Miguel Murphy


I clean my gun. Fast,
for a long while, like Liszt
playing the Lieberstraum, No. 3.
One whole night in a nanosecond

on repeat. Eternity,
magical and ridiculous, is
a lugubrious farce. If, tonight, you see
a flaccid cello in the zodiac

it’s yours. Your light. Your whole life
one flickering image beyond
the shivering spruce, as if
the worst possible outcome is

a moment’s happiness. The Atmospheric Skull
Sodomizing a Grand Piano, 1934,
meant to memorialize two sons
playing Mozart in a canoe. Also

the rape of Dalí by that effete
Federico García Lorca. A pure act.
The moon in Barcelona
like Breton’s second manifesto. You try

to stop, you auto-erotic,
to fake your own death. As if
the worst thing you can imagine is
your next breath. And your next. And your next.


Miguel Murphy is the author of Detainee and A Book Called Rats, winner of the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry. He lives in Southern California where he teaches as Santa Monica College.