Monday, December 31, 2018

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Coronation Scene with Hard Water

Show me to my room, good sir!
Show me mouse droppings instead of mercy.

Let me die in this room and decompose
rent free.

Nevermind the smell, I am trying out something
new that is not living.

Is that my bed then?
A little paltry in the pillow, I must say.

But we all have to start somewhere.
A fog over the window so thick
no light can penetrate
my arrival.


My Eyes Give Away Door Prizes Each Week

My eyes give away door prizes each week
which is another way of saying they reveal
too much and that I should never play poker.
Have you seen the sociopaths who play that game?
Tapping the table coolly as though they control the weather.
Seemingly impervious to everything.
Most of it is a bluff, of course.

But I care too much.
And I don’t ever want to lose that.
Certainly not over a game
of poker.


Greedy Fog Light Scavengers Eating the Mystery out of Anything

I pull a book off the shelf and examine the spine.
The glue has come apart so that the book seems to be
running away from itself.  There is a tear at the bottom
that makes me think of long gravel archways in the dark.
Greedy fog light scavengers eating the mystery out of anything.
A chattel of dogs lost to distant bark.
The personal instrumentation that goes into nights
at the symphony.  Everyone dressed to be seen with
sticky ludicrous fly paper hair.  The jewellery so gaudy
you would swear in came from a wax museum.
And the must of the book is in my sinuses now.
My nose begins to run down my face with nothing
but the back of my hand to stop it.
Old bookshops always do this to me.
The allergist tried to warn me but I cancelled my appointment.
Perhaps I divined that he would tell me to avoid old bookshops
and I knew it was just easier to avoid him.
To pull any book off the shelf that I like.
To read an old dedication scrawled in pencil
on the flyleaf and know that something can be cherished
if only for a night.


Fertile Crescent Finish

I saw you somewhere over Sumer
rubbing the oils of your fingers
over a sprawled flooding Indus

I saw lazy bronze gods
planning earthquakes down
to the bedroom

I saw your necklace
forged over fire
and scribes taking orders
from the stars

I saw water over flesh
dimples in the

things forbade
by those who forbade

a way of thinking
that predates the mind

in the arms
of ridiculous cuckold

I saw how leaves
fall from trees
like empires.


Orphan Dancer

she yells

unaware that this here is not
a needle at all but rather a tree
which has begun to sprout up

or better yet a whole new arm
you can never too many of those

and the way she keeps yelling makes
me think her some blaring megaphone
of rambunctiousness

I shall pick up and speak into
when I am good
and ready.


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Dish, Cajun Mutt Press, Red Fez, Under The Bleachers, and The Rye Whiskey Review. 

His personal website is: