ryan quinn flanagan | six poems


The kids on the street
have been breaking into cars

A big redheaded cop
with freckles
stands in the next driveway over
with my neighbour,
taking notes.

It seems the driver’s side window
is broken
and the GPS is missing
from the dash.

The cop tells my neighbour
that his
is the tenth GPS stolen
in the last three

All those GPSs.

They say the kids nowadays
have no direction.

This will help.

Without Reincarnation,
There is Only Recycling

The bones
of a swing
where lovers
used to

first kisses
long dead

and now
paint chip

like Lumumba
beside the large recycle
the city picks

every second

full of glass
and cardboard

and unwanted
with the coat hanger
still attached.

Cow Brain Slurries

It was in Ottawa
on the drunk
byward market
after 2am
with the missus
hungry as ant eaters
we walked into this
Lebanese joint
that served brain.

The guy in the back
stood over a pail of cow brains
in a yellow fish monger’s smock.

Grinding everything down
to liquid cow brain slurry
with a giant emulsion device
that resembled a weed

The sound and smell and sight
were awful.

The front of house guy
flashed a toothy firing squad

We were hungry
but not that

My old lady
told the guy that we
had to hit
a bank machine
and we got the hell
out of there.

Back to the hotel
to our queen non-smoking
to many reverse cowgirl acrobatics
in the dark.

Guinea Pigs

You see them
out front the medical research
belly up on the grass
smoking at the

In groups of 15 –
maybe 20 –
stunned as downed birds
on the lawn
as the 68 Warden
heads south
to Warden Station.

For $30 bucks a pop
each to a man
would give up his first

They have given up more
for less.

This is easy.

Once a week
injected by the white
with mystery serums,
then back to the grass
like grazing cattle.

Passing cigarettes
back and forth
like hot potatoes.

You see

$9 Drinks

Perched high
on book end bar stools
he tells me.

Over $9 drinks
he tells me.

I think I’m gay, man,
I have these urges.

I fold a cocktail napkin
into an airplane
and pretend that I’m
on it.

When I’m standing over the urinal
in the men’s crapper
I want to look,
he whispers,
jesus man, I really in
a bad way.

The DJ plays really bad
club music.

The dance floor
full of sweat and strobe
and whirl.

The shooter girl walks by
with camel toe,
her skin tights
riding halfway up her ass.

Balancing many green and purple beakers
and I catch him looking.

Any chance she’s a man?,
he smiles,
‘cause I think I’m gay.

Air Show

There were many sunglass faces
in the grandstand.
All looking skyward
like the church crowd
brought outdoors.
Watching the pilots
perform daredevil tricks
at low altitudes
in close formation.
Wing to wing
in nosedive
until plane met

Then the crowd would be silent
for some minutes –
hand over
mouth –
trying to hide their exhilaration
and satisfaction
as the ambulances raced out
into the field
to drag the body
from the wreckage.

It happened two or three times
a season:

Proud father of two
and loving husband
dies on impact,
the news line
would read.

The rest of the time
the planes all landed safely
and the crowd went home

My name is Ryan Quinn Flanagan. I live in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with my cat and my muse, though I don’t really think I live anywhere. Everything is absurd to me and I guess my writing tends to reflect that. I write on an 18 year old rebuilt dinosaur of a computer that resets to January 1st 1980 every time you turn it on and sounds like a jet engine. I am allergic to assholes and green bell peppers. I am bad at math and science and have much trouble sleeping. When I can’t sleep, I write. I write poetry because I can’t write novels. For me, poetry is like money laundering…you embellish the truth until it comes out a newer, cleaner, near untraceable truth. There is no money, of course, but everyone gets rich on the words.

0 Replies to “ryan quinn flanagan | six poems”

  1. Ryan:
    Great work! Powerfully presented with simplicity of language and profundity of meaning. Good to see you here.

  2. Nice going, Ryan! You have a good eye, that takes a long, unwincing look. And a pen that can get this feel down. Keep rolling!

  3. These six p0ems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan are gritty, bitterly ironic, funny as hell and brilliant.

    Raymond Keen – author of “Love Poems for Cannibals” and “The Private and Public Life of King Able”

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