Photography © Ira Joel Haber


The Lame Facts

The cries for crutches
flesh out new born acrobats.
Sidewalks on city streets,
difficult without obstacles,
bring on the high wire acts
along with the tumblers,
each overcoming a cripple.
With chests swelling out
and with thanks to wounds
the contortionists parade
to and from homes once a day.

No one celebrates from empty roads.

Only dogs, cats, and rodents,
who hock greater cerebral issues,
roam where the black and white
asphalt ribbon dares.

In either world, chains laugh
at the easy job predicament:
Restrain the already pained.
While lose couplings with feet up
meet missing links that wish
and leap, the lock to becoming
more picks via a pro.


Rich Murphy’s new book Prophet Voice Now, essay on poetry, poetics, and the humanities is out in January 2020 by Common Ground Publishers; his poetry collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for Americana; Asylum Seeker is the third in a trilogy out now (2018) Press Americana. First in the trilogy was Americana, and Body Politic, the second, was published by Prolific Press in January 2017. Murphy’s first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree was published in 2007 by Codhill Press. Chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press):;

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS), two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.