April 12, 2011

Reticule & Armored

by Carrie Murphy


The poem is a navy blue leather purse that used to belong to your grandmother.
The poem is an embroidered tapestry-style satchel.
The poem is a vintage silver clutch with a Lucite handle.
The poem is a sow’s ear, a silk slipper bag, a bejeweled tampon case.

where do you put your poems/where do you keep

The poem is my purple L.L. Bean backpack with my initials in dingy white.
The poem is my Pucci-print jewelry pouch, tucked at the bottom of the suitcase.
The poem is my polyester pocket.
The poem is mine.

the poem on your arm/the poem in your hand/open the poem/inside the poem

The poem hanging from a gold zipper.
The poem’s tassels, swinging.
The poem closing with a click.
The poem snapping shut.

put it in the poem/the poem/white space/lipstick bathroom scrawl/
words sewn in the lining/mints&tobacco&aspirin/metaphor/metaphor/metaphor
poem as purse as dark wet cunt/compact mirror reflecting up


I’m wearing a gold signet ring so when I punch they’ll know who did it. I’m carrying an umbrella with a thick carved handle so I can poke back, hard, against the driving drops & the little rain-slickered ladies. Spike-heels are an obvious weapon, but I use them to pick seeds out of my teeth or to carve initials into the mahogany sideboard at the rest home. This rosary weighs three pounds. This turban will never topple; a ruby as big as your eye, velvet soft like the skin on the inside of your thigh. Sequinned scabs & a polka-dot trance. Silk that never stops rustling. I want to show you my rhinestones, I want you to lick my leather gloves to their tips. Feel the belt where it buckles. I can fit your moth balls into this cocktail ring; see how they sparkle in the light?

Bio: Carrie Murphy is from Baltimore, MD. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her MFA at New Mexico State University. Her poems have appeared in PANK, Keyhole, Prick of the Spindle, and other journals. Her chapbook, "Meet The Lavenders," is forthcoming in early summer 2011 from Birds of Lace.

No comments: