Poetry: Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan
An Apple a Day Keeps the Orchard Away

The last time I visited the medical unprofessionals,
they told me the tree was losing all its bark
which is a not-so-nice way of slow walking Ayahuasca 
zombies into mass deforestation,
sampling platters of reindeer meat less than
20 days out from someone’s twinkling Christmas,
and I think of a fully loaded Burroughs, playing William Tell 
with his only wife, in that dusty Mexican bar by the border
full of tourist dollar guacamole and prideful toe jam Huaraches;
an apple a day keeps the orchard away,
stretches out all those muscles in Gitmo pygmy traction, 
finds a use for the long unused which may seem half-admirable
on its surface which is why torture is not a marble
countertop or anything you may find in your pocket,
even if you were looking.

Demi-glace Gods

Nothing worse than being sauced
for other sauces, 
demi-glace gods spooning out 
all the simmering half-baked worship
at discount prices
and they say a dog and its human 
grow to look more like each other 
as the years go on,
the same is true of writers
and their writing 
which does not bode well for me
or damn near anyone else 
in this fluttering rapid eye 
butterfly net world; 
the food channel always there
when you are hungry,
fleecing tigers turned into rugs
like a highly unusual black shoeshine 
way of roaring.

Beer Garden Faces

All those red faces in the beer garden.
Roped off like slaughterhouse cattle.

Leaning in to yell old stories 
that never really happened,
at least not like that.

Boiling without shade,
popular music pumped through
four giant black speakers 
working the four corners.

All the kiddies left to entertain one another 
in the playground outside.

The older ones throwing dirt 
into the eyes of the younger ones
who begin to wail.

Along the beach at Georgian Bay.
Where my uncle Kevin was fished out 
of the water when he drowned 
at the age of 9.

Jovial Microbial

There is no reason not to smile,
even if such gestures go sight unseen;
when you find yourself outside the popular theatre,
some jovial microbial looking to branch out 
into the many Turkish bathhouses of Little Ankara, 
some 157lbs steam and sauna regular  
fighting with numerous questionable thread count towels
like some close shave crusader looking to get 
to the Holy Land in seven steps or less 
as if anyone is counting.

Never Mind the Card Sharp

I have minted the coins
you will one day call collectibles.

Sat in hot tubs with hot pumping fondue
jet engines on the mini.

Stood over congealing glug   glug shave water,
raking my aging dumb Prufrock 
down to absolute zero.

Never mind the card sharp.
His many skilled tricks of deception.

A crowd will always blind itself through 
a single conforming Belief and the sheer 
volume of distractions.

There is a reason the loner is despised so much.
But forget about all that, I have teeth 
that won’t whiten themselves. 

Animals just back from Safari 
that can’t stop raving about all the watering 
holes that almost find themselves.


  1. Outstanding! Love this guy's poetry.

  2. Terrific work! I love the allusions, the incongruent associations and aberrant flow of ideas.


We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।