, from the inside out.

This is the window with the cracked
sill, fissures traced in creek-bed dendrology,
like those EKG’ed on skulls. You can
play them like a record if you listen
and give them breath. Syringes
pull almost as often as they push.

Night birds on the lawn should be sleeping
as you are in our bedroom, piled high
with fabric. There is a canvas, some ink.

When I am almost alone, the skeleton
inside shudders around in an inverted 
sneeze. It’s rare to let it out, willy-nilly,
all those bony cracks and crevices
eager to hear themselves roar another time.  

What we bleed and tolerate
is the sum of suffering. Not much

is as dangerous as laughter.
You are not instinctive, you are

solid as masses, solid as fear.
What you know about love

is the same as peace: something
buried, something blue. Where

is love, is glance, is brow? I wept
when I’ve forgotten how

turnstile moons wipe
their dust across the night.

Joddy Murray’s chapbook, Anaphora, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 70 journals, including, most recently, El Portal, Birdy Magazine, The Torrid Literature Journal, Wrath Bearing Tree, The Fourth River, Prism Review, Nude Bruce Review, OxMag, Flights, Perceptions Magazine, Cape Rock, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and Sou’wester Literary Magazine. He currently lives in Marion, Illinois.

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