Poetry: Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Drop a Bomb, and No One Mistakes It for a Plate

Were you ever really scared of the bomb?
Be honest.
Scared the same way you were of your foster father with brass knuckles?
After the bars got out?
That cheap smell of beer and stale lipstick before you knew what it was.
The bomb always seemed far away to me.
In both space and time.
Not at all like the schoolyard bully who always communicated to you
the very real and immediate threat of “after school.”
The bomb for me was a distance runner.
Something to be held over your head like a crooked halo at length.
All the angels on strike like winged teamsters with problems at home.
In the kitchen and in the bedroom which can be worse.
Drop a bomb, and no one mistakes it for a plate.
There is a stigma there that leaves the script.
A sudden sad desperation that never sits well with the many purveyors
of tartan lawn furniture.

Leaving the Magician

Hauling lumber
on that jobsite out at Kennedy Rd.
throwing out my shoulder each day
for minimum wage
so that my father would have to pop it back in
so I could go back to work
the next day.
That way he looked at me.
Telling me he was never prouder.
So that I knew he was a fool
of the highest order.
And that all he had taught me
meant nothing.

High Heels

She wore high heels
to the museum
and I thought of

Bela Lugosi

I am finished writing for the night
and stumble downstairs.
My wife is watching this chick flick
set in Italy
with subtitles.
Why does everything in Italian sound like Bela Lugosi?
I say
waving my hand emphatically
in the air.
She laughs
and points to this kitten
who is obviously the star
of the movie.
Is that his name then?
Bela Lugosi?
I fall back into the couch
and tell her it is.
That the cameras should just follow him around
as he cleans his paws
and walks away from all the stupid things
the human beings are doing.
I’m cheering for Bela Lugosi,
I tell her
before passing out
on the couch.
When she wakes me
the movie is still going on,
but she can’t take the
I fall into bed
and there is no turning
My feet dangling over the side
like cable cars with ingrown

Ramen Times

The guns
were levelled
at the crowd
behind a long silver barricade
who instantly agreed
with them
that there was more
to be said from
and that everyone
should go
and wonder why noodles
were called Ramen
in the first
while the drones overhead
took down all their
so the Guilt Squads
could make arrests

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