by Ryan Quinn Flanagan
4 Hobby Horsemen of the Apocalypse
I find one of those old hobby horses
digging through storage.
A brown horse head on a stick
that I put between my legs and gallop
around just like the kiddies do.
But it is boring to ride indoors.
I look out to the street.
All that pavement.
I want the wind flowing through
what is left of my hair.
If only I could enlist three others
with their own hobby horses,
We could all ride in together.
4 Hobby Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Like a biker gang, but with more purpose.
The neighbours would flee in fear.
Men and women screaming with terror.
Our horses neighing each time we took turns
making the noises.
All the Things You May Say at My Séance
Are you here with us now?
I have a feeling.
This is Mistress Beatrix.
She has agreed to be with us tonight.
Is there anything you would like to share?
Come towards the light in the middle of the room.
There is no reason to be afraid.
Give us a sign.
Let us know that you are here.
Was that you that made that sound just now?
Do it again if you are able.
Mistress Beatrix says you are with us now.
She feels a warm guiding presence.
You are shy, but you don’t have to be afraid.
Come into the light.
Everyone Gonna Play a Tree for a Stump
Follow the platelets as they blood-rush by,
imminent carousal for the buds of missing ears;
everyone gonna play a tree for a stump,
hired hands under lukewarm water –
the reason I fall backwards out of love is
a ha ha question of tumbles,
more spasm than actual parlance;
my tippled jigsaw mind in shambles,
plod along choo-choo schemes long derailed:
bit lip, fortuitous gaffe, hoisin sauce…
King Lear’s daughters a couple dresses short
of a wardrobe.
Tying the Knot
it is slow progress.
The process can be quite involved.
First, the shoe goes on the foot.
Then you have to deal with the laces.
Master tying the knot.
Knowing when to loop and
when to pull.
My early report cards were not very promising.
I couldn’t even do up my own pants,
let alone tie the knot.
Some of the teachers thought I may have
a learning disability.
Others noted a general disinterest
I figured things out
and apparently “took great pride
in my accomplishments.”
But that shoe thing took forever.
I also didn’t like to wear clothes.
I took them off all the time
and ran around naked.
No need for shoes in such a state.
That would just look ridiculous.
The Last Time You Loved Anyone it was Yourself
woo woo woo –
your blown cover arms thrown about
with idiot instrumentation,
spy planes flown over diaries like a
the last time you loved anyone it was yourself,
we all know that now,
wiretaps just back from the moon,
no wonder the happening jazz heads
cannot stop smacking one another
into heavy-handed solos;
the commercials have always been dumb,
begging you to buy when you
should sell, I mute the group pandering
and walk off to the bathroom because of my bladder
which is full and fluid pawnshop adamant,
standing over the bowl –
woo woo woo
woo woo woo…
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.