Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ryan Quinn Flanagan - Four Poems

The Economy, Stupid

I'd like to buy you flowers
each anniversary
and chocolates
and lace
just because
and provide like Paul Bunyan
skinning deer
in the sweaty armpit
of thoughtfulness,
but you must understand
my natural limitations:

I'm an unemployed drunk
who still sleeps
with stuffed animals
and hasn't worked more
than a month at a time
since 1992.

Taking the aforementioned
into consideration,
along with my wallet full of
monopoly money
and get out of jail free
you may want to reconsider
that trip to the Dominican
and/or Christmas

I hear
we're in a recession
so you should be cutting back

Social Animal

All of us know the flyers are crap
but we can't wait to receive them
in the mail.
When we don't get ours,
or it blows away on a windy day
while we are at work
or off buying a blowjob
from a fifteen year old bus station
bathroom stall runaway,
we feel cheated
or slighted
in some small unspoken

Each tenant of the Glendale Arms
in Trenton, Ontario
know there is a 300% mark up
on the 70% off
clearance sale
and that while supplies last
means supplies will always
but each of us
to a man
is out to meet the mail
each day
in housecoat
and furry slippers.

and birthdays
are formulated at best,
forgotten at worst,
but the flyers in the mail are nondescript
and therefore,

all inclusive.

And who doesn't want
to belong?

Man is a social animal
according to some asshole
who knew enough about flyers
in the mail
to know that even the most reclusive
of us
want to be


When we are left out,
we steal our neighbors' flyers
so we can read what all the hype
is about.

Nearly everyone
is unemployed,
so we have plenty of time
to read.

Virgo, with a Side of Cancer

The children in Gladstone Park
take turns on the slide
as their mothers sit on benches
just feet away
exchanging harlequins
and dieting tips
and zodiac wisdom from the back
of the local newspaper.
A little girl by the teeter-totter
falls off
scrapes her knee
and cries,
while the boys on the swings
pump their legs like Columbus
close their eyes

and wonder where they'll end up,
as their mothers
just feet away
wonder how they got to where they

Three kids,
and a husband
who works long

The Blue of Every Flame

Tweekers in car parks
jack cars for a fix
while muggers lay in wait
for first dates
and the Bowery drunks
stumble out into traffic
giving Happy Hour legs.

The black eyed susan across the hall
started tricking again
and now her old man
is back downtown
for assault and battery

while I sit half mad
on a bed full of empty Vodka minis
rubbing magazine cologne samples
all over my chest
and dancing in front of the vanity
like some dime store whirling dervish

as the roaches scurry
the neon hums
and the serviced johns in the stairwell
moan through paper thin walls.

All around me,
the world is alive

and I
am the mad manic heart
of the universe.

The blue of every flame.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of three books of poetry, the most recent entitled Pigeon Theatre (JTI Press). His work has recently appeared in The New York Quarterly, Full of Crow, Red Fez, and The Antigonish Review.

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