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

Complete the circle, the roundabout

wheels behind wheels, 
the gears of a long-addled mind; 
complete the circle, the roundabout, 
bum smokes from that misshapen storehouse 
of ears, pulling barrel-chested lighter right 
from the glowing tangibles below the dash, 
angle into traffic, remember your school years geometry, 
how the hypotenuse was always doing something, 
like the hands of a union bricklayer, 
painted street walkers leaning into strange cars – 
the last time I was on about something, 
blooded boys came back from sugar water foxhunt matinees; 
the name on the marquee, a phonebook irregular 
pulled right from the cheap seats, a newly diminished  
ball of string; no love in this land or for it 
which by lesser love still carries falcon  
back to fowler.

Chipped Beige Particle Board Shed

There is someone living in there that 
is not wildlife or various gardening implements, 
in that chipped beige particle board shed, 
a single folding chair and plastic table out front, 
ashtray full of punch drunk cigarettes, 
the sporadic sound of a tattoo gun when I pass, 
both abode and business it seems, 
and a gathering of all those curled shed shavings 
at the top of the drive; 	
an overgrown lot like this coarse scraggle-tuft of beard… 
a disappearing act from the once youthful 
well-spring, this twisting onslaught of general weedom: 
quantitative, rife, uncalculated as a papercut.


Out of any slacking proportion, 
out of the never cresting valleys  
do I spot the unquestioned droves, 
the fire water trottings of how the glow in the  
dark some times survive, 
not a broken branch tracker in sight; 
the crass billet lady on the sauce again, 
shooing cats with a tattered straw broom  
and callous tongue, this hooting owl woman 
twisting her neck to find imaginary infractions, 
in droves, come by numbers; 	
a single insignificant bite that never draws blood, 
scratching this naked arm, the blighted atonal surface.

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