Most pictures and words from Anthony C Murphy

Saturday, 29 December 2012


After the last
Of 2012's embers
Dies away
In the grey grate
Of humantime's universe
To be swept into
Memory's ashcan
For collection by
The dawn's cold
Sober trashman
We see a new spark

Happy New Year
Happy newborn
Happy New York

Monday, 24 December 2012


You are here
Tear the membranes between cynics and me
Bunt our entrails out on the balcony
Pluck the cat gut incessantly
Even if it makes no one listen
To what shouldn’t be
You are here

Rip the branches from this year’s Christmas tree
Sip the sap of a dieback winter
Oh, slap a naked knee!
You are here

You have wallowed in a hurricane
So the walk on water was easy
Now you are here
And will ever be


Ava Belle Murphy, 7.5 pounds, 21 inches at 12.23 a.m, 24th Dec 2012, Beth Israel, New York, New York. And my first daughter. 


Saturday, 22 December 2012


It was the night before Christmas
But only by minutes
Under the snow dusted dome of St. John’s
A congregation of celebrants
Some had started early
Not wanting to be late
Or come undone

Out of the slowed night
They padded and fluffed
Into the church
All a flicker
All golden and red rich
With sanctuary

Fat Father Unsworth
Huffed into his robes
Patent leather shoes
Unseen these years of his puff
When standing in his finery
Invisible eyes lost cheekily
Oblivious to the vestments and the routine
Assisted by little Sean Reilly
Scrubbed and squeaky in a surplice

Cassock, stole, alb and chasuble
A drapery green and gold
A pig stuck in a seasonal tree
But pumped up with pomp
Fat Father Unsworth had gravitas
That belied his apparent immobility
When it came to Mass
He floated

The drunks at the back
Plastered the brickwork
Those in the pews
Closed their eyes
And took advantage
The heavenly choir above
Boosted by Mrs. Kelly’s sibilance
Hissed out hymns to the tired
The merry
The downright pissed

And in came Father Unsworth
Little Sean Reilly
The altar boy behind him
Everyone stood
And words were said
And someone snored
Sacrament was dished out
Duty was done
The ponderous affectation of the priest had been suffered
For another year some torture
For a while some guilt had been bought and sold

And so to home through the white soft streets
Humming their lullabies

Little Sean Reilly would stay a while yet
Help to divest the swollen body of the priest
As it sipped at something stronger than altar wine
Then clean the accoutrements
And back to the chapel
Snuffing out candles and
Have a dip in the molten wax
The pleasure of peeling at fingerprint moulds

There and then from high in the still church
Came a lonely cough
That turned Sean cold
Someone not gone

The echo fades
Sean’s ears
Deaf to the quiet now
His heart as a trapped rabbit
Though his blood pumped true
And his legs moved him on in his duty
The dossers must be cleared from the pews

But waiting for little Sean Reilly
In the balcony
White faced and prone
Masochistic on wood
Hugged into a coat full of holes
Was the shade of a man
Once known

Away from the safety of the vestibule
As fat Fr. Unsworth snorted his whiskey
To the gods
Sean went
Up under the Byzantine mosaic
Beneath the dead eyes of Jesus
To creak on the open minded stairs
For to do his duty
The scared child ascended
Wholly righteous
Towards feathered authority
To confront this shade
In his makeshift nest
Although thirteen years old
And still wearing his dress

The snow drifted like a crowd
Camped out on the doorstep
Sean had only his light

Who is there

The shadow had words

Come near
I need you

Sean did his best
The boy scout
Went to the man
Looked into eyes
Like fires in windows frosted

And Sean saw his father
And the mess
Shot through with politics
Killed by religion
And as he lay bleeding
He gave of his blood
A bloody lie and a gun
The Brits had got him
Right in the gut
Take this to O’Leary’s
They’ll look after you
Revenge us he said
And then he was dead
Wrapped up and done like Christmas

So Sean shot the priest in his arse cheeks before running
Put some holes in his chasuble too
Stole a chalice, a monstrance, the offertory box
And never did say god bless you

Thursday, 20 December 2012


Maybe I will make a spam salad
I think I might
I would like that
Or maybe a macaroni salad
Ask her!
Hey ask her
If she would like a macaroni salad
Or if she would like a spam salad on Saturday
When she comes over to see…

Okay. Okay. I will text her.

I think I might make a spam salad…

She says she wants your potato salad

I was thinking to do spam salad or maybe macaroni salad… or…

She says that she only wants your potato salad

She doesn’t know what’s good for her
I was thinking about a spam salad
You wait here
I have to go in

She says that she only wants your potato salad
And nobody else’s potato salad…

I have to go in
Wait here

She’s so crazy

I know, wait though

So it’s all fine
I put on forty pounds
We just wait for the sonogram now
So I was thinking maybe I could do a baked ziti
Or the spam salad
You know
Stop doing that!

She only wants your potato salad

Well tell her she’s not coming to Burger King
She can’t Have It Her Way
Ha ha haha haha ha!
Tell her

I will
Isn’t that McDonalds?

Burger King
Have It Your Way!
Tell her that
She’s not coming to Burger King for dinner
And stop doing that!

It’s not BK, you can’t always have it your way

She won’t understand that
She won’t get it
I am thinking baked ziti now
I think
Or the spam salad

She says
In Queens we always get it our way

I told you she wouldn’t get it
She’s thinking Brooklyn

She’s so crazy

I know
I’ll tell her
B-U-R-G-E-R  K-I-N-G
How do you spell moron?








Sunday, 16 December 2012


I remember discovering Bukowski on paper
When his words made sense
I was not at art school but Barry was
I went in with cans of beer
To bribe my friend with imbibing 
Whilst his classes went on
I was there to share a vicarious part of student life
And to get a part of the more physical action
We had dreams and read or read and had dreams
Within which the girls became real
All did well for themselves
But I guess it’s a struggle
I didn’t learn much so
I became a postman
Who drank in
What else is there to do after a shift at noon?
The collection
The delivery
Is easier than the composition

I reveled as an ambassador
Presenting monarch embossed packages
After shakingly waking rude people in the a.m.
To be uniformedly approachable in afternoon bars 

It was not legit
To take a van home
Or on an errand
But we drivers did
As management had done before
When you needed to sneak off to the beach
The bookies or do a spot of shopping
A quick snort was forgiven
Or given for

The thing with a Royal Mail trucklet 
Is that they are parkable anywhere
Even on the double yellows
We were safe
Police would sometimes commandeer us for this hi vis purpose
And like-minded criminals in their surveillance knew

I took to abusing the technique 

My car slumbering overnight pubside
Displayed a sign that red
And yellow in its liveried elegance
This Is Not An Abandoned Vehicle
But the Real Mail 
On Official Business