Ringling Siblings

The reader on a hermeneutic cycle
rides around three rings.
Lions roar from reserved seating
to tame wild understanding.
The audience member 
with mighty big shoes to fill 
balances preconception 
with material at hand:
The taut line includes no net.
Whether considering feet 
or sensational bumps in an elevator,
the collection of parts anticipates
the whole. Peanut shells,
straw, and caution cones
add up for two eyes
until bells, bristles, and the smells
around stable remnants 
continue the math.
The hero merges horizons
with interactive computation
to find a way to bring 
a colleague to the writer,
a hug to a voice, with evidence
the ringmaster also reaches out: 
A carnival conversation in tight sequins.
The protagonists clear fog 
from frog pipe organs and perhaps 
in the initial unicycle mists.

Rich Murphy’s credits include the 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award for Voyeur; a first book, The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press); chapbooks, Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), and Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox); poems in Rolling  Stone, Poetry, Grand Street, Trespass, New Letters, Pank, Segue, and  Confrontation; and essays in The International Journal of the Humanities, Fringe, Journal of Ecocriticism, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture, Folly Magazine, among others.  Rich lives in Marblehead, MA.