Synonym for Home
Synonym for Home
90 pages, 4.25"x 7", Perfect Bound
Pub Date: 1/15/19
Michelle Murphy knows how to ‘unzip the stringed heart and strum it naked,’ harmonizing the noise of the blood with the news of memory. Murphy’s deep song awakens a fabulist dreamscape where broken pieces of lived experience unexpectedly fit together. The homecoming that happens in Murphy’s poetry is the wild coincidence of word and world.
--Andrew Joron author of The Absolute Letter (Flood Editions)
Quite often, rain camouflages. Rain can blow objects across your vision that may (partially) mask what’s before you, or make you tilt your head to the detriment of direct sight. Then there are the raindrops themselves: to see through them is to look as if through a gauze, a shimmer, a veil…. But there are those who can, to paraphrase the lucid artist Agnes Martin, look between raindrops. That’s why Michelle Murphy’s poems grieve, because they see beneath desire to understand the world is not fixed: “you say what you mean to say, still the stories crack then leak.” It’s perhaps a miracle then that this book also contains so many “flashes of grace when least expected”—so that Home remains ever a possibility, despite and against all odds.
--Eileen Tabios author of Murder Death Resurrection (Dos Madres)
It’s a half clairvoyance, an elsewhere sun that I brush from your hair. Tangles of shook light, the honey of riotous bees.
You stare out the single window in your room disguised as a stranger looking through nothing and I trace the pitch of your silence as if I could suspend it, draw out its vibration, its multiple tones.
Perhaps it’s your swagger perfecting the city’s streets, its unfamiliar gait that makes me hurry into the produce market, thump the eggplants hard against their skins.
& here’s my body pitching forward, bent, a petting zoo of animals trailing behind, unleashed, stirring up the past, dragging their empty bowls between their teeth, fixing me a hungry stare.
I watch for secrets to grow tired in your pocket and unfold them like origami birds, allow them take off, hoping one might teach me how our love lakes. Illegible waters. Want for anything the oar’s arc as it scrawls water and air, its expectation. All I can’t photograph.
Michelle Murphy is a writer and lives in Reno, Nevada. She's lived in a van, on the edge of a creek, in a shotgun flat the middle of North Beach, and now at the top of a highrise she shares with her husband, daughter and mean-ish cat. She believes a writer should put out at least one book every 25 years and so is right on schedule with Synonym for Home. Her first book Jackknife & Light (Avec Books) was shortlisted for the National Poetry Series. More information can be found at https://murphypoetry.wordpress.com/