Poetry from Ryan Flanagan

Some Spoiled Dim Sum Nietzsche

 

Robert Motherwell painted his way into my apartment

with his Homely Protestant

and his Totemic Figure

 

while Rothko’s many Greeks

toiled away at some spoiled dim sum Nietzsche

that was free before eleven

 

and the things you do in stairwells

are hardly uplifting,

 

such appellations

are meant to be ironic

 

Russ –

I will meet you at the Sparkling Dime

at half past five

to talk about your movie

 

about how we can write all the actors

out of the script so that the props

will work for free.


 

Victor Hugo’s Window

 

the floor is the door is the floor Isadore

and my elasticity has gone off to join that circus

outside; I hear see smell it all the time, feel it sometimes

when I am closing a book which is just as good as any window –

Victor Hugo’s window perhaps, or the many clams of Jules Verne

still pearling under the migrating sea:

why so miserable Victor?  the emphasis on the plural:

les misérables,

to make everyone around you miserable is to understand

the music of Mussorgsky, they even made Boris Godunov into a movie

because the eyes should know what the ears have

known for some time, that torture is legal and practiced daily

and not always by men with prominent Cindy Crawford moles that are hardly

endearing, and if such asides make me catty I should request to be a tabby

or European short hair, nothing Calico please –

I hear those things yowling in heat all the time, scratching

at doors that won’t answer themselves.

 


 

Slipping

 

This is not love.

This is hate with decals.

Some new chop shop way

of holding hands.

 

As though

even a rainbow

is on parole

 

after the

rains.

 

 

Ringing Mr. Trench Foot

 

flea collars of menopause answer the call

of calls:

 

this is room service

this is Alex Graham Bell

this is half a dozen roses

with nothing to do with

botanical Shakespeare

 

the Pro Football Hall of Fame

keeps ringing for my thoughts

on fumbles in the Rhineland

 

and I am playful as a pre-schooler

under this thread count of sheets

making dubious faces

 

the ceiling is just standing in

for the sky

while I am indoors,

 

that is what understudies do

 

first this magazine

and later a shower;

 

the reason I left the peace

was to find the war.

 

 

New Mouse Pad

 

She got me this new mouse pad

so I would stop scraping holes

into the desk

 

and it is a water scene

she meant to be

relaxing,

 

but I point out

that it is at face level

so that you feel as though

you are drowning

 

or a hungry shark

is about to eat

you

 

and she throws her hands

up in the air

as though she is under arrest

for crimes I have yet to

 

ever accuse

 

her

of.


 

My Large Clumsy Hands through the Pages

of Popular Magazines

 

Do they have to be all over everything, this is not a fondle job,

I feel the melons for ripeness and suddenly

I am in adult films

 

my large clumsy hands through the pages

of popular magazines

 

and a stringy afterbirth voice comes from behind

a tilted grey newsboy cap:

buy if you want to read, this is not a library

 

and I drop the pages where they are,

walk on past the fruit man who pretends

not to notice when the poor kids

steal his apples

 

and the butcher

who remains bone saw unaware

that his wife is into many other

meats

 

and the sky is clear which means it is showing off again,

a center of attention sun making everyone

feel bad about themselves

 

in the cars that won’t start

on the basketball courts that can’t dunk

in the boots that look fat in that dress

 

people should die, but not in war:

 

you wanna be a shooter,

you gotta carry your own lead

to the funeral

 

what a bone-stupid way to go,

but tell a man he is not a patriot

and watch him make a Monte Cristo

sandwich of you

 

squashing everything down

so that your right shoulder hurts

for no reason

 

and the blankets you used to welcome

all turn on you,

I cannot spend enough time outside

these days

 

there is an air to breathe that is not mine

into the life of a wheezing asthmatic

 

scratching the back of my head

I find Saturn Devouring His Son,

thank you Goya,

 

while Judith Beheads Holofernes

so Caravaggio can stand Empire State tall

among the masters.

 

 

Crash Dummy

 

The market will crash

sure as cars

crash.

 

I am not an expert

or pundit

or anything

else.

 

Just a simple pair of eyes

with no dog in

this fight.

 

Knowing the house of parliament

will always fail inspection.

 

 

Veto

 

Language barrier reef

bleaching coral islands of Dr. Moreau

 

well water

bucket list for

H.G.’s number

 

Tallulah bank

manager parking reserved

table legs twitching

 

famine feast double feature

 

parlez nous car smell

the roses

chem trail mix tape song

birds chirping

 

guffaw Corleone Peugeot

 

your car is Omerta so no one

can drive it.

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Synchronized Chaos, Literary Yard, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.