Ryan Quinn Flanagan (Canada)

 
Ryan Quinn Flanagan (Canada)
 
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Atunis Poetry, Our Poetry Archive, Blue Mountain Review, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
 
 
Air Rifle
 
O Christ! How it comes
like a single shot pump action air rifle
against the back of the bowl,
pants around ankles, bent over on a messy Tuesday afternoon
as though you are one of those plane crash victims
in the brochures
believing the correct posture will save you,
letting out the single sharp moan of wounded animals;
hands over the head in a disbelief of self:
that you have come out of you,
both mother and child
and never a birth
so sacred.
 
No Frank Sinatra
 
She says she likes that I am playful,
not at all like the other men
she has been with.
 
And I tell her I spent most my early years
in the playpen.
 
Surrounded by coloured blocks
and the stuffed animal silence
of dead bodies.
 
That my feet were mangled from my mother’s smoking.
And I had to wear metal braces and sleep in an oxygen tent.
I did not walk until other kids were speaking.
 
I have no idea what my first words were.
Probably something rather underwhelming
like goo or uwarhgrb.
 
I have never been good when put on the spot.
I am no Frank Sinatra.
 
Old blue eyes, mine are brown.
 
But I am playful
and that is something.
 
A very good kisser
because I take the
time.
 
The Egyptian chariot drivers of past lives
throwing in a little tongue.
 
She said I looked like Dimebag Darrell
 
and I told her
I didn’t know
who that was
and she told me
he was this big metal
guitar god
who was shot
and killed
on stage during
a show
and I wondered
if I looked
like poor old Dimebag
before or after
he was killed,
but I didn’t ask
her that
because I wasn’t
a complete asshole
yet.
 
Flush Siding
 
Aluminum filings on paper,
I’m all over it:
overhauling the codebreakers,
breaking up the fights of imaginary friends,
building an ark around the
watercooler
to lock the fur traders in.
 
Just when you think
they give you another reason
not to.
 
A dime store ronin with cigarette breath
and a ’76 Caddy.
 
A food truck with a wooden leg.
 
Birthday candles snuffed out
before cake.
 
GET A JOB!
 
he yells
at the many scruffy street urchins
begging for change.
Some of them with ragged bony dead end dogs
and folded tartan sleeping bags
balled-up over the subway
grate.
 
And he is out of work.
Which may explain his present
sensitivity.
 
A man who has worked all his life
for others
and never himself
is no man
at all.
 
Question him, and you will be renounced
in the strongest terms.
 
He is certain of things that do not exist.
 
Kicking a busker in the jaw
in the underground
while he played some Spanish
Flamenco.
 

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