that James Cameron
made a movie about me
that had nothing to do
with my life
I was only referenced
the special effects making me
and it was a box office failure
even with 26 explosions
in the first three
and a woman
who jumps off a building
that used to be her
in an alternate
You falsified the evidence, I holler
pointing to a pot of mashed potatoes
on the stove.
I just added a little nutmeg,
it’s the secret ingredient.
So you admit to altering the original taste?
Go away, she yells.
I go sit in the living room
on the couch
leaning my head back against
It is summer.
We are both on each other’s nerves.
Stuck in the close quarters of human existence
She drops some cutlery in the sink
and turns on the water.
I hear what you’re doing in there,
There is no answer.
The bodies have come together for science.
By scalpel and slab.
Half in the bag that unzips from the bottom.
A tag on the toe like personalised socks.
The bodies have gathered in the basement.
Noise complaints are an unlikelihood.
The music is kept at an acceptable volume.
The landlord in the cooler
with the landlady.
A Blue Colander over My Head as I Keep the Peace
The bird squawks at you
they call him a bird.
You squawk at the bird
they call you crazy.
That there is a double standard,
Sure as stretchmarks.
Giftwrapped and rolled down the waxed bowling alleys of hell.
No three ways around it.
This is why war happens.
Misunderstandings never cleared up.
I can’t speak for you brother,
but the birds around here
A Ruse by Any Other Name Would Smell like Feet
in the milk minted hamlet
as though the sea had wooden eyes
and a trawler staggered by,
needle in arm,
trying to hit bottom
a tug or two
off in the distance
like competing weightlifters
you never see
a ruse by any other name
in the lobster traps
turning the mind to
this is treason
this is lipstick mouths of kissing
alert the captain
of the smoke of dying
Pig on the spit, fancy that,
an apple in its mouth like original sin
spinning over the fire
the children on the beach
engines dropped like past loves
all things concrete turned to craters,
have you misplaced kindness like a staple gun
after thirty years?
I cannot believe my ears when they pretend to be my mouth.
People watching is different than voyeurism how?
The cab pulled up to the curb
and I climbed in.
Like returning to the womb.
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Sacred Chickens, Setu, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.