Indelible in Pencil

by Sheila E. Murphy

Her hair, a tumbleweed of steel wool framed a face perpetually irked and disappointed. It was each one's fault in turn. She arrived places like a noun you might feel sorry for. And reminisced about safe moments in her life, laughing in a way that begged you to laugh with her for the few moments she could stand you. Very little happened except alcohol. She might have toasted someone who would later die, confirming her worst suspicions, starting the cycle over.


Sheila E. Murphy is an American poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. In 2020, Luna Bisonte Prods released her latest work, Golden Milk. Murphy's book Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018) won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory (2018). Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). As an active collaborator, she has worked with Douglas Barbour on an extended poem called Continuations. Initially educated in instrumental and vocal music, Murphy is associated with music in poetry. She earns her living as an organizational consultant and researcher and holds the PhD degree. She has lived in Phoenix, Arizona throughout her adult life.