Patricia Murphy: Alien, My Love Monster


As if he didn’t fly toward that sun when the sky was sliced in two, 
Choosing instead to turn north toward colder climes, whereupon 
His wax and feathers froze and Odin spoke saying “all curious boys 
Commend themselves to wrong turns sometimes, but you flew 
Right and straight this time, handing off the burdens of avarice and 
Infamy.” Icarus, not knowing what to say really, surveyed the heights 
To which he had aspired. He counted one: I am going to cast out all 
My hopes of warmth, and two: freedom’s just another word for 
Nothin’ left to lose. The song ringing true in his head, Icarus looked up 
And saw his blood blue number written on the sky. “When I am 33,” 
He said, “I will die then and all the world will love me.” 


Far away, you dream my belly 
The one with the line down the middle 
Through which babies came sprawling into the world 
The one you’ve neither seen nor touched 
Years ago I went to New York in spring 
And bought you a book, first edition 
Signed by a poet you loved and emulated 
Your lines like his held out only so much 
Until restraint took over 
Secrets back in the box, yours, his, mine 
The book my small offering to what you wanted 
As March took over from the longest winter of our lives 
Now we walk such different streets, you and I 
My drum is syncopated to the only rhythm I know 
Yours to everyone else’s 
I like my drum better than yours 
Now when the sky streaks toward the West with cold pink fingers 
Pointing “come home” I will think of you and the book I put away 

Editor’s Note: These poems originally appeared on our old site.

Patricia Murphy received her Doctor of Arts in English from Idaho State University in 2003. She is an Assistant Professor of English and the Writing Program Coordinator at the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, NY.  She teaches Freshman Composition, Business Writing, Analytical and Research Writing and Creative Writing. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Clinton, NY, where she spends her spare time organizing creative readings, supporting the After Breast Cancer Group, and participating as a proud member of the Mohawk Valley Peace Coalition.