Thursday, April 6, 2017

Poetry by the Proprietor—Murfin Verse

Patrick the poet versifying.

We were speaking of Old White Men the other day.  There are poets much more obscure then Whitman, Sandburg, and Ferlinghetti, some of them still alive. I count myself, at least temporarily, in those ranks. At a minimum I have old and obscure down pat.  But this is my pop stand and once in a while I can indulge myself by inflicting my verse on you, my helpless readers.
Regular visitors here even outside our National Poetry Month feature, know that over the past couple of years I have regularly belched forth poems of despair, outrage, and unltimately rebellion.  You may have seen them posted here—or you may a scrolled past Facebook links in horror looking for kittens or uplifting bromide memes.

Patrick in active Resistance at Hate Has No Home in Woodstock counter event to a Trumpista and anti-immigrant rally on Woodstock Square.
My own efforts moved me to put together the Poets in Resistance Reading at the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry early last month.  It was a surprising success with 16 talented poets performing—17 if you count the old man.  I hope to include work by some of them as April rolls along.  But today I am going to share some of my work, including poems I read there.
I assembled all of my recent protest and resistance poetry into Resistance Verse, a chap book on the fly—an 8½x11 inch self-covered 14 page staple bound book containing 10 pieces. 
I figure the books are worth a good $2 a pop.  I can mail one First Class for just under another $2.  So let’s call it $4 and I will send you a copy.  I will even autograph it unless you don’t want it defaced.  If by some miracle I sell out, I can easily print more on demand. 

Even simpler, I can e-mail you a pdf version upon request.  I’m not even setting a price on those.  You can send me what you think it is worth just kiss my ass and sweet talk me and you can get it gratis.  Either way, such a deal!

And if you are a publisher or sleep with one and like what you see, give me a buzz.  I have more than a decade of new material and some older, unpublished material aching, not all of it this kind of political ranting, to get put between real live covers.

Contact info:
Patrick Murfin
522 W. Terra Cotta Ave.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
815 814-5645

Here are some samples including two pieces I read Tree of Life.

Considerations from the Dictionary
July 13, 2016

Black—The complete absorption of light
                        gathers and retains all energy,
              The opposite of white
                        which reflects all light,
                        shining but creating no energy,
              A human with dark skin
                        any shade, actually, darker than pink

Lives—Living organisms rather than inanimate objects
                        or dead organisms,
             Beings manifested by metabolism, growth,
reproduction, and response to stimuli.

Matter—(Noun)  Physical substance which occupies space
                        and possesses mass,
               An affair or situation
                        under discussion.
              (Verb)  be off importance and have significance.

Get it now?

—Patrick Murfin

Tonto Will Not Ride into Town for You
For The Camp of the Sacred Stone 9/30/2016

Tonto will not ride into town for you, Kemosabe,
            and be beat to pulp by the bad guys
            on your fool’s errand.

Pocahontas will not throw her nubile, naked body
            over your blonde locks
            to save you from her Daddy’s war club.

Squanto will not show you that neat trick
            with the fish heads and maize
            and will watch you starve on rocky shores.

Chingachgook will save his son and lineage
            and let you and your White women
            fall at Huron hands and be damned.

Sacajawea and her babe will not show you the way
            or introduce you to her people,
            and leave you lost and doomed in the Shining Mountains.

Sitting Bull will not wave and parade with your Wild West Show
            nor Geronimo pose for pictures for a dollar
            in fetid Florida far from home.

They are on strike form your folklore and fantasy,
            have gathered with the spirits of all the ancestors
            to dance on the holy ground, the rolling prairie
            where the buffalo were as plentiful
            as the worn smooth stones of the Mnišoše,
            the mighty river that flows forever.

They are called by all the nations from the four corners
            of the turtle back earth who have gathered here,
            friends and cousins, sworn enemies alike,
            united now like all of the ancestors
            to kill the Black Snake, save the sacred water,
            the soil where the bones of ancestors rest,
            and the endless sky where eagle, Thunderbird, and Raven turn.

Tonto has better things to do, Kemosabe…

—Patrick Murfin

My Two Cents
October 14, 2016

Ok, so I’m a stranger to locker rooms.

I was the furthest thing from a jock,
            a pasty flabby kid with glasses
            and a paperback perpetually
            stuffed in his back pocket.

In rancid and sweaty after-gym class
            dodging the snapped towels
            and hoots at my terror shriveled wanger,
            I recall no chatting about grabbing pussy
            or sticking lounges down startled throats.

But hell, it was a long time ago,
            perhaps the memory is hazy
            or perhaps I lacked the passport
            to the elite spaces of strutting stars
            where such things maybe were lingua franca.

But I was an accredited correspondent
            to the sexual revolution
            even if a failed participant
            and remember free love and hippy chicks.

I did doctorial research in scurvy dives
            with the 7 am eye-opener drunks
            and the reek of stale beer, vomit, and Pall Malls
            and snickered along with some dirty jokes
            and ogled the unattainable babes on the
            beer calendars and TV shows
            flickering in the high corner above the cooler.

I have spent my hours with men
            on oily shop floors where machines
            whirred, roared, and clanked
            and you counted your fingers
            to make sure they were attached
            and we ate lunch off the roach coach
            brushing crumbs from our aprons
            and spun foolish yarns and lies.

I have languished in the Joint
            where a commissary Hustler
            was worth a carton of squares
            and drifted to sleep on lumpy cots
            to the moans of cons pulling their puds,
            my hand in unison with the rest.

I have been in the company of men
            where civilizing women were
            nowhere around to shame or constrain us.

I have heard and said fucked up things—
            but I never heard that sneering, swaggering
            unashamed boast of being a—
            let’s not pull punches—a predator
            or the bland assumption that any other man
            would be impressed and approving.

            I have never laid a hand or tongue on a woman
                        who was not willing to accept
                        my fumbling advances—
                        hell, most of the time I was too shy
                        or too terrified to act when they practically
                        sent up flares of invitation.

            I may be a pig and a loser, Mr. Trump,
                        but I have never disgraced all swine
                        or turned winner into an epithet.

            —Patrick Murfin

Wake Up!
Groundhog Day 2017
6:00 am

Wake Up!
It’s not yesterday again!
It will never be yesterday again.

But if you don’t
get your ass out of bed right now
and do something
today will replace it
in the time loop.

Trust me.
You don’t want that.
Today is going to be a

Wake Up!

—Patrick Murfin

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