Mark A. Murphy is the editor of online journal, POETiCA REViEW. His poetry has
appeared in over 250 magazines in print and online. He is the author of 6 full-length
collections including The Ontological Constant, out in summer of 2020 in a bi-lingual
German/English edition from Moloko Print in Germany.

Prelude in E-Minor or Milner Place Hoists Sail

We cannot go with you this time
All-consuming night
has swallowed the solemn moon

So hightide and wave retire
and the piano charms with regret
in the reed beds

and mealie fields
where the window birds mourn
under an overcast sky


Now we must say manana
left behind on the rocky shore
to follow our own callings

Melody and harmony breeding
tears as we return
to your meditations and poems

without you
lost in the song of the sea
where the starless chords stretch
and shrink time


Still boy becomes man and man dust

departing the cares
of this world with all its joy shapes
doldrums and dreams

Intolerance of Uncertainty

Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.
—Sigmund Freud

So, Raskolnikov idly asks, what am I
that invites the sadism
of my fellows?

He is feeling guilty, which simplifies.
Tell him psychoanalysis
has not been invented yet, though we believe

his guilt precedes Freud,
sex with Sonia, and his evocation
of rowdy peasants flogging the emaciated horse

to death in the street. Tell him

scalded dogs weep at lesser cruelty. Tell him
grown men are crueller

by far—and more selfish—
faced with their own weaknesses
than little boys, which is why the devil need not cry.

Someday every tormentor must fall from grace.

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