"Documentary," "Ashwagandha," and "Unlessing"


It’s the pretense that’s the poison.

             —Tracey A. Regenold


Nothing happened. Nothing

Was resolved. Nothing changed.

Nothing followed after

anything before. There was nothing

before. Nothing outside

someone’s blindered vision

happened. Nothing in its infancy

brought peace or change.

Why Are you inventing this? No one

remembers what you say

occurred. I was there.

I saw nothing I heard

Nothing. I don’t know

What you mean. Why

are you making this up?

Why are you

insisting on this lie?

Can’t you let it go?

What is wrong with you?




I want to bolt from the clandestine lust for a divinity within my scope.

I want to leeway into pastorals mid-city in the anchored garden of my prior haste.

I want to taste the accidental flowers where they live and dry them for the ages.

I want to reason with a nonexistent enemy fraught with silver and suspension.

I want fenestration to reveal me to your druthers when I speak.

I want to obfuscate precisely zilch that we may hear each other over every figurative fence. 

I want to weasel out of consistency, as I revere the seasoned imperfections.

I want amendments to your pretty constitution to align you with eternity.

I want to empty out the granular inducements to underline an otherwise rote message. 

I want to climb into a television episode where two characters homogenize unlike ideas.

I want to dazzle off to a repetitive indulgence that transforms particulates into a wave of luster that defines who we will be.

I want to pour a rinse of evergreen over the voices blaming, naming names, confounding their environs. 

I want the bleak beans to be pacified like candles reflexively perspiring gentle wax.

I want to simulate pacem in terris adverbially to emulsify desire and rest.

I want to integrate the free form staves inviting crafted instruments to their longevity. 




Lemon rinds when pierced smell fresh. 
The surroundings flesh out 
how each daylight feels. Remedial 
endorsements pry the life out 
of the match between interior and ex-
as the terrain goes blank and wizens 
overtures to brackets capturing
the singsong random facets of simple weeds. 
Breath in its entirety supports
the weight of vehicles acquired.
If ever you're not satisfied,
pay us a call, and we'll play back and forth
as froth presumed under the auspices
of winter fueled by silk and sacrament.
If satisfice is real, convey to someone
random thoughts that bolster apropos of torch. 



Sheila E. Murphy

Sheila E. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Her most recent book is Golden Milk (Luna Bisonte Prods, 2020). Reporting Live from You Know Where won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition (Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland), 2018). Also in 2018, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. The chapbook Separation Theory (Writers Forum, 2004) was just reprinted (Trainwreck Press, 2022).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, April 25, 2022 - 22:51