Tonight I'd like to post some poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan. Enjoy! I certainly am.
Poem for a Man Who Thinks of the Children
The crossing guard is there so
children can cross the river Styx
like the rest of us.
One side to the other.
Pennies over the eyes like government spending.
This man who cannot quite bring himself
to be retired.
Two wives departed.
One through her lawyers, the second by death.
A long white beard with food in it.
And it is just a passing moment, but I see it
sure as quarried rock.
Any man who hates himself
will never find the love of another.
He will curse the moon and replace the sun
with a sky that paints ancient deserts
over electric flip phone hearts.
Belief is Better than
in orange robes
to the river.
upon the rocks.
If they are meant
to find meaning
they will find it
in orange robes
Before passing out
under a banyan tree
that offered little shelter
One Giant Leap
There was a rooftop party
the same day
the jumper showed up
prepared to take
And he felt obliged
and have a few
Before excusing himself
to go find
Man Walking Three Ferrets
I guess they’re not quite clogs, but his gait is struggling
right out of the block.
That unnatural limp of back pain
and hidden opioid addiction.
Do not foist your various machinations upon the day,
I must remember this, like scouting out the
hands of a clock for time.
What are intrigues if not an eye to confetti?
Certainly not this man walking three ferrets.
Three separate leads entwined into a single mess.
Blood pressure cuffs converted into black Velcro
shirts that fasten at the bottoms.
Three of them.
And many tiny wool booties of animal hosiery
so feet forget the cold.
The rain is for wet and introspection.
With all these views, I have only seen myself.
It Could Be Worse
How the hell are we supposed to make ends meet?
she screamed from the kitchen
what about food?
what about rent?
It could be worse,
And it could be better,
it could be better,
But we both knew it would
we had a soaker tub
and nothing else.
except a single rod iron chair
in the kitchen.
Then we got a used bed
and a dresser from the St. Vincent de Paul
and a table from the transvestite
And we took turns with the soaker tub.
It was all we had and we enjoyed it.
Living like kings with warm cloths over our heads.
And each day
we were back down at the employment office
looking for work.
We had our resumes out everywhere.
No one would give us anything.
In the evenings we would sit on the floor
with our bowls of rice and butter.
Beside the phone in case of call backs.
Then soak our tired feet in the tub
and go to bed.
Her with her favourite book about a time traveller
who finds love in ancient Scotland.
Myself with a biography of Claus von Stauffenberg.
And it was strange to do everything three hours
before you had always done it.
And it rained incessantly
so that you came back home wet
but somehow smelled like fire.
No one to talk to but each other.
It was odd and cold
along Hester Street,
before the driving
and taking a dive
to get his shot
and Stella Adler
and the hours of Marmont
with cubby hole smiles
while the Best Man in a Leading Role
fails to show,
the mean streets
break into laughter,
and little Marty
behind the camera
Let's finish up with a little music. The other day my husband and I went to hear Ultrafaux open for Anat Cohen. Here is Ultrafaux's "North Avenue Stomp": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHAGWq2mEcs&list=PL7rSkAMVTDVcyhZlX2mIlpj3TLxtBpu23
Their "Bartender Blues" sounds like an appropriate choice as Ryan has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5-8mVjKbmk&list=PL7rSkAMVTDVcyhZlX2mIlpj3TLxtBpu23&index=7
The Comet is Coming's "Summon the Fire" makes for a good change of pace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G55GspnNkBo
I'll finish with their "Start Running": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7Px2wK10jg