Tuesday, December 27, 2016


RIP, Carrie Fisher

You and I
share a name
though not
spelled the same
but still an honor
I can claim.
far too soon
I gaze
at the moon
and wonder
who to blame.
Your spirit
your light
made the world
seem bright
in spite of
my shame.
You taught me
to be brave
to occasionally
and now my life
will never
be the same.
Warrior princess
damaged goods
did you ever
think you could
at life's game?
That your courage
and your heart
and your being
incredibly smart
made this world
one you could claim?
Though this was
your final day
in my heart
you will stay
and your legacy
will guide my way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


People look at her
and say, "Wow, you're so strong"
while she dies inside
knowing they couldn't be
more fucking wrong.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Difference

This prompt was chosen as my last homework assignment for this five-week creative writing workshop (damn, it went by fast). I don't generally write "essay-type" pieces for class but thought this one might be worth sharing. Enjoy!

So, looking at these prompts, the obvious first choice for me was “The Mistake”. Lord knows, I've made many. TONS. But, that isn't where I'm going today. First of all, mistakes can often be considered “happy accidents” in the long run. If everything in my life hadn't happened exactly the way it did, where would I be right now? Better off in some ways? Wealthy, living in my own home, a mother? Perhaps. But would those things, deemed “successes” by who the fuck knows, really be what is best for me? I try, more each day, to live in gratitude. Gratitude for what I have and gratitude for who I am. I am relatively healthy. My limbs all function properly, as do my senses. My heart is big and it is whole and it is filled with love for others and the love they so freely give to me, even when I feel unworthy of it. I have a wonderful husband and mother, two amazing pussycats, countless friends who are truly here for me in times of struggle as well as triumph. I may not have all the material things I wish for. I certainly don't have the peace of mind I strive for every day. But, overall, things could be FAR worse and sometimes, that just has to be enough. So no more reliving so-called “mistakes”. It is harmful and ultimately, pointless. What's done is done and all I or anyone else can do is move forward from here with a clear head, open eyes and a loving heart. One day at a time does not just apply to alcoholics, it applies to all in recovery from whatever one's particular struggle may be. Mine happens to be depression. What's yours? Think about it. Embrace the mantra. You don't have to be all things to all people at all times. You only have to be the best possible version of yourself as often as you can. Sounds a little less daunting now, doesn't it?

This essay wasn't meant to be about imparting lessons. Hell, who am I to give anyone advice? You know what, I am me. I am just as worthy of advice-giving as anyone else. And ultimately, as always, I'm writing this mostly to myself. I don't even like the word “mistake”. I'm going to do my best to strike it from my vocabulary. Blaming others and especially blaming oneself really doesn't get one anywhere. Life is entirely too short. So that's it, no more mistakes. Happy accidents. My perspective is constantly changing but the moral of this story is that I no longer wish to live in a world of finger-pointing and blame. Love is where it's at. Love for others and love for myself. And trust me, that has made all the difference.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Flesh and bone
Not steel and stone
So afraid
To be alone.
Infinitely fragile
So easy to dispose
With each imagined slight
Insecurity grows.
Important for a day
Then oh-so easy to throw away.
Why the fuck
Must I feel this way?

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I need
far more than I should.
All the love
in the whole wide world
will never be enough.
I am
so easy to forget
to leave behind
that it is a wonder
why I even try.
Heart wide open
eyes wide shut
waiting for the inevitable.
if I am lucky
but more often than not
just gone you are
me left behind
in the rubble
baffled as always
as to what happened
and why I am
alone again
wondering why
I do not deserve
for you to stay.

Rabbit Hole

Deeper into the abyss
Story of my life

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Peaceful earth angel
In awe of your dignity
Now and for always.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sad Feels

Feeling stupid
and small
though I am bright
and quite tall
and I would much prefer
at this moment
to feel nothing
at all.

Heart Hurt

My heart hurts
as if all my years
of secret pain
have decided 
to reveal themselves 
at once.
Breathing feels hard
almost as if
it isn't worth the effort.
But I know 
that is my illness talking
trying to mask the truth
as it always does.
I hate this feeling.
It's as if I have
no control
over anything
including my own mind
and to a degree
that is true.
I want 
so much
to be unbroken
but despite 
all the tape and glue
I can never get 
my pieces
to fit together correctly.
I do not want to hurt
I do not want to cry
I do not want to want
and I certainly 
do not want to need
but I do.
I need you 
to stay with me
and hold my hand
and promise me
that everything will be okay
that I am okay
no matter how not okay 
I feel.
Please don't give up on me
I'm begging you
and me, too.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Stagnant for so long
I never
thought it possible
that I would ever
become who I am
let alone
actually find
that she is someone
I kinda sorta like.
with fear
so damn certain
that what everyone else had
and who they were
was so much fucking greater
than I would ever have
or be.
What a fool I was.
The transformation
took place
at a snail's pace
while simultaneously
in an eye-blink.
Seemingly impossible
but altogether true.
It will never be
something I can explain
and frankly
I do not even want to try.
All I know
is that it happened
it IS happening
every second
of every day
for the rest
of my life
and I am grateful
beyond words
that I did not leave
the party of life
too soon.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Time bends
but does not break.
I wish
I could say the same
about myself
but I am
far more fragile
and far less flexible.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Insomnia = #Micropoetry

I want to live
the life I see
through rose-colored glasses.

Inching towards my self
at a snail's pace or kid's crawl
soon, I will arrive.

You had best believe
that I am still becoming
everything and more.

Really want to sleep
alas, it's not happening.
Well-played, restless mind.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


What is the answer
when everything goes wrong
and you find yourself
drowning on dry land?
What keeps your heart beating
your lungs breathing
your mind maybe believing?
Where do you look
when you forget where you begin
want to cash it in
engage in mortal sin?
Look within
the answer is you
and by you
I mean
me too.


It's cute
the way you still think
you can still fool me
hold me back
make me feel small
alter the eyes through which
I see myself.
You enjoy 
that hollow supposed victory
your alleged triumph
while I smile
somewhere you will never see
knowing the truth.
You only had that power
when I lent it to you
and little do you know
I took it back
long ago
and you will never
see it again.


Just when I thought
I was finally numb
I was struck dumb
by the agonizing pain
of your knife
stabbing me
in the back.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Typing truth
through sleepless eyes
perhaps unwise
but clearly distinguishes
my truth
from others' lies.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Needless space
between your face
and mine.
But hey
that is always the way
fuck distance
and time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Confidence, Please

How can I be
so naive
to actually 
that one day
I will achieve
instead of 

Thinking Thoughts

The wisdom of a sage
a gift
that comes with age
yet sometimes
I just want to
turn back the page
and once again
be the little girl
with a heart
as big as the world
unaware of how it hurts
when dreams unfurl.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Life in a Box

The title above is one of the prompts "assigned" by my friend Jackie for tonight's makeshift writing group. I have several friends (I know, right) that I meet with to laugh, drink wine and occasionally, write things. We initially met in an actual writing workshop offered at the local community college. Yes, we all love to write and we're damn good at it, but we're also, in my humble opinion, "kids with issues". As our instructor/moderator Johanna says, "in life, there are no coincidences" and I tend to agree with her, at least with regard to our group and how we all ended up there. Some people take the five week workshop once. Some don't even complete the five weeks. Others, like the group I'm meeting with tonight, are what I like to call "lifers". Financial struggles aside (story of my life) we manage to scrape together the funds to take the class as often as we possibly can (it is offered four times a year) because it is our sanctuary, a safe haven and a shitload cheaper than therapy. But, this past summer, we (Kathy, Diana, Pat, Jennifer, Jackie, Tony, Stephanie and myself) have been meeting at Kathy's house because we can no longer tolerate this "twenty week a year" thing and because we have become not writing colleagues, not even simply friends, but family. We have formed such tight bonds, something unfamiliar to me at times due to my excessive fear of being hurt, that we can't stand to be apart for more than a week or two.

Okay, with that lumbering preamble, I humbly present the piece I just wrote for tonight's "class". I was given these prompts two weeks ago. I'm meeting my friends in less than two hours. Enough said.

Kari Murphy
August 17, 2016

“My Life in a Box”

          My life in a box, eh? Fuck, that has been the case since the moment I was born. Pretty sure I ended up in an actual “box” shortly after my birth. Story of my life, I arrived early (by about two and a half weeks) and my lungs were not yet fully developed. Can't imagine that was much fun for my parents or, hell, for me, but of course, I have no recollection of this time, laying in a incubator, I suppose, until my little body caught up.
          Pretty much since then, the “box” has been metaphorical. So many years without a voice (okay, not literally, but still, maybe the “slow lung growth” thing has a little to do with that, though I doubt it) kept me in a box of my own making, though not intentionally. Fucking boxes. The “shy” box, the “nerdy” box, the “invisibility” box. They have kept me trapped for most of my life. I hate them.
          Then, I guess, there is the box I placed myself in deliberately. The “safe” box. Safe, my ass. But, it sounded like a good idea in theory. In the “safe” box, I could hide away from the rest of the world, avoiding hurt, avoiding rejection, avoiding all the icky “stuff” that comes with self-exposure. Only thing is, that plan was an epic fail. Ironically, no one has ever or could ever hurt me the way I hurt myself. The “safe” box just so happens to be the loneliest place on the planet. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm quite fond of my own company. If you've met me, you know, I'm quite entertaining. I have a twisted sense of humor, I'm more self-deprecating than almost anyone else you'll ever meet and my heart is as big as the world, often to my detriment. (And I'm humble as hell, previous sentence notwithstanding.) But, damn it, the “safe” box might be better termed as the “isolation” chamber. Nothing bad gets in (lie) but nothing good gets in, either (all too true).
          I've had about enough of boxes. The truth is, I'd like to spend as little time as possible in them for the remainder of my days (and beyond). That's right, I'm speaking metaphorically AND literally. Do NOT put me in a coffin when I'm dead. I wish to be cremated, placed in a non box-like container for as little time as possible and sprinkled into the ocean so that I will finally be able to travel the world. Don't get me wrong, I'd certainly like to do that before I die but with each passing year, that possibility is looking less and less likely. Yet, one never knows, right?
          So yeah, about these damn boxes, I'm over them. At least, I'd like to be. Right now, as I sit here typing this rambling diatribe, I'm feeling slightly confident and empowered. Right now, as I sit here typing this, I feel like any box that dared approach me would be immediately greeted with a swift nut-kick. But of course, this will change, as it inevitably does. Give me a minute. Hey, at least I chose a foot to the balls over “boxing” the damn thing. Because that would just be tacky and cliché and I'm nothing if not original.
           I feel like this little slice 'o life needs a witty and clever conclusion. Something inspirational and enlightening would be ideal but a tidbit of wisdom would do in a pinch. Alas, I'm too “boxed in” to conjure one.
          Fuck, I went there.