top of page

Featured Poet: Emily Murtoff

I first encountered Emily's writing at the Blacklisted Poets open-mic (held weekly on Thursdays at HMAC) which she co-hosts. Her potent combination of honest sensuality and empowered feminism are often delivered with a smile, hinting that she is as charmed by the lethal saccharine in her verses as the audience.

To experience Emily's work live, look for her events with the Harrisburg Writers Group, including workshops and a quarterly reading at Elementary Coffee, the next of which will be held Friday, January 13th.

Subscribe to It's Always Saturn on Google, iTunes, or Spotify to catch her on an upcoming episode!


i have moved everything,

including most of myself.

old paintings are hung in fresh places.

a bed frame is slid from one corner

to another, and back again.

a bookshelf takes its fifth home,

and settles on crisp cardboard shims.

the windows face north now,

inviting an unfamiliar afternoon warmth.

sun-drenched leaves twist and wiggle

like infant fingers

upon waking from a dream

their eyelids unfurling

encounter new light.

tiny palms unfold

to meet the world,

for the first time, again.

curtains slide onto rods,

shoes are unpacked

and stacked neatly on the closet floor.

we do this for the promise.

acting on the faith that

things will be better this time,

we fill empty boxes,

walk them down the hall,

and empty them, again.

if we didn’t believe

in something like growth,

something like evolution,

or something like cosmic


we would leave the art

off the walls, let the bed

in a less ideal corner,

keep the shoes in the suitcase

and continue

making it work

but as it is, i have moved everything,

including most of myself,

to make room

for another chance

at something holy.


There is water on the moon where my lover is from

Bathed in blue light

you must be some kind of alien.

Your jointless arms

buoyed by couch cushions crest

over me and crash back

like the swirl of a galaxy,

the long twist of infinity.

Fingers like antenna

find spine, trickle down.

Your clunky knee carves out

my thighs like a crater’s edge,

slender shin to hairy ankle

and we tangle like wires.

Beneath a smooth expanse of belly,

four-fingered hand

finds warm lake, dips in.

We swim in static and smoke,

your oval eyes, deep and dark,

search mine, and spill,

become pools reflecting

and collecting my earthly glow.

You radiate or are irradiated.

Colorblind, you say,

though your skin is green

and polished from moonstone.