Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Zombie Driving through Electric America

We are zombie driving our way through
middle America,
a straight ten hour down to two lanes,
one gas pump at a time
right beside the highway on ramp
so you never have to stick around too long
for the latest honour killing by another name,
that expensive way electric cars can be plugged
right into the wall but no one parks them,
so that you are forced to pay for the transition
long before anyone else sees it,
all those high end finishes and stainless steel
and memory foam in the bedroom
that only seems to remember how to
give you a bad sleep when you need
the other.


You & La Destreza

look at you
glancing onward

in all your various
machinations –

it is not the conspiracy that excites me,
but rather the theory,
that sly artful way entire lives
are glued together;

the Spanish Destreza,
that patient economy of movement
so positional and exacting…

a sudden gush
from the cheap seats

ambivalent lighthouse
drownings –

so many
professions of love
against the jagged


Blanket Statement

I am half-asleep,
roll over and take the top half
of the blanket with me.

She grunts with subconscious anger
and kicks the bottom corner
of my side over to hers
to make up for the loss.

So that the blanket is on a diagonal
and covering no one.

More of a diamond bent out of shape.
A blanket statement.

We will each blame the other
in the morning.

For the horrible sleep we had
fighting over the covers.

Symptomatic Oatmeal

The virus called,
it wants its symptoms back.

Which ones?
All of them.

I sit on the couch
with my knees pushed up
into my chest.

Like a personal landslide.
Spooning my symptomatic oatmeal
into my throaty Harley Davidson mouth.

Shovelling faster to get it all down
so I don’t have to give my breakfast back.

It is quiet, the television has been murdered.
The blood is theoretical and therefore extremely
hard to trace.

There is heat
and my bones are thankful.
I yell at the silent phone.

The virus knows better.
It will call again.

I start spooning so fast
that I forget to swallow
and choke.

A mythological beaver
building biological dams.

Have you ever rode a hog?
In non-submissive leathers?

My retractable blinds
a biker gang hanging about.

Always looking for trouble.

They murdered the television
and told me to keep my mouth shut.

I wash out the bowl in the sink
when I am done.

Trying to hide the evidence
before the virus calls


Ernie’s Plumbing & Heating

There is a coloured decal across the side
of a less than white van
that reads: Ernie’s Plumbing & Heating.

In that order,
so you can tell what he would
rather be doing.

A single red stripe near the driver’s side door
that promises 24 hours service.

The guy who gets out in torn camo shorts
is jailhouse sketchy.

There is no telling if this is Ernie.
And what plumber is never off the clock?

I watch him reach down the ass of his pants
and scratch.

Grab a cart
from the grocery store stocks
before walking in.

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