Previous Feature: Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as Evergreen Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, In Between Hangovers, The New York Quarterly, Red Fez, Sick Lit Magazine, and Word Riot.

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Kalil the Bomb Maker

was not good with people
hence the profession
but he was good with his hands
and the many components
involved
working alone, in near darkness
for long hours
paid well enough to believe in the cause
but not so handsomely as to fall
into retirement

and the many bearded men that came by
were friendly enough
but obviously weary of Kalil

taking away their many belts
and packages

so that he had to start

all over
again.

*

Choke Artist

It used to be a sugar refinery.
Now it was a condemned commune of sorts.

Performance artists on the first floor,
squatters on the floors above.

And everyone who was nobody came out
to see the choke artist strangle himself into unconsciousness
three times a week.

A skinny guy at the side of the stage with cauliflower ears
was tasked with reviving him.
And then the choke artist would throw up on the stage
amidst a blue and white backdrop
and the audience would clap.

There were also a few angry spoken word ladies
that would take turns yelling “CLITORIS”
over and over again
through a megaphone
but no one cared much for them,
their heads shaved down like the Manson girls
screaming bloody murder: “CLITORIS
CLITORIS . . .”

There were also a few drinkers of urine
and a black fellow without arms who played
the bongos with his feet.

But the choke artist was the bell cow of this little operation
and everyone knew it.

A brimless tattered brown hat passed around
for pocket change.

*

Finishing School

The way he fondled himself in traffic
made you think of full body massages
of wet glue over the edges of construction paper
made to stick
and the people pretended to avert their eyes
with their hands
knowing what was expected
as the man started climbing on cars
the sirens in the near distance
a shed skin of clothing now strewn in the street
everyone playing at being more disgusted
than the next
but the buildings soon joined in
and the canines too;
dogs humping wildly, buildings slamming into
one another
raving hysterics leaping from impossible windows
guzzling gas tanks demanding love
nothing forbidden anymore
nothing hidden
the temperance movement sauced and whacking off to interracial
snuff films
with European subtitles
as the sirens drew
closer.

*

Fudging the Numbers

He liked to fudge the numbers
to run out after dark
going house to house
rubbing melted fudge over the address numbers
by the front door
so that when the homeowners got up
in the morning
they would not think it fudge at all
but something else completely,
reticently leaning in to smell it
and being pleasantly
surprised.

*

All Hail! Ryan Quinn Flanagan is the author of numerous books of verse, including the blue of every flame (2015), available via Interior Noise Press. To learn more, simple click on the cover image below . . .

And, be sure to give Ryan’s personal site a visit to learn more about the poet and his ever-expanding canon of verse.

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