Most pictures and words from Anthony C Murphy

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Friday, 27 April 2012


Though it used to pass
Some different place
There's a cold wind
Driving through the warmth
On the sunside
Of Houston Street

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


It was a day of defense
The psychology of winners having recently won
Fed to the hunger of perennial losers
A day of
Petr the safety Cech
Messi, season over, missing
Luck measured in millimetres
And the sending off
The getting rid of Terry
That hoon
To make way for the parking bus
To soak up warnings
Ramirez made immediate amends

Ramirez made the difference
He had been watching footage of Barcelona,
I'm sure, the way their attack takes a breath
When confronted with a one on one,
So he raced towards the bored Valdez
And didn't blink as he delicately squeezed the trigger
Timing is all
For a goal

Torres is superfluity in motion
He is an appendix to attack


We were crossing at the corner of 1st Avenue and 14th Street
The swirling weekly wind made its appearance
And snatched a youth's change from his hand
As he exited the hot and crusty pizza place
Regardless of traffic or the lack of a little white man
This dude ran into the street after Washington
And we all watched his progress to the gutter
With the help of the water collected there
He stamped his authority upon George's face
- Boy, you chased that dollar down!
A wise old woman said as the orderly ones amongst us caught up
To his fist pumping joy in this land of opportunity


This guy became a cop and broke three legs
Of his own
One at time
And then retired

Monday, 23 April 2012


The sparrows of New York
Are carnivores
They don’t chirp
They ask for ketchup

The mice are as big as rats
But have twice the taste
They wouldn’t be found dead
On a subway 

Friday, 20 April 2012


Dr. Dave shakes
My hand
Red flowers spill from his cuffs
He shoves a thorn into my arm
But I refuse to bleed
'Drip, drip, drippy drip'
He sings
Then he gives me a lollipop
For being brave
Let's wait for the results

Thursday, 19 April 2012


I prefer to see scapes
For the land is so old and
You can never grasp the death of a cloud
Or lose the youth of the ocean

Monday, 16 April 2012


I was sat on a plane
A small plane
Going to Carolina

I didn't like it much

They gave me the front seat
I was sat next to the ripest peach

We didn't even converse

She rested her head on my shoulder
Just every now and again
She looked at me
and her eyes shone dark green
I didn't know what they meant
I never do
But I love it


The scarlet half smile
 lies under hand painted sheets
Cursing me within sleep I am sure
Is she thinking what if
Is she wondering why
There is more to this life than before


she asked,
leaning on the doorjamb,
What do you wanna do now?

She had asked before so
I thought I knew the answer
and readied myself somewhat

She meant about the lawyer though.


I had you so close that you had me
I could see your nose hairs intimately
I was akin to the freckles on your back
The pink pimples that ended up unfatal
I want to get older than what you knew
I think I am half way thereabouts
We only shared pipes, stouts
And hatred

That's not true
It's too twee
For you
Or pithy
You would snort
You would push your face into that stanza
And declare your genius
Before being sentenced
To similar atrocities
Then you'd take the hemingway out
The long lonely unshaken cocktail of



Remakes, rejigs - it has ever been thus – from Alice in Wonderland to Ulysses to Yogi Bear. It is not for me to have qualms about a new Three Stooges movie. Am I allowed to have qualms about that? A lot of people have them. Hold on.… Yes, I think I do. I have a qualm. 
How can you recreate that originality? Surely the Three Stooges are hewn from a 20th Century immigrant knuckleheaded rock, cast forever in a time before rap and reality tv, and actually, tv? 
I do have qualms. I am so sick of the cartoon versions of cartoons - the parodies of parodies. Is there no reverence for irreverence? What the Stooges were doing wasn’t for our time, and that there is where my misgivings lie. Is it just a waste of time? In the sense that Hollywood is laying waste to the times that we remember. Are they in tune with the winds of change, erosion, global warming and all that, chipping away at our idols?
In Hollywood nothing is scared of pale imitation, ghosts have no matter.

Back in the Eighties we used to watch reruns on Saturday mornings on BBC2, or everyday during holidays, before we were loosed to create our own mayhem. They were as old and mythical and traditional as Easter. And not just the Three Stooges, there was Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Flash Gordon, King of the Rocket Men, The Lone Ranger and Champion the Wonder Horse. They were all over in minutes or serialized and crucially all in black and white. We had recently obtained a color TV so these shows seemed to be from an older time, the real time, with proper rules. They were as dynamic as cartoons.
I had my favorites. I wanted a dog like Rebel from Champion, although I was terrified of Alsatians. I loved Harpo. I was amazed by Harold Lloyd. Curly infuriated me but I was always on his side. I didn’t know how he got away with what he did, but he did. Later we spontaneously mimicked whoever had been on, their hand waving, eye popping, strange noises, catchphrases, clock climbing, all of it. Curly became part of our culture. He was an icon at most, a character at least. I never thought about him as a person before I found out that he was brought up in Brooklyn.  

I recently spent an afternoon down at Bath Beach in Brooklyn. I took the Coney Island bound D train from Broadway/Lafayette and was able to choose a seat. It takes about half an hour to 20th Ave, where I got off. It was my instinct to head straight for the water so I just followed my nose, making sure to point it in a southerly direction. I walked down three blocks towards the glinting blue in the distance, anticipating some sand and a few pre-school kids building castles, an ice cream truck maybe. It was a nice day. All I got was rocks. There is no beach.

First thing is that you cannot just wander across to the estuary; a stream of modern road traffic shows its dust to the ancient aquatic highway that runs parallel. There’s a small road bridge by 16th Avenue or further down, by Bay Parkway, a bridge to walk under.  Maybe it’s all Robert Moses’s fault, which would be atypical, you can drive through the water but you can’t walk to it. The parting of the first part by the narrows of Verrazano. 


On our April return
We saw civilian troops
At their Sunday best
Summer dressed and celebrating
A mild mish-mash
Springly fevered and sprawled throughout the streets
We heard
Forgotten sounds again
The alarms of insurance
A panic of ownership
The ignorance of the woop woop
What asphalt does to us monkeys
We saw no stars at all
In the sky at least
For eyes are taken
To the horizon here
And all the man made lights
I thought
Not as an engineer
But a scrutineer
There is beauty at work
In industry at a distance

Saturday, 14 April 2012


I don't know why the sun is shining so, it's my last day as a free man.... I guess it's not all about me!


Gonna Carolina with a swollen heart
Hopefully I will fit in that suit
It will be the first time in a tie since I left school
And the last I will be considered cute

Friday, 6 April 2012


Tony Manero strutted down these streets

86th Street in Bensonhurst with the elevated D train

 Bath Beach, and you thought Brighton was rocky.  That's Verrazano-Narrows bridge beyond.


Thursday, 5 April 2012


Rochdale Village was named after the English town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, where the Rochdale Pioneers developed the Rochdale Principles of cooperation. The architect's concept of Rochdale Village was an attractive community covering 122 blocks that would provide the residents with a park-like setting and facilities of suburbia, within the limits of the Urban Jamaica Area. (from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Chapbook Chaps and Chapesses commune at CUNY.

I’m at the Fourth Annual Chapbook Festival, located in the bladder of CUNY’s Graduate Centre, under 5th Ave. It’s a three-day festival unique to New York and it’s the only one in the country to focus on the arts and craft of the chapbook. The Center For The Humanities  saw a need for a celebratory gathering of this celebrity-free, far-flung community. For the last few years, small and independent presses have met to flesh out their virtual friendships. There are representatives from Minneapolis, Ohio, Massachusetts, and, fuck me, Uruguay and Croatia.
             Central to this event is the book fair. Here the public have a niche market at their fingertips as these publishing artisans proudly display their wares. There are plenty of colorful, beautifully designed, letterpressed, hand stitched books to peruse and be purchased.  An amiable buzz hovers over the stalls all day. Imagine a craft beer convention, this is similarly intoxicating yet less messy.

                I talk to publishers, editors, writers and reviewers, all of them happy to offload their knowledge and experience. There is no pressure of sales only the shared joy in books as objects or artifacts. For those amongst us who have labored over creating and showing our own work it’s heartwarming to see such a thriving, energetic hub. They are all out there somewhere, scattered, dealing, swapping and overlapping with each other via words, but here, once a year, existence is physically realized.

There is aesthetic inspiration to be gained from the produce on show. In this age of Internet saturation a place like this is tactile overload for readers and writers. Ideas abound as how to produce booklets on a shoestring budget, some more basic than others. Mondo Bummer Books have neat sheets of letter size paper simply printed, stapled and folded; the overall effect is one of humorous accessibility. If we can do it why can’t you? You can't? You can.
                     At the other end of the scale, detailed technical ability can produce something lovely and collectable. The fortunate winners of chapbook competitions get to see their work wrapped in denim or embossed with exquisite woodcuts - proof that there’s still value to sending work out. These limited editions are produced for the craft involved and distributed amongst like-minded people, very few will find their way into bookshops. It’s a cottage industry and lovingly thatched at that. With roses on top.   

   It’s not all about the context obviously (although as Frank O’Hara pointed out, you put on your tightest pair of jeans if you want to get noticed in the street) so what is within these little chaps? Well, it is mostly poetry. There are a few prose books and a lot of images but in the main a chapbook has come to be “a gorgeous extension of the poem.” as Cara Benson of Belladonna puts it.
  So poetry is what we get. Opening any of the wares will lead to an insightful lyric one way or another. The reasons behind these chapbooks are the words within. There’s an array of events at the festival to highlight the content too.

       Lunch Poems happen each day. They are three-hour readings where a rattle bag of poets, published by the various presses, get ten minutes to show us their guts, to show us that the artifacts are not just empty boxes. The audience is warm and appreciative of course and a ready-made bed to have a wordy tumble in. Fuck them. I'm not jealous.

     There are workshops, for would be publishers and writers and writers who want to publish. An interesting side note is the thorny issue of self publication. It's almost taboo. After all, where is the line between vanity and nepotism? This issue is markedly dismissed. Of course the big boys in the publishing world don't want the industry to get too democratic, but they shouldn't be worried. If you have the means to put your wares out there, get them out. If it's crap we will all decide and we won't have swallowed a pill. 

I attend a panel discussion where we get to understand the origins of this community, gain some reason of its being. So many little bubbles floating around without a place to pop and ferment, at least until the promise land of the Internet, which can still be isolating. But kind of isn't. So...  

Writing is a solitary pursuit.

Editing and publishing are easier to accomplish with pooled knowledge.

Here they all are because the world got smaller for like-minded people who care.

Thanks to the organizers at CUNY that pool is deep. All it took was a conversation or two; ideas become realized when there is some dialogue.

                   The Dusie Kollektiv started as friends making poetry booklets for each other, using found materials, forming posted palimpsests. The form becomes an extension of the content. As Cara says, the market is removed, there is an audience in mind already and it is tiny, but so important. Distributing literature that is important to the individual is key. 

It’s not about publishing, more about the activity, a relentless pursuit – of connection. Nate Pritts from H_NGM_N BKS, says that a need to belong was his impetus and a sense of belonging was the result. A poet himself, he only publishes others’ work that he wants to read. 

Chapbooks are a labor of exchange, a gift economy. No one expects a pay off in a fiscal sense. There is no money in poetry and yet… writers still write, printers still print and together they create something to be held, if you can find it. 
I think the finding of these works of art is also part of the beauty of them. To come across an artifact so individual is a joy. We can find our favorite poems wherever now but … today shows the difference to just reading. There’s a shared experience of the craft of pen to paper, because when those that create put effort and care into their own endeavors we get to feel it, and keenly.


Drinking in Lunasa
I assume that I am okay
Having come out of the otherside somewhat intact
Now being half way to paradise or the other place
Maybe more than half?
So it must be these other fuckers
That are the problem
With their independent thoughts and noises
Christ, there should be a pub quiz
Instead of this hopped and hopping girl
Pretending to be a partridge
In a simulacrum of love
For a team saloon game

I must say
Their win expectancy
Just went up 50%


The Day Uniyted Went Five Points Clear Of The Hole Of Manchester City
It was 5pm in New York
I had spent an hour fretting over the not
Of a nonexistent necktie
For an online preinterview
So I missed the inconsequential first quarter
Of an hour cursing at a different screen
Fiddling with the cursor at the arse of it
I could have taken longer
It would have meant nothing less
Than a few beers unrattled

Ultimately Blackburn could not feed their Yak
And Valencia got sick of having his crosses blocked
So the one time Paul Robinson
Failed his angles
Antonio swooshed a barley cutter in
With the outside of his right Nike

What looked like a lovely Lancashire night
Gave way to routine
And ended in uncertainty for some
With seven games to go

Getty images
The muscly, bustly Ecuadorian