Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ryan Quinn Flanagan and Things Made in China, Public Beheadings, Evel Kneivel, and a Couch Cushion Half Moon

George Foreman Grill 

Her aunt has moved in up the street.
And we borrow her George Foreman grill.
The missus swears by it and I just swear.
Not too often, just enough to make my point.
Like drilling for oil and stopping when you find it.
Anything extra is just showmanship.

And the old German across the way 
got drunk and started driving recklessly
and now they’ve deported his mail order bride.
One more thing made in China.
The first time the cops were on him, 
it was for the cameras he had installed 
pointing at his neighbour’s hot tub.

Now his license is suspended 
and he has to tug his own tuba.

What a mess we all get ourselves into.
Burst water mains that never learned to swim.

The last time I went to the zoo
all the animals were drugged.
It was like paying to watch heroin addicts with fur.
A few toppling over like ancient ruins
so the crowds snap a picture. 

Waking themselves up periodically 
and looking around like the many nodders 
on the subway.

People in Large Groups  
Make Me Think of Public  

sound like crying 
by other means.

I carve a half moon into the couch cushion 
and wait for night.

People in large groups 
make me think of public 

It is that kind of uneasiness.

Sitting in parked cars 
waiting for the lines in the street
to do away with themselves.

When I scratch my head 
it feels like excavation.
As though I am that much closer
to water on the brain.

The scalp peels away like stickers.

A large cheer goes up 
from the collection of people
on the other side of 
the wall.

Something must have happened.
I am relieved that I have missed it.

Ironed shirts have always looked 
like demolition sites
to me.

Another roar from the crowd.
The arena is demanding 

Evel Knievel Would Never Be Your Bank Teller 

The New York to London has bedbugs. 
Heathrow wont catch them because they aren’t looking. 
There is a list of Terror suspects like reading out morning roll call. 
As stupid as that sounds. 
That is all they have. 
Though I give them credit for the sexy name. 
The Cobra committee. 
Sounds lethal and immediate and final. 
The truth should never get in the way of a smashing name.
Evel Knievel would never be your bank teller.
Wondering how to better serve you today. 

It is all in the name.

The rest of it 

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, RASPUTIN, Blue Mountain Review, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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