shot glass
Issue # 3 January 2011
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Most recently my poems have appeared in Poetry New Zealand, Poetry Scotland, Quarterly Literary Review (Singapore), Pattaya Poetry Review (Thailand), The Warwick Review (UK), Istanbul Literature Review (Turkey), Paris Atlantic Journal (France), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), Litspeak (Germany), Contemporary Literary Horizons (Romania), Munyori (India), The Tampa Review (US), Del Sol Review (US), The Cartier Street Review (US), The Houston Literary Review (US), Taproot Literary Review (US), Left Curve (US), The American Dissident (US), The Stinging Fly (Eire), Crannog Magazine (Eire) and on the deaddrunkdublin website.

I was born in the UK in 1969. I studied philosophy as an under-graduate and poetry as a post-graduate. My first full length collection, Night Watch Man & Muse is pending from Salmon Poetry (Eire) early in 2012.

Mark A. Murphy

Page 1 | 2 | 3


As a young man, before the fall of the Berlin Wall,
I thought I knew suffering
and so I read Seneca's letters instead of Christ or Buddha...
I was young enough to think of Seneca
as a humanist, arrogant enough to imagine
I could take another's pain away,
join it to my own, and in so doing, relieve the other of their suffering.

Here both self-restraint and history become treacherous...
Smite my womb, Nero's mother cries at her assassin,
whilst my one time beliefs put me in the asylum
and so the Berlin Wall comes down and my friend, Georges,
not unlike the old Seneca
had chewed into his own wrists in the police cell to escape
the devil who had demanded another bloodbath.