A Failed United State
A third-world country crouches
behind Hollywood, Silicon Valley,
and the military industrial complex.
Defensive postures begin at home
where swat teams soldier and drill
around suspected hoods for show.
Psychologists and screenwriters
work at B-rated coping mechanisms.
The working stiff neighbors couch
toxic anxiety in serial TV dialogues
and minor home maintenance projects.
Oligarch gangs hire out statehood thugs
in suits to shakedown cities and towns.
Before passing along to the top,
the graft garnered and skimmed
adds up enough to harbor off shore
futures, should need be.
Each bit player knew to respond to cues
and then to perform on debt due dates
until the Covid fire revealed in 20/20:
Two chambers pumping out poverty,
while a house infested with termites
and successive resident village idiots
distract the wolf for thieves dressed
in Romulus and Remus costumes.
Rich Murphy’s essay collection on poetics and poetry Prophetic Voice Now will be out in May 2020 by Common Ground Research Network. His new collection of poetry Practitioner Joy will be out soon by Wipf and Stock. Other collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for Americana. Asylum Seeker is the third in a trilogy out now (2018). The first collection in the trilogy was Americana. Body Politic, the second, was published by Prolific Press in January 2017. Murphy’s first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree was published in 2007 by Codhill Press. Chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press)