August 30, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Mike Wilson photo



Ryan Quinn Flanagan



Everyone Running from the Truth

as Though it Were a Man-eating Tiger



the bloated starving walls –

paint flecks on the hands like a new vision

disorder and mammograms

the nuthouse with more personalities than Hollywood Squares

stone tiles like backyard hieroglyphs

cat gods of a dwindling sour milk saucer wisdom

bearded coffeehouse communists arguing war communism

over hazelnut mocha lattes

while their capitalist fathers put them through school

cars backing out of driveways, people out of marriages

beating children because the system cannot be beat

zombie flies in the tiny ant brains of Lady Godiva

everyone running from the truth

as though it were a man-eating tiger

bordellos and backgammon

glass bottom boats, the shot glasses of the universe

scratch ticket scratchers always on the hunt…


starving bloated walls –

I have come too far

to stand vigil.





On my Very Short Trip to the Barber



you said you were finding yourself in apartment 34B

I wasn’t even looking

the waking self always lost to sleep

ravens of wobbly worm death pecking

and the barber started in with the razor

in such a way that you knew you should tip well

flush behind the ear, execution style

heavy on the small talk no snowy mountaineer can fathom

and he had a triple chin like a three pack of gum

old, but still able

and man could marry man but not the orange dishrag he so loved

so enlightenment escaped us

local ordinances like plastic bags to carry the heavy stuff

from one gulag to another

and when I got home you were still finding yourself:

young, nascent, painted

in front of the







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, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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