Mark A. Murphy

Karakia Precari - Penny Howard 2016
Mark A. Murphy's first full length collection, 'Night-watch Man & Muse' was published in November 2013 from Salmon Poetry (Eire). His poems have appeared in over 100 magazines around the world. He is currently looking for a publisher for his first full length play, 'Lenny's Wake'.

We Think Therefore We Are

Ladies and gentlemen, for the purposes of this poem
you may assume the ich, mich, meine,
no longer belongs or pertains to us.
We have dispensed with the pronoun ?I?,
or, as John Redmond might have it,
we have banished the ?default poem? from the page.

We understand, private language cannot exist
without reference to the collective mindset ?
all individualistic attempts to plough
and sow the field alone will result in failure.
For the purposes of this poem you are not alone,
it is our ?agreement over use? that unites us.

It is our very exile from the Absolute Idea
that steels and binds the commune ?
we have swabbed the decks, cleared the tables.
Time to go now, make merry with our brothers
and sisters, for the purposes of this poem
we are whatever we wish to be.

Why do we not Sleep?

Compose ourselves, as we do, the starry nebulae,
the earth, the universe ? the night sky
still oppresses the church-goers,
as if God no longer had any place there.

You who wish to conquer the maladies
of the mind, you suffer as much as the next man
with your time-old questions: Who are we?
What are we? What are we here for?

Amid the din of death and the bells still ringing
for evening prayers ? you ask us to leave,
but we are already gone. Little is known
of our leaving, only that we left God for good.

Now we must face the solemn skies alone,
sleepless and existentially depressed,
the real men of action, weighing in for the dead
with our doubts, our grave-yard appetite for loss.