Pick Up Where You Left Off

Picture1
“The Bus Stop” M. Murphy 1990. B&W Photo.

Pick Up Where You Left Off


A collection of 76 poems divided into three parts. Entranced and channeled into being, as you read them now.

Pick up where you left off means simply, that; if you experience interruption in any course of events in life, deal with them as best you can and get back on track to complete your journey. Even if it takes a lifetime, in the end it is worth it.

As stated earlier, this book came about to be a spontaneous celebration of “progress”, “forward momentum”, “getting on with life”. Being able to identify, and resolve, all the issues that were affecting me, both positively and negatively, and learning to embrace them, to love them, in order to move forward with life. Those issues made me fight against the natural course of events, ignoring my inner voice, neglecting my spirituality.

I would have gladly made the free will choice to extinguish this current incarnation, and wait to occupy another, but the motives would have never changed. To think this act is one thing, to commit this act is something else altogether. I am not that selfish.

When all is said and done, as is any “thing” in life, pick up where you left off, and further perseverance.

As for the cover photo

I started making photographs when I was about 10 or 11 years of age. I never got consumed by the hobby, but I found myself attracted to subtle emotional scenes, stuff that goes by ordinarily unnoticed. It was those details that interested me.  I love the stoicism of monumental pose, and it exists everywhere we look, but more so where we don’t look.  Ironically, I worked in a camera store for 9 years.

This photo was taken in 1990 thereabouts. I was on my way to work, and at the bus stop was someone I had never seen there before. I rode the bus to work every day, and there were always the same folks; a regular water cooler environment filled with pointless anecdotes and general triteness.

On this day, I happened to have my camera, and to my surprise, nobody but this poor girl was at the bus stop, no one else was there.  It wasn’t a Saturday, and I wasn’t late or early; regular time, regular stop. I took notice of this immediately, the whole scene was rather strange, and so I snapped one picture.

The girl just sat there, as you see it now in the photo. For more than 15 minutes she sat there just like this, and when the bus finally came, she got on, went straight to the back, sat down and drifted away.  I couldn’t help but wonder just exactly what was going on with her. I was compelled to dive in with twenty questions, but I didn’t.  The photograph says enough.

Enjoy – M. Murphy

 


PART ONE – LIFE


Pick Up Where You Left Off

Pick up where you left off

Just when the ball gets rolling

Somebody kicks it over the fence

It lands in the mystery yard

The ball simply disappears

 

Completely insane cycle of life

For me, this is normal

Abrupt stages (and) shaky risers

Climbing to the top

Merely to be heard among the crowd

 

The special thing you do to me

Take away my prosperity

Stuck in the loop

To re-invent

More ways to do it all over again

 

The Rains

You put on your Sunday best

The term in order to look

Absolutely fabulous

Practicing just the right words

And vogue

You got to vogue

Climbing to your favorite plateau

Breathless

You greet the brand new day

 

….then the rains come

 

Past Generations

I can feel the hate

Of past generations

I sense the anger

The notion of betrayal

From my lands before time

Of the rape

What constitutes progress?

Of the righteous

What label a traitor?

Of the spiritual

What justifies death?

 

Terms

Speaking in terms

In terms of accordance

To the laws

Which I cannot recognize

 

To Cry

Tears cannot be wasted

Without a purpose

They can be purchased

At most any store

Gentle Tears I’ve seen

From a jar

From a life

Precious tears

Each drop

Telling a story

Of emotions

Too complex

Impossible to harvest

(in) A soliloquy of words

So cry

Tears with a purpose

Or don’t cry at all

 

This Land

We welcome you to the land

Of rape and money

No longer sweet

Like milk and honey

Lost are the ways of the ancient few

Whose dreams live on

In some stagnant glue

Are we as happy as they say

With the easy way out

Waiting just to die

Passing forth this legacy of pain

On the road to ruin

In our land of rape and money

With the me is the now (and) don’t look now

At me, this way anymore

On planet whore

 

Life Cycles

Life cycles through phases

Plateaus and changes

When you are riding high

On the conscious mentality train

 

You can only wish

To vomit out the hate

That plagues this world

And makes people what they are

 

Crying can’t help

(and) You can’t stand in the doorway

 

You hug the toilet

Cuz’ your friend is getting married

In between breaths remember

Never do that again

 

Madness

The block of pain

That culminates

Find the light

That illuminates

Shine from underneath

The thin veil

The mask that separates

The locked door

 

The key to hope

With its secret hiding place

For so few to find

Even fewer

Know how to use it

 

Spying on my own mind

To cheat (the) ever flowing thoughts

Anticipate the phrase

Because you think you are smart

 

Spit out

All rationale

Coated with a special sauce

(that) We all fall victim to

Prisoners of our own accord

All because of predictability

 

Am I just looking for a crutch?

A scapegoat or a cure

For this madness

 

Hate Crime

It’s like a hate crime

This vicious cycle we call life

Playing its joke on us

Praying to a God to redeem ourselves

 

I ask, what’s the use

To live with the abuse

(and) The torture of the mind

Keeping the secrets locked away

 

Tap dance the night away

Clickity clackity tippity tappity

That feel good feeling

Pounding in my brain

 

A woven tapestry of disinformation

Loose dangling threads of sanity

Ever apparent

In my waking dreams

 

Mankind

The criminal re-invention

Of mankind

Why must it be so?

 

Re-invention of love

Is a daily occurrence

 

Enslaved in this ritual tomb

Called life as we know it

 

Why do I cry, to whom and why

Who can I laugh with, and how

Where do I submit, my plan

To take over the world

 

Am I destined to be alone?

Or just to be

 

Bite Down

Bite down on the long, thread like

Open sores, along the length of your arm

Extract poisons of humanity

Spit in to the cesspool of corruption

 

Leap forward inside the mind

Feel it

 

It feeds like a mule, deer in rut

We come from two different hemispheres

Spending a lifetime to unite the twins

 

Human Race

I’d like to see the human race standings

In the sports section

Think about it for a minute

How would you divide the teams

What would you name them

What games would you play

How hard can you think about this

Can you laugh at yourself

(and) Never think about this

And not laugh

Or cry

 

Diaper

The diaper landfill

The streams of human waste

Flow through towns

With names and histories

You know nothing about

 

The Count

He has the smell of burning fascism

As he gropes his crotch

 

In the front window of the coffee shop

Obviously wishing to be

 

The display of the month or year

The millennium

 

Giving off rays of disgust

Floating brown downward

 

To the pit of hell

I try not to notice

But my senses are too severe

And you stand out

 

Like a bloodied bandage

Wrapped around the finger of life

Desperately in need of changing

 

Magic Newts

Magic newts

Crawling through dew

Controlling the minds

The emotions of snakes

The natural enemy

Casting little spells

On to edible insects

Makes the food slow

Docile and compliant

Cute little things

Pooping out magic newt turds

They fall to the forest floor

Sprouting mushrooms in no time

Magic fungus

Comes from magic newt poop

 

Bricks

The pattern of bricks

On the sidewalk

On the road

I walk it everyday

 

Remind me of life

Remind me of people

 

Laid in herringbone fashion

Spread to uniformity

 

You find the loose ones

Misplaced footing

Broken rhythm

From ones long gone

 

Smile

Is there

Was there

A method to the madness

Motivation

Behind the sadness

The soaring aroma

Of airplane snot

It left a rubbery trail

That cut right through

The landscape of my soul

Vindictive carving

The calculate risk

Scars below the veneer

What we call a smile

 

John

John was right

Cigarettes are food

 

John was left

The government just isn’t

 

John was gone

Haven’t seen him lately

 

Stab

I’ll always stab

At the media

 

Things are not

That sensational

 

I won’t believe

Ever in your lie

 

Psychic Network

The psychic network

I predict

Making millions

 

Tell me something

You really don’t know

Your fate

 

Generalize

Sensationalize

Telling lies

 

Media Poison

Media poison television

Controls minds

(of) Too many Americans

 

Spoon fed

 

Can’t wipe your own butt

 

Never Change

Where have you been all this time?

All this time I could have made up a lie

I was in a horrible crash

My hair got tangled and departed

This ride sucks

I want my money back

I think I’d like to try

The cellophane body wrap

 

What have you been doing?

Where did you get that thing?

Do you remember?

That one time

Who could forget?

 

About this mess in the kitchen

It’s never changed

 

Friend

You were my friend

And then you lied

 

More time to mend

Open your eyes

 

It’s hard to blend

When your heart cries

 

When will it end?

Sometime in my life

 

Time

Time is of the essence

What essence it is of- is beyond me

But none the less

Of the essence it is

 

Countdown starts

Clocks ticking away

 

No more sitting in wait

Waiting and sitting

 

What is coming up

Down the road

 

The Ride

Wheezing

 

I smoked one too many cigarettes

(and) Flushed some lung yet once again

 

Head is spinning

Red Stripe and Beam

Good combination

A few medicinal herbs

We got ourselves the porridge

 

I’m not out spotting trains

Waiting for the one

To pull in to the station

To what avails the time

To get off my ride

 


PART TWO – LOVE


Take Away

Take away the exterior finish

To reveal only a rough surface

That I should breathe

A last gasp of air

To say only that

I love you

 

No Blade

There is no blade

Sharp enough

To cut apart two souls

To hearts

They split apart none the less

On their own

Leaving remnants

Measured in time

Seeking an understanding

Knowing a pain

Yet it comes to mind

For which I do not seek

Knowingly

You are there

All else is extinct

The humanity

Is what I love

No less

No more

 

Explain To Me

Explain to me

That electric feeling

I once had

When your hands and knees shake

Your eyes become cloudy

Why does it happen?

This way

Like a slap in the face

A beautiful beginning

An abrupt stop for intermission

An investment of a lifetime

Too good to be true

 

The Dream

You know it is like

A rush of smooth silk

Brushed against your arm

 

The smile appears

 

You close your eyes

Unopposed

The dream appears

A far away touch

Right on target

 

Wanting To Remember

Wanting to remember

Why, it keeps you up all night

Like a soothing kiss

At the end of a perfect date

 

Or welcome rain

On a blistering summer afternoon

Tossing and turning

Gathering a moment that was lost

 

When the sun went down

And paved the way for winters night

The pieces just don’t fit together

Even though they are all identical

 

And the piano that plays the melody

Fast and slow in the mind’s eye

A song without a name

Haunting you

 

This Time

I hope this time

Things are different

My heart still aches

For your love

 

To hear you

Once again

Whisper in my ear

Goodnight my sweet

 

Did I ever stop

(to) Thinking

Do I still

Love you

 

Forever on my mind

From the moment

I met you

Till the day I die

 

Much too hard

Just to make love

All too easy

To love you

 

Beautiful Discovery

I hear your voice

The oh familiar melody

And how it beckons me

From the inner reaches of my soul

I (can) close my eyes and see

The distance between us like a veil

Thin yet able

Thoughts flood all senses no empty pockets

Saturation complete

The boughs will break

Love all kinds and one

Hath no description

Yet radiant light and energy

In non-de-script prescience

The ocean of time is a calmer surface

Translucent revealing the depths of the past

And clouds of the future (stand out)

Against the horizon

A sunrise with awe inspiring colors

Reflecting the surface of love’s waters

My first and only no matter the path

Treading light and free staying above

To see a road ahead where two hearts

Remain true

 

The Wash

The wanton lust

Seduces me to you

And you to me

Desire and passion

The fire that cannot be extinguished

Forever I shall want you

Folding velvet upon velvet

Consuming flesh till it hath become one

Passing through the doors to touch every wall inside

As a calming incantation

To allow love to flow between us

The perfumed sea incensed and anointed

Licking the shoreline expanding

Enticing lilies to float upon its surface

As hands mapping our bodies

Tracing softness of the valleys

Mountains of golden fields

Tempting exploration this sea of love

Like the greatest forbidden fruit so ripe

Glorious nectar so intoxicating

We drink ever flowing

We bathe

 

Our Union

I think of a million songs

And sentiments

Floating ‘round to greet me

 

Lift me off my feet

The wings of an angel

To my heartbeat

 

Away we go, sailing

To a far better place

Heading out to who knows where

With a love so full of grace

 

I can wait to be with you

(but) I can’t wait to touch you

The years that separate

 

Tears of joy

Fall like rain

And lay upon my face

 

Away we go, flying

To a far better place

Heading out to who knows where

With a love so un-denying

 

To hear your voice

The Song of Songs

Such music to my ears

 

I close my eyes

And think of you

The moments not be gone

 

Away we go, soaring

To a far better place

Heading out to who knows where

With a love so rare

 

Soon will come a day

A storm upon the horizon

Tornado of passion on a sea of love

 

You’ll sleep the night away

 

But us we will play

(and) Always smile and live a while

After the world is gone and buried

 

Away we go, forever

To a far better place

Heading out to who knows where

With a love that cannot die

 

Nipples

Hard nipples

Forked tongue

Two at a time

 

Have And Hold

To have and to hold

Such empty meaning

To want and to need

More my speed

 

To laugh and cry

And live and die

Crave and savor

Your delicious flavor

 

Scent of your flower

The aroma

Intoxicating

Is why I’ll be waiting

 

Spaceship

A space ship

Fueled

From millions of naked women

Hooked

Up to an orgasm device

Juice

Provides their fuel and nourishment

Cries (and moans)

A sonic audio beam death ray

 

To Those

To those I loved

I will always love

For an eternity

 

Some are secret

Others not so

I’ve given my heart so freely

 

To hold the deepest passion

To touch the warmest smiles

 

Cradle in my arms you lay

Enough for many thousands

Not so selfish of me

To love

Even those can not

 

So separated by the sea

 

Nancy Boy

I heard somebody once say

Are you a Nancy Boy?

Meaning to be a sissy

Wanting to be non-wimp

Simply a geek

 

I’m just a Nancy Boy

But I’m not a sissy

It makes me laugh

Till I pee my pants

 

I’m just a Nancy Boy

Fancy chancy

Rancid joy

Carnal toy

 

Never be a Nancy Man

Or hang with Nancy Men

For ever more

Just a Nancy Boy

Hangin’ with my Nancy Girl

Eating licorice twirl

I think I’m gonna’ hurl

 

Butt-Worm Girl #1

Butt Worms

Are not your typical parasite

They are

Friendlier

 

Butt-Worm Girl #2

Sweet butter meat

Butt worm discreet

Hop-a-long feet

You are not complete

 

Butt-Worm Girl #3

Please take off your panties

Stand right there in front of me

Turn around and spread your legs some

Now slowly bend over and arch your back

That way I can get a better look see

At your Butt-Worms

My how they’ve grown

Like the parting of the Red Sea

They follow the contour of your anal cleavage

We would shave them you and I

Hand in hand with a lady bic shaver

Entwined like twirling swirling Butt-Worms

Trembling and juicy wet and woozy

 

Butt-Worm Girl #4

The adventures of

Butt-Worm Girl

Defender of

K-Mart

 

Imagine yourself

Walking down

Aisle 5

House wares

 

You pick up an item

The talking digital

Shower massager, and

It’s not priced

 

As you mutter

The word shit

You sense urgency

And a willingness to fart

 

Looking left then right

No one is near

The gas escapes you

Sticking to everything

 

Somebody giggles

And hands you a photo

An 8×10 glossy

Color, colon

 

Autographed

With love

And squishy warmth

Butt-Worm Girl

 

$7.95

On sale

She says

Nostrils flared

 

Like a good belch

Butt-Worm Girl

Slinks away

To cosmetics

 

Feeling like

(a) Diseased cabbage

You put three massagers

In your shopping cart

 

The saga of

Butt-Worm Girl

And the 8×10 glossy

Color, colons

 

7/27/89 @ 2:30AM

What is it that tears my heart right out?

Why do I lie awake teeming with rage and anger?

So wild and fierce

So little said or done can wilt me down

To dust so neglected

Ego soaring in a whirlwind of madness

And delusion

Taken in stride a man or woman outside

In a crowd how they seem like strangers

Still very close

Fragile emotions fractured down easily, never

To be whole again

Wistful prey stalking, always perfection

To extreme

Jealousy draws near

Senses numb

Hands cold

Brow sweating

Heart broken

 

Comfort

And when all is said and done

You stay

 

You let it eat you up inside

And wait in comfort

 

Over My Shoulder

I look over my shoulder and see your face

Behind dark sunglasses your eyes always stray

The points are heard and not let go

But locked away in your secret vault to which there is no key

My thoughts condense to the crude madness that is love

And hope that when you are able to let go the pain

I’m still alive to love all of you for an eternity

 

Evil Ally

I heard you that night

Through the walls

The drunken truth

With an evil ally

 

You said you love me

Words I cannot forget

You based the finality

From an evil ally

 

I close my eyes

Every night I see you

Reach out to touch you

Stung by an evil ally

 

Bones

Screamin’ down the interstate

That song over and over

Such a cruise all two years

Swimming’ a groove thang

Slammin’ the asphalt

Breakin’ your bones

 

Digging Out The Blackheads

You just had one she said

Lying there in a pile of laundry

Using those stubs

Diggin out blackheads

Laughing at a radio commercial

Done in turkey point of view

Happy Thanksgiving

Eating entire fowl families

 

Spit It Out

Spit it out

Say your piece

Speak your piece

Cat got your tongue

 

Snake tongue

White devil

Tower of pity

 

New Car Smell

The new car smell

Coming from your eyes

Running me down

Leaving tire tracks

Over my soul

 


PART THREE – WEIRDNESS


No Doubts

My fragmented auto-biography

Of twisted thoughts

And subtleties

The dementia

From within

Utterances from a madman

Express honesty

From the soul

Like an open wound

That will never heal

My heart

Will never scab over

For as long as my senses function

No doubts will remain

 

Seven Course Meal

The materialistic lies

That adorns the walls

And lines the streets

Of an unpalatable

Seven course meal

That waits to be devoured

By a tragic malady

The poor infantile fetus

Crawling to be taught

Some way of love

Of repentance

For whom they label

Over again

 

Empty Pie Tins

Sitting around on empty pie tins

Holding the water for one last time

Skimming the surface via the muffins

Floating by distorted like a mime

To each their own is what now exists

Where did all the sharing run to?

Hold up in purple make shift tents

Crying the chant of smoking blue

Teething wrought iron wheels of stone

The skull of ages past poking up saying hello

Still no meat but ants covered the bone

Lost in soupy haze and nowhere to go

Silence at the top of my lungs

Made the deaf ones hold their ears

Meek and indefinable

 

Remnants

Parboiled eager remnants

Litter the malfunctioned

Afflicted and condemned

Spelling out what it means

To really have a go at it

She cried

I can’t bear the weight

Of a thousand deformities

Having read out loud

In the silence of our mind

(for) There lurks a fear

The inevitable

 

Do Nothing

Spare me the judgments

That, coming from unsettled minds

Do nothing

Like a big mooning ass

Staring you in the face

Insult and humor

One and the same

 

Lobster Boy

Red faced

Lobster boy

At the close of March

In a tourist town

With matching shorts

And sunglass chains

Holding the map

Looking for a bathroom

To pass hypocritical judgments

Like a movie review

 

The Words

I can see the words

Swimming out of order

In cerebral fashion

(of) Randomness lotto

Waiting formation

Like grabbing straws

Tortured alignment

And chance to enlighten

One self

The unknown realm of toothy grins

Bleeding stench

 

Skinned Knees

Spread sheets

For digital sleep

And dream organization

Those white tabs of paper

Soaked under my tongue

So, I walked under white washed

Floorboards creaking

Woes of trembling feet

And skinned knees

 

When I burp I can taste

The Last Supper

 

With every judgment

Passed among us

Only to draw the line

Curved to insane proportions

Portions

Dished out in stomach churning

Bend grinding palatable cleansers

In small but tidy

Hand held denominations

That can’t be spent

 

Tablets

Tablets of paper

I’ve gone through

To feed the mind

Paper tablets

Tablets of aspirin

Two every six hours

Tablets of paper

Six every two hours

You wish

Whatever

Like anyway

Whatever already

That’s a lot (of)

Tablets

 

Troll

Spiny little Troll

I wish I had one

Living under my bridge

 

Scare the mailman

 

He’d probably steal garbage

From the neighbors

Get all the dogs and cats

Pregnant

 

Radio

I remember my radio

S.W., L.W., A.M., F.M.

Sounded good

Took it everywhere

Lost it somewhere

Miss it

 

P. P. Tinkle

P.P. Tinkle

The new head

In Flushing

Bowls tonight

 

Town

Each town has its plan

Every sheriff plays his game

Gonna’ lock you up now

 

Stink

Taken off rocker duty

(and) Bed pan bound

Stink around

 

Weirdness #1 (Dream Series)

Hoppin lizards and crabs

50 in every house

Eat your bugs Mum

If you don’t mind

I will if you won’t

 

Applesauce

Handfuls

Instead of

Regular

Clothes

 

Those damn fashion weasels

After the designer chickens

Again

I’ll have to call

Deputy Dawg

 

Weirdness #2 (Dream Series)

Here we go with the applesauce again

So thick and lovely

Prepared portions

Perfectly stacked

For purchase

 

A variety of flavors

Cinnamon and spice

Raisins

Where did you get the raisins?

Off the dog

 

Weirdness #3 (Dream Series)

Little drippings

Beads of moisture

Cut across a valley of skin

Ants could live there

Little ones, those tiny little ones

 

Scrapple and eggs

America’s breakfast

Bottled and bagged

Boxed up and given away

Toothpicks are extra

 

Nasty puncture marks

Left in some dried up

Automatic drip

Battery operated

Hand held

 

Strange goings on

Inside my head

So frightfully delightful

Yet delightfully

Frightening

 

Joey had a big red apple

He gave it to his teacher

She ate his apple

Right in front of

The whole class

 

Weirdness #4 (Dream Series)

Wash your vegetables

With your hands

Not your glands

Or organ grinders

 

Positively atrocious

Totally ridiculous

Sweet bread omelets

With a Dr. Pepper

 

Lots of special sauce

Please

Extra everything

And anything for free

 

Terrapin bed frame

Standing alone

The restraints

Still tied there

 

Weirdness #5 (Dream Series)

Do you know what it’s like?

Sitting frustrated

Your mind races

Too many thoughts

All at once

 

Productive work pleasure

Right handed notebooks

Left handed judges

Society crooners

Tobacco stained children

 

The isolation ward

Seems to me

Seemed to be

 

Daylight savings

Where does it go?

Does it earn a percentage?

(give a return)

 

Little Tommy wrecked his bike

Little Judy cut her arm

Poor Terry got shot in the head

Those crazy kids these days

What will they do next?

 

Trailer Park #1

My trailer park woman

Hangs the laundry

In between

Lot 2

And lot 3

 

My trailer park woman

S’got trailer park roots

Trailer park trees

Trailer park dogs

Trailer park poop

 

Trailer Park #2

My trailer park woman

She got a Ford Ranchero

Phone sex operator

Slaps her kids around

I mean really

 

Her trailer park man

Wakes to unemployment land

Beer drinker eating ham

From a small jar with a label

 

Trailer park family

(deluxe) Double wide accommodations

Luxurious plastic

Knives forks spoons

 

Matching trailer park curtains

Half empty propane tanks

Trailer park septic dreams

Shower stalls all painted

Trailer park green

 

Trailer Park #3

Trailer park mailbox

Like a towering condominium

At the end of the main road

 

Trailer Park #4

Oh I’m in love

With my sixteen wide Fleetwood

Gas heat for cooking

Three beds for sleeping

(and) A pickup for schlepping

 

Mailbox

The current

End of a long arduous day

The journey it seems to be

A special case to me

Like the white picket fence

(and) A big red mailbox

 

To Die

Dear sir or madam

Please help me

I seek patronage

For this twisted mind

To bring forth

Fruits of my labor

For I know no other way

But to affect

Can you give me?

What I need

To produce these children

From my mind they are born

The thoughts they have become

A birth that wants to share

And express all that is there

Dear sir or madam

Is my price to high?

Or do I have to die?