Monday, May 29, 2017

Poetry By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian born author presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada. His work has been published both in print and online in such places as The New York Quarterly, Windsor Review, Vallum, The Antigonish Review, CV2, Horror Sleaze Trash, Evergreen Review, Your One Phone Call and In Between Hangovers.

Nevsky the Bank Machine 

The assassins have failed
so the car pulls around again,
slows down to a crawl
and that is when you know the fix is in
turkey shoots sans feathers 
and this man at the bus stop today 
would not stop screaming into his own armpit,
it was raining and people moved away,
one woman spraying herself with a can of mace
thinking it her perfume;
that is what I admire about this city,
the way it bleeds all over itself and never panics
everything rushed to press by compulsive typesetters
but with a calm that eludes the common hysteric –
dogs of raised leg over yellow fire hydrants
town criers chewing down anti-depressants like rock candy
and the health inspector has gone missing
coin laundries of a spin-dizzy dry cycle
the coffee, arm wrestler strong,
the women made up like a Jules Verne novel,
and the house band all on Dexedrine 
an hour long set in 12 minutes
(much distortion and infighting)
while balaclava men stick guns into faces
and the movie houses play old Eisenstein doozies 
to the bearded montage crowd.

Poet Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The Broken Spines of Bookstores All In Physiotherapy

He searched for grace as though he were
on an Easter egg hunt
exploring trash bags with eager Vasco da Gama 
hands, and the faces he made were impenetrable,
consecutive governments toppled like wickless candles 
on their side, the air so thin it could be mistaken 
for a beauty queen  
skin tattooed away from ample gardens
with ink and gun
all barricades sold off to the highest ranting demagogue
everything phoned in so gold teeth 
could remain anonymous  
the broken spines of bookstores all in physiotherapy 
and myself on the mend, a nasty flu that would not leave me
as though we had taken vows,
and the moment I started to feel better I said nothing
for fear that everything would be recanted
and the carnivorous platypus would lose its bone
awkward charm.

1660 Glasses of Wine

I can see through your veneer

smash me

something once living
pulverized down 
into a paste

paint me your best Vermeer

with a girl

eat right out of these hands
I found in the amputated limbs

yes, they are grapes,
infant wine before you squash
me out.


Fishing my own hair out of the bedsheets
I stare at it for some minutes 
imagining grand betrayals,
a woman of loose lips with a thing for the bottle
cussing back at me as I tell the barber to shave it all off,
that I want to feel lighter and not have to go to a dealer for that;
some shimmering imaginary woman who puts cigarettes out 
in the sink and calls her husband from a payphone,
juggling half a dozen men at any given time, 
and there could be children but you never speak of them;
stay up all night watching lousy television, 
pretending to be informants on each other
until the game goes too far
and she gathers her things and tells you 
she is leaving again 
in that same cement mixer heavy Marlene Dietrich voice 
that should belong to every bartender but it doesn’t 
so you take to drinking in your room –
washing your socks in the sink and hanging them to dry
over the shower curtain 
with many green artisanal fish on it 
that makes you think of the pathetic 
oil spill ocean
when you don’t 
want to.


The keys of the Xylophone are coloured
in such a way the mortuary stiffs of apartheid could never 
understand, and I bang on them with a tiny yellow stick
with two uneven balls on each end,
think of Percy Shelley getting kicked out of Oxford
because of god,
expiration dates on everything but ourselves, 
we could not handle that I am sure of it
knowing the time and place
making arrangements so the flower people 
know not to send any dead ones,
the occasion is not to be thematic 
although most of the food is cooked and long dead,
but it is the life that is to be celebrated
even if that life was a deplorable one.

I have never been to Los Angeles, 
but if I went I would legally change my name to: Smog
and take up jogging in a pink tracksuit  
three hours behind 

And know of the pack 
the same way the dog-walker 

Catching buses and colds 
and baseballs in a weathered
rawhide glove.

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