G. E. Murray


Crawfordsville Confidential


In the land of milk and cream delivered early
and daily, and always in glass bottles, we care
about good grooming and, of course, news
of slurs and curs... Can it really be that home

becomes a place to be stranded?
“I don’t see a single storm cloud
anywhere in the sky, but I can sure smell rain,”
out on the edge of Crawfordsville, Indiana,
where the answers and questions become identical
as evil twins.

Mythmaking on the Merritt Parkway

Aluminum sky. Only November
Leaks into early frost
Like a ruptured jug
Of gas. I’d rather hold
Onto this road with pliers
Than have another face of you
Frisk my heart. Cool hands,
The touch of every moon
Is crucial and incomplete
As a sponge bath. Leaving
A backbone of lights
Behind me, a blinking string
Of pelts in fox country,

Northern Exposures

You hear the roadhouse before you see it,
Its four-beat country tunes
Amplified like surf through the woods,
Silencing bullfrog and red-tailed hawk,
Setting beards of moss dancing
On dim, indeterminate trees
That border two-lane blacktop.
Docked tonight, you reveal the badge
Of the farmer, that blanched expanse of skin
Where cap shades face, babyhood

The Unsung Song of Harry Duffy

Pure veins of bogus blue-blood and such fancy hungers
In the end no surprise of reports of you dying younger than your gods
Kicked back in the classic toilet scene
With a spike in your arm and twelve large in pocket
Thanks to a lucky day scamming the dumb Social Services folks
It’ s a human thing, pants at your ankles, leaving unclean
Because life’ s road is only one night in a bad motel
Harry, you could play basketball in your bare feet, and win