Pick Up Where You Left Off

“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



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


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?



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



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



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



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



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



Is there

Was there

A method to the madness


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 was right

Cigarettes are food


John was left

The government just isn’t


John was gone

Haven’t seen him lately



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




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



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 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



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



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


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


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



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


Is why I’ll be waiting



A space ship


From millions of naked women


Up to an orgasm device


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



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



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



With love

And squishy warmth

Butt-Worm Girl



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



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



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



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



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


Dished out in stomach churning

Bend grinding palatable cleansers

In small but tidy

Hand held denominations

That can’t be spent



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


Like anyway

Whatever already

That’s a lot (of)




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




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



Each town has its plan

Every sheriff plays his game

Gonna’ lock you up now



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




Instead of




Those damn fashion weasels

After the designer chickens


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


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



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


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



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?

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