Friday, June 27, 2008

Got Away

Pretty Sure

Like any other fisherman
in a schnapps and Blue Ribbon bar
by the river,
he talks of the one he couldn’t catch -
a girl elusive as Dolly Varden trout.
He spends his pension on bourbon
and Budweiser, corners who he can,
tells of the one who broke the surface
in a silver rainbow spray
and got away,
the arc of her flight still in his eye,
the hook still in the angler’s mouth
as he watches the sidewalk stream,
praying for one more glimpse,
pretty sure she’s not a fish story
told in a bar by the river
with dull-eyed trophies on its walls.
Pretty sure she’s still in these waters.

- Ralph Murre

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

among bricks

among bricks

i sense beats beaten senseless, this immenseness
holding mere echoes of former cells, wisps of smoke
of former hells and, lately, scents of latex, spandex,
nomex, romex, and tex-mex. ex-lovers and ex-pats
eating corn-chex, this immenseness not near the size
it used to be, when it just held two or three of us
reading cross-word puzzle morning news, tea leaves,
nazis killing jews, nancy into sluggo, adams into eves.
just when i think the beat can’t go on, another regains
his feet, chases protons across the sub - urban lawn,
loses jesus and brain cells, drinks cribari ‘til dawn,
fawns a dew-covered lover, sees the dark ascending.

i sense beats beaten, poison meats eaten. i repeat,
seize the dark if they’ve taken all the light, why
fight ‘em if they could be slightly right, but you can
take what they don’t use, poor excuse for cities
left behind, these towns could have some style,
maybe painters and their models, heavy drinkers,
thinkers for a while ahead of the wrecking-ball.
then they’ll build some condos for nine-to-fivers,
some parking for the barking-dog audi drivers,
some galleries to show the artists driven out,
the rout complete, waiters on buses, three-piece
realtors selling the bricks right out of the street.

i sense beats beaten senseless, defenseless against
bankers & wankers & painted women with mba’s.
i sense the dark of nights and a lonely trumpet plays,
a lonely pen scratches through light of live-long days.

- ralph murre

among bricks first published in The Cliffs "Soundings" 2007

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


And the canvas waits
for her pale body
the way I’ll paint her
and the flake-white bed
she’ll be rising from

- Ralph Murre

Friday, June 06, 2008


and when he said let there be light
it is not certain
who he was talking to
but he stained the glass of the churches
so not too much could get in
'cause he decided he liked it dark
after all
and so he couldn't see out
'cause things were going wrong
just outside
and he made the stained glass pretty
so we wouldn't take our eyes
off of it
'cause he didn't want us looking around
too much
'cause things were going wrong
inside, too
and when he said let there be light
he didn't mean to reveal
-ralph murre

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

So Long, Old Friend

The Great Man, Paul Sills, has left the room. Friend. Director. Stern task-master. Lover of life. Father. Husband. Improvisational theater, as we know it, would simply not exist without him. Co-founder of Second City. Godfather of countless theater experiences. Worked with Nichols & May. Worked with Woody Allen. Knew how to fire up a woodstove in a Wisconsin winter farmhouse. Liked a nice glass of beer. Liked a good book. Taught me something about acting. Taught me something about life.

Paul Sills has left the room. Paul Sills will never leave the room.

- Ralph Murre

Please read all three pages at

Monday, June 02, 2008

pelican brief

column detail: Frank Lloyd Wright

alone not alone

with that book of history

over our shoulders

- arem