Every Night She Has Dinner with Me
She sits across from me like opposite walls
holding up some long-untenable horror,
but we could be at this forever;
every night she has dinner with me,
chews her food over a careless sty,
patterned plated smothered in a voyeur’s
lumpy snuff film of gravy –
there is preparation without happening,
there is moss over the trunks of sunken bad posture trees,
grunts where once there were words,
not even a pauper’s simple love
and the xanthan gum curtains drawn over
and the belly-up arachnids in the overhead light above
all going down with the ship,
the prongs of weighted forks thrown into mouths
once used for love.
The Junkie in the Bathroom
James Bond was invented in the faraway Caribbean
so that there are no heroes in real time
and I stumble over the junkie in the bathroom
drooling across a sickly institutional green
tiled floor that has not been cleaned since
mental health went looking for answers up the nose;
half a dropper’s blood still sticking
out of some bruised patchwork arm
that probably knew it had a hot shot coming;
the sound of the hair dryers still going
so that I know I am not the first
to such discoveries,
but perhaps the first to care.
We Don’t Care What You Say When You Don’t Say Nothing At All
Two shits can’t be given like a church wafer bland,
scrubbing under arms with a brand new soap –
that ball of wool way tent cites curl up for the cold,
freeze under January bridges meant for progress;
no love in this world, no song dancing around morning heads,
we don’t care what you say when you don’t say nothing at all,
that crunch of an old snow still underfoot, the laces rusted
and broken away, an empty cage of ribs still shaking
personal earthquakes, that spittle of frozen beards
across once-young faces, everyone cement hardened,
for themselves if they are for anything at all;
the dead and the dying in shallow beds,
even if I could sing, I would never just sing along.
Grapes of Wrath
Some older kids
from down on Concession
started tearing bunches of grapes
down off the nearby grape tree.
Throwing them at this younger kid
who got hit in face with a couple
of the bunches before covering his
face with his hands.
The owner of the home
came out and chased the older kids off.
But not before they splattered the windshield
of a passing car with all that
The younger kid walked off.
Bleeding from small cuts from where
the sharp edge of the vines
had broken the skin.
It was half past ten in the morning.
Far too early for miracles
no one really believed in anymore
Sitting in a Dark Bathroom Waiting for the Poop to Come
I do not wonder how I got here, this is not “lost time”
or some philosophical tract stuck on the cyclical fly paper
Peloponnese; those Hellenics all with great beards
so that you know they would look amazing in some 1970s
swingers club with pink bubble gum lettering
and nowhere decent to park, and here I am a half-century
moon pie after those red red Ruskies of Little Odessa
started playing roulette in a whole new way;
my blood-pumping heart through the flap of my ear,
sitting in a dark bathroom waiting for the poop to come,
seeing familiar shapes in the tiles of a floor the soles
of my shoes cannot help but stick to; that faint sound
of early Bowie through these walls these walls…
grout lines like taking a grainy failing train
of the mind.
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, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
"the prongs of weighted forks thrown into mouthsReplyDelete
once used for love."