Three Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

This is how you devour misgivings

Denmark sets sail, my feelings inside you,
ploys of easy ridicule and handsome plunder
disintegration of flamethrower youth
a winter’s dusting, a baker’s dusting
jive poppycock verandas eating the night sky
shadow things lead away in tandem
spools of joy unwound with naked art house predilection
chauffeurs without cars drive on
the swelling sea, distended belly aches
gutted fisheries in the Talmudic tradition
acts of pocketbook elation in city streets
damsels of a triple falsehood painted up
like amusement parks
town criers in their infant cribs
graffiti armies with finger to can, my aerosol heart
an ocean away
in never ending crates the bearded dockhands loath
peering through the slats to appease distant curiosities
the company of stout ale and foul mouthed floozies
a coloured piano man in the corner tickling the ivory
of poached elephants
WHAT A SCENE!, even doom off the schneid
trap doors with silver filings playing at double speed
and Lady Copenhagen, the wind chimes of a simple tune:
smelting pits, arousal, more excuses.


Inside Out

she stuttered
into the white thirsty silence
of never speaking
forest critters
from under the nails
after a long
and the church bell to the south
rang six times
as though five were
not enough
the colostomy bag
filling like a room full
of smoke
her mother’s wet river lips
kissing her forehead
then a folded cool white
as the cooing doves
remained heard
and never

Shift Premium

She took a yellow feather duster
to the vase
and the flowers began to laugh
their colour

painting the walls and tables
of housekeeping
with a maddening yellowish-orange

and the carpet grew roots
nestling her naked feet
in a way she had not been held
in years

(not by man or woman
or life)

and the tub
filled with swimming pools
of water

so that
she was a lifeguard
and not a cleaning

and the toilet
could scrub

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, Clockwise Cat, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.