Most pictures and words from Anthony C Murphy

Thursday, 30 June 2011


I love Newman and his pissy snort
And the way his eyes hood
Like my dad’s did when he was a fool
And not full of us
I watched him talk to a bar of mates
His life shone with before
And I guess he smiled sometimes
But not all white like Paul
Not at all

So together watched The Sting and Butch and Pocket Money
And several others
And he tickled himself
With it going
With it gone into us
But those years of our youth
Were for him to rue
Taken out of our hides
Sometimes with a whiskey smile
And we love those guys
They are nothing to us

He was want to understand what could have been
What became of him
I watch The Prize and wonder
If he ever had it
Or if it is we
That let slip the ball

You can only watch the sun go on
And the moon

Thursday, 23 June 2011


James Smithson, 1765 - 1829
Amongst other accomplishments
Published a paper
Detailing the chemical content
Of a lady’s teardrop

To me they taste like margaritas
Contain the wild Atlantic
Or a day full of rain at the beach
If you could bottle June farewells at Jamaica station
Then scrutinize these things
I would not wish to explain them away

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


I was a teenage ninja
That did knuckle press ups
And got pummeled in his stomach
It was like home
But with dad in the pub
I quietly climbed ropes
To strangle imaginary targets

Once I chased the sensei
Through darkened woods

All senses primed by the night
Throwing stars by moonlight

Then owled in a tree
Moments slowed and watched
I saw everything
The violent night clear to me
The ridiculous ongoing hunt of men
The wasting of all time
And the spending of passion

Oh to concentrate on a wing’s beat
To hear seconds fly
To be within nothing
And without 


There she was but soon she wasn’t

Oh it’s only love
Not the end of the world
Just the end of a small part of it all

I will have a life without her then
I will
Love again in some other way
For there is still time to play
Before the end of the world

There she wasn’t but was again

We had that delicious day
When I drank from her shivering skin
Out on the sun-kissed deck

Memory like light floods in
And we can hold hands
But must rest heads
On different clouds

She was here

Monday, 20 June 2011


I remember you when
You went right through me
You came out the other side all right
I was left a little bereft
Somewhat deflated
I could still smell you
In my flatness
For days

Sunday, 19 June 2011


As if wine was forever our truth!
We had holidays under some sun
And nights undone with ripeless future

Season, season bereft of reason
This distance stays me to lands I know,
Lads I know, sons I only think on

Where have we gone upon our travels
To pretend to seek something purer
Of white mind and just education

There must be within what is without
I tally, I sow, I try to know
Yet sussed, I bow again to shallows

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Oh at first sight
He was an old man
Tufty and snuffling
A Benjamin Button of a thing
And what does he care for owt
But milk and company
Or to be booteed
And then eyes open
Those new lagoons of his
Deep and unknowable
Winning marbles, dobbers
And there was familiarity
And a feeling that he understood
Or was acutely aware
Of more than me


Did you ever say Yes to one joy? O my friends, then you said Yes to all woe as well. All things are chained and entwined together, all things are in love; if you ever wanted one moment twice, if you ever said: 'You please me, happiness, instant, moment!' then you wanted everything to return! you wanted everything anew, everything eternal, everything chained, entwined together, everything in love, O that is how you loved the world, you everlasting men, loved it eternally, and for all time: and you say even to woe: 'Go, but return!' For all joy wants - eternity


Friday, 17 June 2011



Her softness melts from my fingers
Long after her touch disappears
Her lips to my skin once wandered free
As feathers on a warm breeze
My own on her neck and shoulders
No longer for now can linger
The bruise to my chest appeared
After I left her
She left it 
Her perfume remains for some days
On the blue shirt next to my flesh
All freshness has gone
It’s the way of these things
Sudden and done
Our snapshots
Our memory hallowed
Are the ghosts of us from now on
Her voice will carry over seas
All between us is the ocean

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Oh, Petal!
I will get flowery now
As you on your blossomed bough
Perch in the pink
And I from my window
Still and silent
Listen to you sing
And wonder how
Unattainable you are
In this taming world


My love for her was muscular
No I do not mean that, although
In all our senses high and low

Begat and borne by supple wings
Only hollow bones, sinew strings
For force against the foreign winds

Angelic white within the mists
Of coastal climes and sea bound cloud
Boomeranging proud and playful

Joyous surf and youthful ocean
Beneath an easy gliding light
To reach her once again at night

So heavy feathered we rested
Together as one for a time
Sheltered even from the sunshine

Days of this escapist pleasure
Wrapped up in down filled solitude...
Outside there was another world

Everyday there is an end for
Little millions like Icarus
Who, sore in the morning, descend

May be my love for her was fluff
Just some stuff to feather the nest
And so enough, or at least best

This e-gull has landed to root
About in black plastic bin bags
Strewn throughout the desperate streets

Yellow eyed and fighting meanly
For any spilled scraps of a love
Left, yet wearily like the rest


Thus I myself once sank
Out of my truth-madness,
Out of my day-longings,
Weary of day, sick from the light —
Sank downward, eveningward, shadowward,
By one truth
Burnt and thirsty —
Do you still remember, hot heart, remember
How you thirsted then? —
That I be exiled
From all truth,

Only a fool!
Only a poet!


All poets are liars, it's true! 


Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Distance and stress remove people
In time of hardship - abandoned
The size of this boat frightens life
Into water wings and fleeing

Now all I have are arms it seems
And more days of using these here
My legs are useless to me yet
I could still get up that river

Saturday, 11 June 2011


I went three for one at Ace’s Pizza
And got handed my arse
In a blizzard of fists
All I asked for was olives
They gave me capers
With a young buck
Who placed his ring upon my crown
And his belly in my face
And the staff shouted police
And then please no mores
There’s tomatoes all over the
Black and checker floor tiles
And I guess I was trying to chuckle
But I couldn’t as he was so angry
With my head and
With the idiot within it
So I gave in

Friday, 10 June 2011

Go oN

Sometimes I think he has been listening since the womb
And I wonder if he will ever find the peace
Of those who care less
It may take a while
I remember when she said you tell him
And he bounded in
Golden headed
All smiles
He sat down
He paid attention to his dad
He always did
I said I am leaving
He crumpled
And now there are days
When he pats me on the back
That youth of me dry
Gone into him
He smiles
More or less
Things will pass
They just get locked
For a while
Like a glance
Like iced water

Gogol not Google

Today is Gogol day

The world is full of absolute nonsense

Well, but then what exists without inconsistencies

Wearing the expression of a cat that had just been smacked for the theft of a piece of suet

Thursday, 9 June 2011


The sea is no less inviting today
Seen here from this blue and terrible height
It is mobile with white flicks or silver
In flight; flecks of never, undetermined

To wish for the depths seems ridiculous
But dizziness affects more than the feet
A fool’s dancing head on a beach full of
Clouds out of reach is forever ending



Hunched and needy
Like a baby gull
I stalk the street
For sustenance
Stepping gingerly
The once
Tea bags
And broken needles
That spill from brightening bins
In the dwindling dawns of August

Once I dreamt
Of better days within this
Earthen purgatory
When I was brown and pretty
It was no job
To breathe more freely
But now I stalk the streets
Beneath the laughing mooning ball above
In between the raining drops 
By the graffi too shuttered shops
Into the maw
The muscled chops
The Royal Mail 
62-63 North Road

The lifers inside
So lifeless with pride
Good Morningly grunt their acknowledge
Let out to their wives at eventide
They are always back here stirring their porridge

Will be two hours yet as a coffee-god’s pet
Before I can summon a smile
I keep my weather-beaten head down
In the back of a Transit
On old copies of goals extra or extra goals
Or made up goals with moving posts
As the red valkyries descend
From the upstairs garage

Into the yard yawning with boredom
Like the back doors cold open wide
Waiting is time
And labour intensive
And work is last on the mind

A beardy they branded Jumanji walks by
And there’s Wazzer sungover again
And Grizzly Badams with his drizzly voice
And desiccated Ruth with a fag at her chin
And are they as desperate or do they prepare
And are they aware and of course do they care
About this all pervasive attitude
The constant twatting platitudes
For that’s all I hear


Shaven headed voices
Spitting casual brutalities
From their fascicle
There in an element that never forgives
Closed ranks of a herd
But this pack is bird like
Right wing they are
For a working union
A bundle of sour nazis
Who defend their misguide
With persiflage turning
To vicious whispers
And insult camouflaged by
Supposed camaraderie
Banter they call it
The fuckers

Otherdays not

For people can be giving
And love their children
Not unusually
Provision gives dimension
Even Postman Pat had three
Although that is hard to define
On a flatscreen tv

THE ART of STRIKING: A Human, Moving Installation

To get the greatest effect from this piece I was told to come early. It was situated on North Road, Brighton, for one day only - with possible extensions. I arrived at six a.m. the rain pelting me from the dark sky and soggy leaves soaking my feet. There was a small huddle of people outside number 63 with a placard declaring Official CWU Picket Line, so I headed for them. They were all men. Some were uniformed. One man held a banner and the big word UNITE was underscored. Another man handed me a newsprint brochure, which I read…

“Beneath hand-painted banners The Jarrow Crusade arrived at Westminster. It had been one month and three hundred miles from their starting point. The 200 marchers received no help from the TUC or support from The Labour Party, and were basically ignored by the Tory government. The Jarrow shipyard had been considered outdated and was closed down, leaving many in the town jobless. To raise awareness of their plight the men marched. They gained public sympathy but little else.

It has been said that in the current climate postal workers should stop moaning and be happy to have a job. But they are happy to have jobs and they are desperate to keep them.  Many postal workers feel that the Royal Mail will soon be no more. They see the current modernisation procedures as preparation for this inevitable event. It seems the Labour government no longer needs Royal Mail and therefore the country can do without this service. With only one real option to make their voices heard, 76% of voting workers opted to strike.”

… The rain eases for a moment and the men spread out a little and start to improvise. The conversation is of who has ‘gone in’. One name crops up but they are not surprised at this and the talk splinters into different topics. They ruminate on last night’s entertainment or the horses or football and they smoke cigarettes. The scene is multi-layered and interwoven yet somehow exclusive. I feel like an interloper but there is an air of expectancy so I stay to watch the drama unfold.

A car rolls up to the entrance where the men stand and it indicates to go past them. They are intrigued to see who is inside and are disappointed that it is only a manager. A box of take-out coffees arrives with another of their number and they gather for news. A rumour spreads that Portslade have all ‘gone in’. The men are visibly disgusted, but there is something else, sadness.

I am handed a bitter coffee and then participate in a boredom-relieving word game. A couple of the older characters ogle women on their way to work. They make half-hearted comments that are lost because of early carelessness. The cast is fluid as some leave to be replaced by others who appear from the approaching dawn. There is persiflage directed at each newcomer but it sounds well worn. They move around each other as conversation runs dry.  

One silence is punctuated by the arrival of a brand new Porsche. It parks next to our group. They are incredulous as they watch two stripe-shirted men unfold themselves and don orange, hi-vis, Royal Mail waistcoats. Managers from other offices brought in to do a postman’s job! In that car! Talk turns to manager’s bonuses and Crozier’s three million on the backs of the closures of post offices nationwide. On the backs of the 40,000 job cuts and still no profit! The men spit and curse their various gods and shuffle their feet.

A union man comes to give an update that means nothing; it disappears in the wind as the men return to the more pressing issue of breakfast. Then, from around the corner there comes a shout. Here they are! The Argus! And at last there is activity as the men assemble themselves like a rehearsed troop for a mug shot of proof.

I amble away at this point; my thoughts concerned with the men’s morale, which is low, and their direction, which is unsure. It is an arresting piece. They are together but their banter is hollow. These brothers have banded but it looks like they will not march together. They will simply drift away as the Royal Mail becomes history.


A few years back
We were pretending to work
In the P.O. yard

When Dan went silent…
He drank his coffee
Like it was relief
Like there was wisdom
At the bottom of the mug
He burned his tongue
Bit his lip
And his eyes met mine
And they started to slide
So I asked him what was up.

He said he thought she was gone
And it was all done and over
His breath full of grief
At the thought of the death of it all
And he just wanted to hold on
He said
It was what was real
And it was what was all
Not this yard or these vans
They disappeared
He just had to hold on
To her hand