Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

A Poem to Knock the Sun Out of the Sky

He was beating up a mannequin in the street
and people cried as though it were a real person
and I could not understand for the life of me
what was wrong with this man if he felt the need
to destroy a mannequin.  When he ripped the arms off,
he threw them most courteously.  Making sure
not to hit anyone with an errant throw.
And with the legs it was like throwing the javelin.
A great wind up before hurling each into a
shiny pissant sky. And onlookers ushered their
children away.  What is wrong with that man?
a few of the more curious little fireflies asked.
And the head seemed more personal.  After the man
torn it off, he tried to bite into it like an apple.
Growling when his gums began to bleed from the effort.
And with only the torso left, the man seemed to relax.  His breathing
slowed to a pulse.  Drawing a single red heart on the torso with a pen
from his pocket, before walking off
into the sun.

Breaking the Manatee 

I knew I was not supposed to do it,
but I reached for this large jade manatee
on the shelf
with my curious childhood

and when the thing crashed to the ground
it broke in half

and I quickly picked up the front of it
as though the back no longer mattered,
holding it tight against my chest
so no one could see what had happened,

and my grandmother covered her mouth
and fell back against the kitchen counter
and my father began to yell in such a way
that I knew what was coming;

the back end of the manatee
sitting there flopping on the floor,
still alive with the freshness of my

careless green

The Money Lender 

insisted on going door-to-door
and writing your name down in his large black ledger
for all the neighbours to see

grinning because he knew the shame
was experienced at interest
and that he would always live well
because of it

and the way everyone wished him well
out of fear
and tipped their hats in the street
even though they all hated
the man

and what he represented

his fine clothes and walking stick
and always that large black

Eyes & Ears 

She said
the government was
watching her

listening in on all her

and I told her
to not live with
so many

all those eyes
and ears
on her
had made her

especially around



The thieves
broke into his car
and all that was left
was wires.

And he felt guilty
that he was sleeping
when it happened.

That the bottle had gotten
the best of him
and he had not woken

His mouth desert dry
as he sorted through
the mess.

Stopping to light a cigarette
with his shaky yellow