Author of the Month: Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan
I Am the Press Corps

I am the press corps 
I do all the pressing, the reporting,
ask the questions never asked. 

At this computer,
night after night.

I am the press corps,
trying for the high score,
the money shot.

Itching the scalp of Rodin’s Thinker.
A fresh snow of dandruff by these waiting 
gumshoe feet.

You’re Not An Actor, Just Another Waiter with Headshots

When you sit around counting sycophants 
on your one good hand, and the drinks that come 
are watered down, bumping sharks instead of uglies –
two forks caught together like warring buffalo 
from the plains right to your plate;
“you’re not an actor, just another waiter with headshots,”
and now haughty-go-lightly won’t bring a single thing
to the table; his truth meant to be snide and mine 
more truthfully hurtful so that we seem to have reached
some kind of understanding about the very public 
impossibility of one another; my date eyeing the exits 
like sizing up other men on the fly.

Barium Swallow

The esophagus thought it had gone into hiding,
pulled one over on a duvet of waiting comforters,
but the nurse came in with a tiny cup
then joined the doctor behind the x-ray machine,
trying to get a good look at the interiors,
while I stood and listened to that strange clicking 
noise that makes you think the spooks are 
tapping your telephone again; trying to get a listen 
at the interiors in their own little way
so that I decided to say nothing, not even when some
duster with motor oil for breath asked me for directions
on the long walk home.

Those Many Mean Girl Tornadoes of Disaster Relief

You can take the nitrate 
out of grade eleven science class,
but you can’t take the science 
out of things that explode,
even tempers like ship flares shot off
into the sudden sinking mayday night;
the stars on the move like late model 
cars sitting at lights,
the roof down like pre-empting 
those many mean girl tornadoes 
of disaster relief;
that way you sit up in bed
short of breath 
surrounded by the landlord’s many shortcuts 
that may as well be bodies
in a graveyard of bacon fat stillness  
and tax deductible hours
you never get back.


Never mind the polymers, this stringent 
resin epoxy, that way bad luck can become 
an adhesive for some, gum-stuck and cursing 
the bustling sidewalk world –
when’s the next job fair, no one wants to know,
there is never enough money for everything anyways;
leaning against walls wondering about the human spine,
an old coil of snakeskin they fashion into boots
so fine they pay bums to eat off them
for money (there’s that silly green thing again
like an iguana switching hands)
and the radio needs tuning
and the lovers in bed all spooning…
even the inside man out of the job.

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