May 2003

Ryan Murphy


Ryan Murphy Ryan Murphy's poems have appeared in Crowd, The Denver Quarterly, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, On Violet Street, was selected by Robert Hass and published by the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003. He lives in New York City.

Vermeer's Theory Of Light    

Here is a string tied to a sun,
tulips erupt from every mouth.
Tell again the drained music
of a fountain—
Earlier, this was earlier...

Yellow leaves on a yellow street,
a past soggy with sunlight.
The needle trembles on its pin,
here is a string tied to a sun—
The mirror gone out like a candle.



The Novice    

Now the city's body is an ark: the river
bends back on itself.

Water, stained with mercury, climbs the gutters.
The red morning sky vaguely patriotic.

I have learned to resemble myself: colors
mixed with milk. On the night-stand

a glass of water grows small white spots.
It rained deeply.

Between streetlights, beneath an arch I cast two
shadows or, 'how I began to fall in love'.

An arm across her larynx: the fingers, fan-like,
birds in flight, they stutter, misspelling her name.

It is dark in the funnel of the horizon.
Not stars, not stars appear.




Ryan Murphy: Poetry
Copyright 2003 The Cortland Review Issue 23The Cortland Review