poetry break by Ryan Quinn Flanagan two drops of ink

Poetry Break by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
― Robert Frost

Me and the Greys, Not the Aliens

but the Towels


Me and the greys, not the aliens

but the towels

on the rack for medieval torture

in pairs like two lanes of traffic

folded over for a man shot in the stomach

slowly bleeding out onto wet cardboard;

Patience is a vulture ever circling, waiting

for inevitability to arrive

to pluck rosy red innards in beak

the hogwash of postcards sent from best foot forward

signed so you know the con is authentic

complete with government stamp

approved the same way drug trafficking is approved

if you know the trafficker

friends in high places, empty nesters,

all that…


And the greys are most loyal.

I rub my filth all over them and they

stick by me.


From wet to dry to wet again.

They begin to smell after a time

but don’t we all?


And their stink and grime is simply me

recognizing my previous self.


So unwilling to change anything

but these towels.

Silence of the Yams


Walking past this car in midtown

I heard this man cussing out

his passenger.


When I looked inside I realized

his passenger was not a person at all

but a bag of yams.


He was angry because it would not answer him.

Shaking it violently as though ringing its neck.

Then he got out and heaved the bag of yams

across the street.


Shouting many unsavoury things.


Skidding his tires in the road

as he sped off in anger.

Throw a Lightbulb at a Dead Rhino

and Call it Fire


I’ve heard the recordings.

All those hours of you speaking badly about me.

The many federal boys in ill-fitting suits were by

to see if they could get something to hold up in court

other than the murals of old dead men

that used to work the gavel.


But I gave them nothing.

Sorry, that is not true.


There was coffee and a cheese platter

and the card of my friend in the city

who pretends to be an electrician by trade

whenever he is on parole

even though he’d try to throw a lightbulb at a dead rhino

and call it fire.


And also a few bags of garbage that never made it out last week

and stunk to the high heavens

so I guess I gave them a lot.


Not as much as you it would seem

Ms. Chatty Box

but I’m still a fine


Author’s Bio:

poetry break by Ryan Quinn Flanagan two drops of ink

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, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, andThe Oklahoma Review.

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  1. Thought provoking poetry. I love that about poetry, don’t you? Reading, interpreting, re-reading, finding meaning, re-reading again. Yours makes me go back and back again. An exercise for my brain. 🙂

    • Thanks Michelle! Yes, that is one of my favourite things about reading poems. That you find yourself coming back to them and getting new things from people’s work all the time. 🙂

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