The Nick and Dick Show

I. Intro


I am the whiskey sloshing in a keg

lashed to a mule and bound forever West.

My muleteer has one eye and one leg.

Sooner than you, he’ll lay me down to rest.


II. Daily Themes


Al Melting had one ink pad, it was red,

only two stamps. One was the F, one A.

A small mistake, and student, you were dead!

Moorhead High School learned to compose this way.

Circles on every blot on daily themes:

write every night? On what, we asked our teacher!

He was the demon in our sophomore dreams,

the Moses from our mountain, but a preacher

whom any bright fifteen-year-old could reach.

For forty years, I didn’t dare to teach.


III. To My Rare Readers


I’ve reached an age

when it’s hard to get up in the morning.

This is a stage

you can’t pass through till you are scorning

the long march through your graduate review.

I’ve reached a rage

wished on no other. It is a churning

bound to the blank page

I cannot disengage, a turning

from me to you, as in my youth I’d strew

daisies and lilies for the likes of you.


IV. The Nick and...

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About the Author

Timothy Murphy’s books include Mortal Stakes and Faint Thunder and Hunter’s Log, both from the Dakota Institute Press.