Friday, October 9, 2009

Welcome to The Dream Tigers

This site was born on October 6, 2009. The moon is in Taurus, direct in it's course.

The Dream Tigers came again last night.
They breathed on my face, taking my air away.

Their feet are so huge, they never sink
into the featherbed.

Some nights I don't know they're there,
but on the nights when they feel hungry
they nibble at my fingers, swallowing
the tips like cherries. I can't ignore them then.

I smell them when the air is heavy with fog or mist,
and I try to lie so still they'll pass me by as they
prowl, searching for something new to eat.

My cherry fingertips grow back. The Dream Tigers
know this, timing their voracious night walks to
coincide with a fresh crop. I tried sleeping in a tree,
but they climbed better than I, and knocked me to the
ground to teach me a lesson. They reminded me then
of my evil stepmother, who beat me black and blue,
but never where it showed.

The Dream Tigers know the cherry tips of my fingers
are ignored by others, and laugh at me for caring
so much whether I can push a button to light the room;
or write a letter asking to be rescued from them.
They know they are supreme in the Land of Night,
where Anything can happen, and sometimes does.

I want to run away from the Dream Tigers, but
they're faster than I am, and I fear that if I annoy
them too much, they'll eat my legs instead, and I'll
be there, smelling them, and listening to them
rumbling as their appetites sharpen, finally eating
until I never grow back again.

A. Murray
July 13, 2003
Based on a dream told to me by Richard Sellers.

Sofa - Drawing by Richard Sellers

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Limb-Woman - Drawing by Richard Sellers

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Wheels - Photograph by Richard Sellers

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Back - Photograph by Richard Sellers

Sepia Elm - Photograph by Richard Sellers

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Smiling Debris - Photograph by Richard Sellers

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All Chromed Up To Respetability - A . Murray

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Louis Armstrong - Drawing by Richard Sellers

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"N" - Drawing by Richard Sellers

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Beast - Drawing by Richard Sellers

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Sixty-Nine - Drawing by Richard Sellers

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Floral Genitalia - Pen and Ink Drawings by A Murray

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Solpugid in a Weird Warp - by Richard Sellers

Photo By Richard Sellers. Manipulated by A.Murray with permission.
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Aqua Scream - Early fractal by A. Murray

Oil Spill Drain - Manipulated by A. Murray

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Rail Song

Rail Song
By Paul I. Freet
My Grandpa rode the rails and drank cheap wine.
The Gods abhorred the mix and finally got even,
throwing him off a bridge onto rock and iron,
and for years he healed shattered bones and hurts
by telling of the long trains riding the night,
their power and dreams, and of all the right ones
he didn't take, and the slow sighs and lessons
where the gentle willows grew below the tracks
and the lonely river wandered bend by bend.
I was some like him and dreamed too much of far
places, and perhaps I saw a flame in his eyes
that had not been put out by the dark trains taken
in careless times. But I never rode the rails
much as I was tempted by their slow dancing
over the wide prairies, over the sweet land
with it's long memory, across restless rivers
winding in the rain. And the dreams of trains and smoke
have haunted my sleep like hymns in the dark
that speak of fierce, fire breathing Gods and cry,
of special places lost in time and of trying
to get there through frigid nights and white hot days,
and always and forever the rails and the wind singing.

On Being Poisoned by Chemical Fumes July 26, 2003

I got very sick yesterday

something bad happened to me

I see the incongruity

of being so big a person

like a massive canary fit

to be lowered into a mineshaft

to test the air so the working

man might live another day.

A. Murray

What Will I Tell Our Son?

You're lying here on the dining room table.
So silent. The stillness of eternity is in you
and on you, like an overcoat in the wrong

What will I tell our son?

I fear you in this state of terminality,
in this bloodlessness, in this blanket of dust
that you came home wearing, along with
a hole in your chest, and vacant eyes
my sister mercifully closed before
I saw you here.

What will I tell our son?

I have my obligation. I must make you
ready to meet the earth; your bride of tomorrow
with her cool damp kiss. How can I do this,
when you are my husband of all these years?
You are my husband. Now, my sister's sure hand
removes your shoe, and I see the place I darned
at the toe of your sock, I wonder if it ever felt
uncomfortable. You never said so.

What will I tell our son?

I hear my sister's voice from across a canyon
calling me to help with your trousers, and I see your
long white feet are bare and innocent, and now my
sister will look at you with distanced eyes carrying
no desire for the body I so love, the skin I know so well.

What will I tell our son?

You have a scar I didn't know you had. Yet I loved you,
and I laid with you for twenty-four years, and kissed each pore
of your skin a hundred times over, but never once in the light of
the sun filled meadow. Now I wash your face, and see the lines
the years put there after the rains failed, and the crops failed,
and our hopes failed, and you went to the law and carried it
on your shoulders like a log too heavy for any man to lift,
until it pressed you into the ground with one sharp report
heard by everyone but me.

What will I tell our son?

You lie here before me. I trim your hair. I am
acquainted with your cool flesh now. It no longer
terrifies me. I raise your arm to close the shirtsleeve
at your wrist, and look at your wedding ring grown loose
on your finger, as has my own, the years having
consumed us in miniscule quantities
like a penance we paid without noticing it.

What will I tell our son?

The moon shines through the window with it's
terrible light; the lamps, empty of oil,
have burnt out and left their smoky scent in the air.

Our friends have gone, my sister has gone, and
you are gone. I kiss your absent face. I keen
with insane grief, and without a sound.
I see my eyes in the mirror across the room
looking back at me - so pallid in my black dress,
in my frozen silence on this endless deep night.

I will never be the same again.

What will I tell our son, when he comes home
from the long horrifying war, home from
those fields of death?

You were always the one to answer these questions
for me. You were always the one.

What will I tell our son?

A. Murray
July 17, 2003

This poem, unlike most of my poetry, is fictional. It is based remotely on a scene from the film, "Places in the Heart", and by the essence of both, "The Edge of the Crazies" by Jamie Harrison, and "Cowboy Poetry" by Richard Sellers.

Another Snow - 2003

Easter 2002

It is the morning of Easter.
Across the world,
rivers of blood spill,
and the mourning never stops.

On my quiet windowsill
an amaryllis blooms so red ---
the color of a fresh cut.
An appropriate Easter Lily
in the worst of times.

March 31, 2002

Another Snow - 2003

The fall is heavy. The branch
outside my window is white.

A sky of milk. I look upward.
Again, as it was last year,
the red amaryllis is in bloom
on my quiet windowsill, pale now
though, and fading like blood
poured into sand.

Last year I wrote the poem above.
Last year it was Afghanistan.
Last year it was revenge.
Last year it was Israel and Palestine….

This year Iraq---liberation through death
What could be more liberating?

Shall I become the first martyr here?

Shall I place the barrel of the gun
into my mouth? Shall I hold it upside
down aiming it toward the palate, and with
the trigger guard pointing at the ceiling,
press harder than one who's never
fired a gun before would imagine,
sending a hollow-point tearing through
my thought process? I could leave a note
behind that says: "I protest the
carnage being laid across the face of Iraq.
I protest the real reason for the slaughter
of innocents. I protest the reactions of those
who say war is good…war is justified.
I protest the actions of those who arrest activist priests.
I protest the actions of school officials who threaten
some staff members with the specter of unemployment in
these hard days, should they speak too freely of this
wrong-doing, or, as in one case, for wearing a pin that argues
the point against war, in violation of the school dress code.
I protest against a desensitized nation that now
grows bored with the television coverage of the war."

Shall I become the first martyr here?

There was a movie about a woman who fell
in love with a priest. It was an impossible
affair. At the end of the film, the woman
walked through the snow wearing a long
dark coat. She stopped, sat on the ground,
opened a gallon can she was carrying,
poured gasoline over herself, and lit a match.
A martyr for impossible love. I was tripping on acid
that day…sitting almost alone in the Symphony
Theatre, with the walls threatening to devour me.
The movie priest sat and looked out of his window.
The second feature was "The Ruling Class"
starring Peter O'Toole.

The snow is so thick. The petals of the amaryllis
have curled backward toward the stem in surrender of
it's brief lifetime. Pale pale, as the skin of the dead.
And pale as blood soaking into the sands.

The gun lies in the drawer of the nightstand
still tasting metallic. And I write this instead
of scattering my own petals of brain and bone
across the white wall behind me. Outside,
the world is white. Here, the room is white,
and the color of blood, in my mind, is as
scarlet as the deepest sin against humanity.

If I silence myself, I make a forgettable statement.
Ten minutes of fame across the screens of America,
then the ensuing boredom of the masses who want
a more sensational act to entertain them.
A man will sit and look out of his window.

A. Murray March 30, 2003

Opening Day

slicked back yokels are hanging out.
the american legion color guard
belonging to the last millennium
stands at arthritic attention,
while other fossilized citizens are
schmoozing, killing time in the parking lot
waiting for the grand opening of a fine new
food emporium florist pharmacy gas station
butcher baker candlestick maker
monumental megamonster icon
of american life and healthy avarice.

paunched pouter pigeon profiles
of rotary club good ol' boys mingle
with frizzled blu-grey hairdo ladies who
sniff down their noses at the welfare people
long haired men with biker fingernails
and unruly unwashed children….

a newsman interviews the crowd
at random "oh, we'll be in the paper
this week joe" while the obese poor
stare on thinking of donuts.
the sheer tonnage of this crowd
waiting patiently for the new store
to open the door to paradise
could sink the QE 2.

the local political wheel's
glad-handing his way through
the clutch of serious supermarket
bizznis men on cell phones with
bank accounts
bigger than the local fiscal budget
and mistresses without varicose veins.

i am invisible sitting in my filthy
rusted out old Chevrolet
a big mouse, a gleeful witness filled
with pleasant vitriol.

lucky the color guard is standing
in the shade.
now they move their creaky joints
forward in precision
their flags hanging limp in July air
the speeches begin then stop
then begin
i can't hear them until they all recite
the american mantra of today
i pledge allegiance to the flag
and the 24-7 business
one-stop shopping offering everything short of
brain surgery which we need to set
us straight again after being part of
this capitalist circle jerk.

cash registers sharpen their metal teeth
while the god of groceries makes introductions
applause applause
the local pol in seersucker is "put on the spot"
being asked to ooze
a few words.

men in cheap suits,
toadies to the power that gives them
their daily bread,
are grateful for a cool morning, and the fat
men's feet hurt while the grand ceremony
goes on and on.

the bagel lady takes her bow and the
crumb bun man takes his bow and the
lettuce man takes his bow and the
chicken man takes his bow and the
butcher man takes his bow and the
toilet cleaning lady takes her bow
and the natives are restless.
mercifully there are no clowns
to torture us with jolly antics
just little flags passed out free
to celebrate ameriky
the land of the heap big spender.
thank god the american legion boys are
taking those silly military baby steps
violent action such as a march would
kill them, and half this crowd.

the seersucker suited, pig-eyed pol
with his contact lenses
smiles his fine dental work.
the grocery god cuts the ribbon.
the fat consumers surge toward heavens
gate and in they go to big food land at last.

welcome mr. grocery man.

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A. Murray July 30, 2003

Memories Revived

Richard Sellers on memories revived by "Opening Day". (Excerpted from a letter.)

...I worked for Sleazy Markets about a week and a half after quitting Hinckley. It was an educational experience, and a little horrifying. I went in at 3:00 each morning to clean the floors with a propane floor machine that wanted blood. Wrestling with this monster gave me a bad case of piles. I think the damned thing was possessed.

The owner, one John Stinker, took pride in his market. Wanted everything nice and clean, out front - the stock rooms in back looked like a sick rat's deathbed after a bout of explosive diarrhea, filthy and beshitted. I worked a couple of days a week in produce as well. The amount of waste that went on was appalling - the slightest blemish got an otherwise perfectly edible fruit or vegetable consigned to the trash bin. There was enough food wasted at Sleazy Market over the course of my week-plus there to feed a lot of people who could use feeding.
Mr. Stinker jumped all over me one day after I asked for some new pads for the floor cleaner, which had started scratching the floor because of the pads being worn out, so I walked out on his ignorant ass. A few weeks ago they had some human mascot from television commercials making a personal appearance there. Couldn't tell the guy from his cardboard cutout. The floor looks as bad as it ever has....

Names changed to protect Richard's ass.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

She Fell - Bizarre Art by A. Murray

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The Beaten Soul

My heartbeat is silent,
tonight. A thing sensed,
rather than heard.

The news headlines slide
across an anonymous
screen; a jumble of words.

I read them carefully,
for this is a way of
justifying my anti-social
behavior, which I embrace
as I would a lover.

I am submerged
in bitter knowledge.

In Afghanistan, the beating
goes on, and everything is
the way everything was;
women imprisoned
for loving the
unselected suitor,
and young men
languishing in cells
as payment for the
price of stolen bread.

The thought keeps swirling
through my mind, of
the punishing piles of
rock, baking in the dusty
heat, awaiting the taste
of some "guilty" blood.

Floods wash over China...
so many are dead.
The name of a young man
I spoke with online one night,
haunts me like a sad ghost
wandering through
my shadowed room.

"Jinzai" I whisper
in the darkness,
"Where are you Jinzai?"
But there is no answer.

Devastation seems the norm.

There is a pocket of peace
here and there, but not here,
and not there, where waters
race against life; or in places
where the sun scorches
and burns every
living blade of green,
presaging a hungry death
for too many to think of.

I feel my heart thump
in the darkened room, and
silence screams in my ears
like the sound of a world
hung in chains, shrinking
from the blows of the
bastinado to its soul.

A. Murray August 11, 2002

Seasnake - Manipulated by A. Murray

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radiola burn

those slick
voiced harpies
in the radio box
bounce over
my worn down,
tolerance lacking,
ultra pissed off
blown out
mental state,
making me want
to commit
crimes against
their lack of
humanity dignity
reality oh, and
don't forget

but what else is
there to grab your
prurient attention
these days with
bloodsuckers at
the helm of hell
here in the grand
ol' yew-ess, unless
you stay stoned
and gonzo
looking at the
and the
shower curtain
which make more
sense than any
they say?

A. Murray

Fantasy Shoes

Reality makes me sick.
After coming to that conclusion, I decided to quit reality. Reality, on the other hand, likes me and follows me like a dog.

So, I started watching movies I've seen before, while waiting for a shipment of more movies to come by mail from a dealer. Thirteen new ones coming to watch over and over.

Last night it was Bram Stoker's Dracula. I fell asleep just before they chopped Lucy's head off to give her peace, and to prevent her from eating more children than she may have eaten already. Coppola glosses over how many children she may have eaten before decapitation, which probably makes sense for the sake of theatre. We're supposed to feel sympathy for poor Lucy in spite of her shallow nature.

At 5 am today, I chose Mississippi Burning. I stopped the tape before they found Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman. I remember that day. Too much reality. So next, I'm on to Wayne's World if I can find it. Not much danger there.

If movies aren't the answer, maybe I need fantasy shoes.

Fantasy shoes are colorful. A woman came to see me yesterday wearing green shoes. It was St. Paddy's day, so of course they fit in with some sort of reality. She assured me she only wears them for St. Paddy's day, which means that she might well be buried in them if she happens to die near the 17th of March, even 50 years from now. It all depends....

The fantasy shoes I concocted today are in shades of blues and greens. The greenest being chartreuse. They can take me anywhere: away from all this, away from all that, all the way over the rainbow.

I can't think of any solution for the world as it stands on such shaky ground. Fantasy shoes have become the answer. You put them on your feet, and turn four again. You never have to leave there.

When I was four, I knew there was evil, but I also believed in good.
A. Murray March 2004

For Richard Sellers "Happy happy birthday baby..."
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Band of Angels a Protest Against War

We have set loose a band

of murdering angels

turbaned, bearded, full

of wrath, sliding across

our mapped out plan

and pissing on it while

filled with righteous

indignation, and carrying


Heads roll without dignity

across a littered floor.

The angels grunt with

satisfaction over a job

well done. We gasp...

It's all too much to bear

we never dreamed it

would come to this...

We must do SOMETHING!

Hate them more, kill

their children,

write scathing articles,

set loose more dogs,

declare another war.

The angels squat on

desert sands,

cover their mouths

with head scarves,

live calmly through

dust storms

and wait patiently.

A. Murray June 23, 2004

Note: During both the bombing of Afghanistan, and the Invasion of Iraq, I was writing commentaries that could have gotten me into a lot of trouble. I was always afraid of my own words, but my heart was sick from the terrible destruction taking place in lands far away from here. I still see the pictures of dead children being wrapped by family members for burial. I am not alone in this.

Homage to my friend Richard Sellers

When I first told you I walked on canes, I didn't think beyond it, other than that I'd imparted a piece of information, which may or may not be relevant in terms of who/what we are to each other.

Time has passed. The first anniversary of our meeting has passed, and many days have been spilled over the silent floor of my deep sometimes-suicidal depressions. You stayed. You were quiet, and my guilt built itself like a bridge that ends midway, spilling the wanderer into ice cold seawater. But even with all my non-words, my non-explanations, you stayed. And when I put my first labored comment on the virtual paper of our connection, it was the hardest thing I'd done in months. Harder than staying alive, harder than staying sane.

You came back right away, and made it easy, but I sensed a distance, and now I wonder if I hurt you? Did I abandon you? I think I did, but you're too cautious, and too polite to accuse me of doing something so wrong. It was.

But you see, I never dream that you need me. I imagine you on your own island, ever resourceful, and that does you an injustice. It lessens your humanity.

We are back again, full of words and thoughts shared, full of anger, and full of gas. I have laid myself bare before you in confessing my fears regarding our thing, our word bridge that carries me safely all the way across. I've touched on personal issues in your life that are none of my affair, and you are so courteous, you allow me the immense latitude to express it all.

Always, the intellectual hook sunk so deep in both our hides has kept us on a certain track. We sign our letters with affection, and it is so. But never before had I imagined just how deep the heart of you is for me, and how potentially painful it might get for you, when I fall through the hole in my mind. Though I know you are a sensitive individual, and can easily weep for the world, my own battered ego disallowed the possibility that you'd spend much time on thinking of how it goes here. Then recently, you said these words: "When you mentioned that you had to rely on canes to get around I spent the whole day trying to feel that reality and what a royal pain in the ass it must be."

Not one single friend of mine has ever taken the time, or made the effort to walk in my shoes. People that have known me for more than a quarter century, who knew me before, and watched me plow through my life like a dog chasing rabbits across a field, having an abundance of energy, and high spirits, never gave a thought to what it was like to fall from such heady heights. You did.

I will cherish that forever. I must say this to you: The empathy you have is the crown on your head, and the terrible spear that impales you. I want you to know through this public acknowledgement, just how much I love you, and how much I need your fine friendship in my life. I want to say, that you give me more in twenty words, when I am down and floundering, than any other human being I have ever known, with the exception of my mother.

I have called you "my light", and that you are.

A. Murray June 23, 2004