Thursday, June 20, 2019

Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

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 

The monk 
in orange robes
went down 
to the river.

Getting drunk
on wine
and throwing 
his poems 
upon the rocks.

If they are meant 
to find meaning 
they will find it 
without me,
the monk 
in orange robes

Before passing out 
under a banyan tree 
that offered little shelter 
from the 

One Giant Leap

There was a rooftop party 
the same day 
the jumper showed up 
prepared to take 
the plunge.
And he felt obliged 
to stay 
and have a few 

Before excusing himself 
to go find 
another building.

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?
what about...

It could be worse,
I said.

And it could be better,
she countered.

it could be better,
I said.
But we both knew it would 
be worse.

Soaker Tub

Out west 
we had a soaker tub
and nothing else.

No furniture
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 
next door.

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
and ours.

De Niro

Bobby Milk
along Hester Street,
Little Italy;
all pale 
and silent 

before the driving
of taxis
and taking a dive
to get his shot

and Tribeca 
and Stella Adler
and the hours of Marmont 
with cubby hole smiles   
and Belushi 

while the Best Man in a Leading Role
fails to show,
the mean streets 
break into laughter,  
and little Marty
behind the camera

never stops

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":

Their "Bartender Blues" sounds like an appropriate choice as Ryan has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review:

The Comet is Coming's "Summon the Fire" makes for a good change of pace:

I'll finish with their "Start Running":

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