Generation Stuck

By Erin Murphy

Cut yourself and you'll get lockjaw,
our mothers warned. Scowl and your face
will freeze like that. Every TV rerun
had a quicksand episode: Gilligan
or the kid from Land of the Lost 
sinking up to his neck. Decades later:
screens, cubicles, debt, regret.


Erin Murphy's poems have appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, The Normal School, Field, Southern Humanities Review, North American Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Southern Indiana Review and have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. Her poem “Debriefing: A Poem in Parts” won The Normal School’s poetry prize judged by Nick Flynn. Her most recent book of poems is Ancilla (2014). She is Professor of English at Penn State Altoona. Website: