The Tremor State

Rich Murphy

The tanks citizens get for participating
in government remain camouflaged.
The landscape shifts roadside to roadside,
foot to foot. Architecture with the frieze
turns attention before the edifice artifice:
nihilism bursting concrete on the scene.
Neighborhoods scatter in all directions.
Rear guards to families shake tools
at the advancing thunder and lightning strikes.
A storm taints towns dead.
The clean slate upon which injustice
marks lessons in one-sided  etiquette
smolders around body parts and bulldozers.
Unfurling a refugee camp against
the howling change, NGOs patch
a pock in a heritage bleeding out:
Fabric unravels to dam the survivors.
The untouched pressure points
rumble anywhere surrounded in steel.

Rich Murphy’s credits include books: Americana, the 2013 Prize Americana winner, will be published later this year by The Institute for American Studies and Creative Writing; Voyeur was 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award winner (Gival Press); and The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press). 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).