Bouquiniste Decisions by R. Gerry Fabian

I am a secondhand book.
Not quite
the heavily discounted castoff.
Most of my contemporaries
are long out of print.
My cover wrinkled;
spine – bent and loose.
The people who have
known my pale pages
have left scribbled notes
and dog-eared place markers.
At this stage,
I need someone to buy me
and handle me gently
because of a love we once shared
and to read my words again
on a dark, rainy night
so, I may warm their soul.
The almost empty bargain bin
looms just below.

R. Gerry Fabian is a published poet and novelist.
He has published five books of poetry. Parallels,
Coming Out Of The Atlantic, Electronic Forecasts,
Wildflower Women as well as his poetry baseball book,
Ball On The Mound. In addition, he has published
four novels : Getting Lucky (The Story),
Memphis Masquerade, Seventh Sense and Ghost Girl.
His web page is
Twitter @GerryFabian2
He lives in Doylestown, PA

3 Poems by Catriona Murphy


When despair clutches at your threads
Childlike in its curling
Hope diminishing in your cloud of mourning
And purpose is lost amidst
The shores of a chaotic drowning
Leave behind your earthly possessions you were told to keep
And remember who you were
Before your barcode.

Feel the Earth turn beneath your body
The cycles of stars wheeling in rotation
Their seasonal existence
As justified as your own
Trust the grace of the night wind
The ever prevalent, cloaking Silence
All-encompassing. Ever watchful. Unfathomably eternal.
In the quiet between night and day
Replenish your soul underneath the open heavens
There is no manual needed
For what is natural.
And when the clouds clear
It will then be.
That wonder, innocence and awe enter.

Walking back through the filaments
Of your life’s tracing
You will find the home
The hearth you always knew
But had forgotten.

Dreams of Darwin

Nights spent breezing around in your car
Windows unashamedly down to the scent of a tropical surf
We rush through traffic lights
Talking about anything between cigarettes and takeaway
I feel like Audrey Hepburn without the headscarf.
In this swampy town of Australia’s unchartered territory
On the Top End it sits
A wild zest of primal meets oppressive heat
Through the mirage you can hear the aboriginal chanting
The ruggish charm catches me on fire.

I know these little things
Conversations in the dark
Tangled legs and hushed confessions
The crooning of the evening crickets
Walks under open stars
Darting geckos and murky rivers and blushing sunsets
Will stay with me forever.

Cracked Open

Your intelligent gaze
Roves over me in shivers.
Your hands squeeze my shoulders
And it is enough.
To send me back to a primal age
A deep tree root unearthed
That resides in a place beyond words.
Confusion and strange comforts stir
Black ink in the womb of primitive vice
Yearning my entire life for its partner
To join her on the dance floor.
I take your hand
And the foundation of my life trembles a warning
What has this man done to me?

Womanhood flickers in scarlet red
Dancing flames lick at me invitingly
Full moon femininity eclipses.
My wild eyes answer the call of your longing stare
As a shadow seals out the light
We spin a forbidden dance that none can hear
Moving in espionage silence
Two obsessed planets revolving in waltz
As dark things are meant to in forgotten places.
You’ve woken things not meant to be disturbed.

Your admiration matches my respect
Your boyish charm against my laughter
Remarks left daringly hanging
A lingering of what comes after.
Your cheekiness makes you coy
And I blush under your smirk.
Your boy gives my girl mud while she searches for flowers
And in the dirt there lies unspoken petals
Messages of a search near-ending.

Uncertainty faces me in masquerade
Or should I say it’s my primeval twin?
That part I can’t acknowledge
Waiting to ensnare from within.
An aphrodisiac has given me to ramble wanderings
And I search for you in every dark corner
Every angled mirror
Every sweep of the grain
And uncertain corridor
That echoes my exposed frail endings
Hesitant yet controlled.

In your eyes
I see your
Of my
The uncurling
Of my true self.

Catriona Murphy won an award for a short story in 2008, from the Dublin SCC Creative Writing competition, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She lives in Dublin, Ireland and works full-time in digital marketing. She’s also a member of the Inkslingers writing group, based out of the Irish Writers Centre.