Nancy Murphy / Writer

writings and performances by Nancy Murphy





I choose to live in the spaces

carved by the sharpness

of your absence.

It’s not what you think.

Neglect becomes me, my desire

gathers and elongates so that

if our shoulders should touch

when we walk, you know,


the heat in me catches

like a burner. And you can see

a small opening between

my lips where it escapes.




My plants are dying a little

every day. First the tall palm

in the entryway. Then the others,

one by one, like a slow

moving disease. Plants

can be victims. People tell me

they may be root bound,

but I am not that kind

of girl: I did what I could

with water but I am not

going to get my hands





What is the sound

of attachment?  I thought

I had a cool eye on my

portals to illusion,

but I didn’t expect you

to slip in under cloak

of kind words, good deeds.

And there I was again, in

the middle of the night,

hugging walls, hearing

strains of bagpipes, the Irish

ones you hold close

to your body.


Thirteenth Moon, A Feminist Literary Magazine, Volume XVIII, 2003