Ryan Quinn Flanagan


No one smiles out the side of their mouth
except the air under an errant Frisbee 
and this impish way I walk with gangly tombstone
feet dragging after me
so that mystery gravy truck stops
along screeching ghost-bound interstates 
can catch someone else’s breath in spotted 
dreamcatcher windows
and this roadkill room I stay in 
has this barking toilet off the chain
and an old black and white
that plays nothing but static 
which is just what my clothes are filled with
after rolling around in this lumpy body lice bed
for the past week so that no one 
would notice I was gone and here 
or anywhere in between,
signed in under someone else’s false teeth name
watching the dogs in the park across the street
squat down and soil their waiting brown 

Charitable Disorganizations

So what 
if I saw a ravenous 
pterodactyl’s head in the 
stymied black shower rug 
this morning.

A man should be able to return 
to as close to the source 
as he can.

Not some collective parking lot memory,
this is my wheat to harvest alone.

Running sleepy hands through a tired brush cut.
My scattered thought army of charitable disorganizations.

Thick blue Rubber band callings, a moldy chessboard 
donated to the Salvation Army with one rook 
and three knights missing.

Snapped chain link fingers walking by.
Workday sleeves rolled up over cracking elbows.

Sadness is the weather brought indoors.

The sky falling in on itself 
like a whole new way of raining.

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, Cultural Weekly, Poetry Bulawayo, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
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