Portrait of a Demolition

by Shane Murphy

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released December 12, 2011

Mastered and Produced by Joe Phillips for WildCat Records (www.wildcatrecords.com)

Cover painting: Kira LaRose (concordiadiscors.weebly.com/paintings.html)

Vocals on "Musty River": DawnMarie Allan

"i am a little church" is a poem by e.e. cummings.
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is a poem by W.B. Yeats.



all rights reserved
Track Name: A Mind at Rest
By one of several
psychics it's suggested I weigh
my pockets with citrine, I find
a muse in sincerity, I give myself to good

Then in a small town
or no town at all, it seems
right to light, it seems right
to settle down, and find the news
in stars, or no stars at all--
to bed not too late; to bed
while the fire waits

to warm the curious
meanderings of a mind at rest,
a hand clutched like a knife.
Love won't end me
like it does a song.
Track Name: Rosemary for Remembrance
Fingers doused with rosemary oil,
cloth on the Singer sewing machine
where oh, starved artist, you mend.
The fly-wheel moves like a moon;
the treadle: the pulse
in a womb; your eyes the black
of a deer's; my song unjust.
The miles you rock with your feet,
your hands arthritic and weak...
Your words are salve when you speak,
but words alone I can't trust.
Track Name: Weathervane Horse
You hold me like a stanchion, mid Atlantic.
I hide you like a slip-stitch in my overcoat.

You hold me like a stanchion, mid Atlantic.
The love I send is stronger than the love
in your parents' house.

So, I need not mend my love,
Dear Town Mouse,
Country Mouse

High above the ridge, the soft
cannon clouds move to fire.
I am the weathervane horse:
eyes on all points but this spire.
Track Name: Be Not a Tortured Heart
Goodbye, fears; hello, daylight:
there's a slight chance you'll find
a clear sky today.

It's okay to cry aloud, Rose,
if love means more veiled
than displayed.
There is only sky here.

Be not a tortured heart
beating just to pass the time.
Track Name: Waltz for Leaving
Allow me to sort through
these little pieces of a tapestry
I was weaving for you.
Warmed with fallen leaves--
as a hobo with headlines--the earth
whispers, "ease into me, like death."
Am I home yet?
Your harsh geography--
your terrain another scripture
I won't read, though it looms
like death. Am I home yet?
Track Name: Recovery
Against a brick wall
of the methadone clinic, I found you:
sprawled in your shadow, your chin shining
with spit, afraid each open hand
would clench into a fist.
The others were in the square,
sated with being, but not alone.
I offered my hand.

You peered
into my palm like a zoo-goat,
expecting a ration
of kindness, maybe
a few corn nuts, sunflower seeds,
coins, a cigarette,
and were confused--as, in turn, am I--
by its emptiness.
Track Name: Portrait of a Demolition
Again today do you notice yourselves
Deconstructing beauty

The skull of a Georgian
Home is made splinters and rubble

What of my ribcage
Which cradles your wrecking ball

What of the ripe-lime grass
Burdened with dust

And the hearty thistle
Thriving chest-high
Its spiny marina of fuchsia rafts
Bound to take off

I have no raft but I have
Constructed you a verse

Small fingers in passing go swimming
In a birdbath of quicklime

The courier steps on a barrow of debris
And it squirms like a cat
Track Name: Bathtub Mary
Well out of town & over
the border, we'll stop for coffee
& a taste of the news,
where a papier-mache Jesus lies
in a plexiglass casket,
on a strip-mall avenue.

I was raised in a land of Bathtub Marys
--those holy lawn jockeys
worth a prayer in passing--
planted like a hedge, with a porcelain
aura--a spectacle of cleanliness everlasting.

I, though faithless as the next,
admire the hearts that faith brings close,
and the cathedrals raised for nothing
but a faith in the unknown.
Track Name: Halos
From the shadow on the water,
I see nothing, I feel nothing, I am
blinded by a false sense of shelter.
The hail parades for nothing.
I hail nothing.

The seedlings died before I tamped the soil,
before I knew the roots of the future.
And halos crash down from angels.
May lunar halos light
at least the night.

From the storm
you drag me, sodden, pale, with words
for nothing. I am a trestle
braced against the dead weight
of conversation: though I'm tired,
I listen.
Track Name: Musty River
Musty river I will take
the spackle of your kiss
on every sore
In the eyes it shall sting most

Observer on a slick rock
in January I sever myself
from whomever in her cold grace
commands the nod the crinkle
this white brain of ice floes
upending me in the shallows of sleep

I see the mother writhe in childbirth
too weak to smooth the gnarled sheet
that fastens her to bed

Musty river I will dredge
your belly of toxins
I will drink them in