Ryan Quinn Flanagan

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, Impspired Magazine, GloMag, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review

Bridge

Dawdle dawdle dawdle if you must – 
over dirty limestone, past street lamp orbs of a lost incremental,  
to branchless trees turned to thorns, the still river a sewer of  
recompense, garbage bags like human rocks mystery-stunk and split  
down the gut, that once ornate lintel stone now just a chipped  
Gorgon's head of frazzled snakes, and the cobbles under your ache- 
absent feet have been foisted together by mason, chisel and rail;  
this bridge, this night to be traversed; 
waddle waddle waddle on the cusp –  
rowless ducks with their downy foul progeny in tow. 

Seeing Double, Twice the Man 

Everyone says they care, but no one  
knows how to start: travelling salesman, summer-bronzed 
city worker, our dear wax-to-wick candlestick maker... 
conflicted in ways the aging warmongers have  
not even thought of;  
seeing double, twice the man, 
something between the eyes like a runaway unibrow 
tripping thoughtless bank vault high hurtles, 
no one wanting to live across from purple cemeteries  
full of hopeless forget-me-nots, that long bloom pincer 
in the dead weight scorpion grass which is why my hands 
clasp together so tightly on these long dark nights like some thunderous  
Detroit car press churning out 1200 bumpers before lunch.

‘Everyone has a garden so they never have to grow’

Everyone has a garden 
so they never have to grow themselves,
I am certain of it,
a most pessimistic view, I am assured by this 
compatriot of mine in letter if not deed,
his perfect penmanship belying some great 
sloppy betrayal I wait for like balled up socks
abandoned at the end of the bed, 
multiple long-lost love children crawling 
out of the woodwork,
hoping to never have to stand or walk
on their own ever again,
a body or two turning up in the smelly
floorboards from his “dirty thirties,”
we’ve all made mistakes…

But the letters keep coming,
so beautifully written.

Not at all like those chicken scratch 
car wreck offerings I send back
the other way.
	
The bottle 
climbing on top of me
again.

Like a some liquid 
mountaineer.

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