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Select Unpublished Poems

My favorite poem is usually the last two or three I've written, rightly or wrongly. Because publishers are often slow to decide (and then ultimately reject me), and because I try to always be writing, I have many, many unpublished poems (most of which are not fit for the light of day). But here are a couple poems I'll share that will probably never be given a wider audience.

TRIBUTE

Dogs here are small,
            children tower over them
            and between the hours, garage

doors flap like tongues
            complimenting the other
as if they could sing in this drizzle,

this spritz-rain, the dim neighborhood quiet.
You open the large vertical blinds and stare
            out, listening for the dogs. Is

that your ring in the bathroom? False
            clouds sometimes pass like tourists.
Nobody seems to stay. Even the dogs

are portable. My tongue swells with
nothing in mind. The ice of winter
            never comes, but our pansies die anyway.

We corrupt as we move along—
the glossy foot of the water strider
            bridging two imperfect worlds at once.

(2006)

 

CALLIOPE

Memory like a badge, tortoise
shell with stars inlayed
and the sheen of shouting—
salt thrown in singing,
in praise, the new ocean
sewn into patchwork, into
fine spray and spectrum
crushed, shortened.

These songs from memory
will haunt you, will peel
back your eyes and bend
backward laughing. You
are the cries we muffle,
the water we hide in our
head. You are our
living reminder of these
shouting vapors.

(2008)

 

SOME FRAGMENTS

Stairs happiest
when worn

Mouth
fighting tongue—
teeth sleeping

Sleepless mirror
hides its back

River
doesn't search
always arrives

Potter knows clay
least of all

Seeds know nothing
of height

Touch starts
and ends
at once

Talking
is estimating
with noise

Joy,
you rascal
be careful

Nobody cautions
the rainstorm

(2000)

 


Joddy Murray, Ph.D. | Texas Christian University | Fort Worth, TX, 76129 | Updated: 6/25/12