sheila murphy


scape port-

posses wheeze beyond univalent portraits
winced from the slope of one
shield-shouldered caricature
fording la rive in down-time
and in up-scale parquet's pure romance
and provenance
clocking the measured apres-vous's indented sea shine
clothing walls of use
until an individual begins to tremor byways
that amount to mere floralia
depicted as camp lite
in which the couple with the drawl
invokes these powers of couture
inquiring why not vault over the fake tense
criss crossed metal that walls off
vested inserts in the press
of evidence contracted to be nominal
versus interval gains
posturing a new noblesse in sheep soft time
splayed into four-way speed bump forays
where the rest of life begins
with one step forward
two steps into hov lanes
at a cost of leathery detente



she left herself
looking on
at others who would not
be hers
cool shadows of an afternoon
lingered past their use
in her mind and by her hands
she would protect
whatever individuals might need
when approaching

she was considered
selfless kind thoughtful
of those needing
comfort everlasting
rescue unconditional
acceptance and inviting
constancy of presence
sans reciprocation

thus she wore herself down
daytimes evenings weekends
she designed ways
to fulfill what she could
only imagine
of lives linked and embellished
by people incomprehensibly


Sheila Murphy

Sheila E. Murphy's book manuscript Letters to Unfinished J. was selected in this year's open poetry competition sponsored by Sun & Moon Press, and will be published by Sun & Moon. Dennis Phillips was the judge. Falling in Love Falling in Love With You Syntax: Selected and New Poems has just been released by Potes & Poets Press. Recent works include A Clove of Gender (Stride Press, 1995). Murphy's work has been widely anthologized, most recently in Fever Dreams: Contemp orary Arizona Poetry (The University of Arizona Press, 1997) and The Gertrude Stein Awards in Contemporary Poetry (Sun & Moon Press, 1994, 1995). The Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series recently brought out an autobiography of Sheila E. Murphy, including photographs of Murphy with family and friends.

Sheila Murphy co-founded with Beverly Carver and continues to coordinate the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Series, now in its eleventh season. Murphy is President of the management consulting firm Sheila Murphy Associates. Since 1976, she has made Phoenix, Arizona, her home.

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