ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Sheila Murphy

A Field of Femininity

Let me in on a little secret that I promise not to tell you. It is winter in my heart. At midnight, pockmarks on the floor above me fill with oxygen. Staccato heels (I do not mean stiletto) snap the ice I would prefer to keep in one piece. Projected early flowers turn medallions, not the licensing of taxicabs. I mean precision metal to salute. Scars you cannot see upon my ceiling change the stasis I desire. Complicit gestures spark agreement we don't reify. Abstraction means a constancy of sensibility, of breeding. Meanwhile in Tasmania, ribbons of lavender form a field of femininity. We practice Haydn on the early instruments. If only to incite a reciprocity in listening.


The Woodwind Sphere above Middle C

"Come Back to Sorrento" in a lime lit costume made of silk, and I will brine experience to taste. We need each altar we locate among the tiny fictions premised by each leisure rinse. With seaside bliss keepsakes in mind. The scape and silhouette of choice remands each fingering from thought. The composition shows its blessings and recedes as waves perform their tendencies. Refraction may repurpose the emotion welled beyond tepidity. Being equates to silvering along the precipice of midnight. Where gulls gather unseen astride presumptive light.


On the Dance

Some Mildred in our choreography keeps me awake, without reviving. Offer me a sentence via lasso, and I'll reach. I'm quoting Jeremy on the dance: "Run, run, leap, leap, emote, emote, emote." I know Kathryn’s looking down and laughing at the temperature deliciously on par with wit. How many decibels does it take to form ballet that lives within the mind throughout our destiny? If you can aim, you can arrive. Integrity's the same as little symphonies striated into more dimensions than one thought. A miniature becomes enormous just as linearity transforms into what any monk can see with eyes closed letting go of enmity as though a bubble of soft soap. A roundelay intact remaining far above the fray. 

Sheila E. Murphy: In 2020, Luna Bisonte Prods released Golden Milk. Murphy's book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018)won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory (2018) Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). As an active collaborator, she has worked with Douglas Barbour over the past 20 years on an extended poem titled Continuations. Two published volumes of the piece have appeared from the University of Alberta Press.


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