Replaced with emoticons,
the moral compass dizzies
among refrigerator magnets,
suffers from the needling.
The upturned lip-corners with teeth
required for consideration
apply to involved parties also
during secret assaults by superiors.
A good day storms even when
the wheelhouse pitches black.
To feign innocence,
the kitchen appliance owners
watch for the sun.
Contractors and wannabe politicians
hollow out the last infrastructure
and local aid can-dos with soup spoons,
while the street resident suffers
for tipping the bowl. Headlines
and sound bites substitute for thinking:
Soldiers divine with hickory butts
to free precious materials
from beneath backward villages.
A smartphone tickles with banality
after exhausting indebted outrage
among job sites (bumper to bumper,
sidewalk crawls, and apps).
Rich Murphy’s credits include books Body Politic (Prolific Press, 2017), Americana (Press Americana, 2013), which won the Prize Americana, Voyeur (Gival Press, 2008), which won the Gival Press Poetry Award, and The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press, 2007). Chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVOX) and Paideia (Aldrich Press). In December 2016, Minds of Europe: A Genealogy to The Fat Man. was selected as a Beverly Prize shortlist finalist at Eyewear Publishing. “Storage Shed” was chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.