“Three Poems” by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

It is Hard to go Oven Shopping
without Thinking of Sylvia
Plath

Even if you get a good deal on stainless steel.  The dramatics of the deed are still there.  The smile working on commission with food in his teeth.  Between the incisors like really mowing down.  In a suit you know he cries himself to sleep in.  Practising confidence in the mirror each morning.  Rehearsing all the lies he will tell with the head of a mannequin he has stolen from the ladies in lingerie.  Edible panties like a tray of brownies at a key party.  The swingers of irreconcilable differences trying to get there.  The partners of Rip, You & Off billing out at $300/hr.  And they deliver.  Everyone delivers.  At cost which means you pay for everything before the skim, but sure, they deliver.  Just pick the one you want and imagine it in your kitchen.  That is all you have to do.  And lay that credit card down, of course.  Give us the digits.  And your oven will be on the truck with the fridge.  They come as a set.  Like Godzilla and King Kong.  In stainless steel of course, that is all the rage.  Like the bipolar bathrooms of his and her sinks.  There is no turning back after the home and garden network.  People know what they want and it is exactly what we tell them.  And even if they don’t have the money, everyone can go on credit.  The mob knows that, but this is legal.  Still, it is hard to go oven shopping without thinking of Sylvia Plath.  For that, they don’t have an answer.  Which is why they will focus on the fridge instead of the stove.  Accentuate the positive.  Didn’t Perry Como have a song about that?   And your wife will love it twice as much as she has ever loved you because it comes with a warranty.  This is how the machines take over.  One crisper at a time.  No wonder Nikola Tesla chopped off his balls and tried to go back in time.  Before the Russkies shot a dog into space so Mars would have fleas without the collars.

 

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There Are No Work Socks in the Hollywood Hills

I have entered the information age.  I have entered the dragon without Bruce Lee.  I was the bloody claw marks across his chest.  All of them.  Uncredited, of course.  Film is a dirty industry.  People talk of coal, but the horrors of the casting couch did it for me.  I felt bad for the couch.  And yes, there was only ever one “couch.”  Making the rounds.  All the big boys used it.  In much the same way MGM wanted to have one lion for all their movies, but mortality ruined the party.  Lions are big and dumb and mortal that way.  In a land that promises more, that is built on dreams.  There are no work socks in the Hollywood Hills.  Well, the many Mexican gardeners do not count.  They are pool furniture that moves.  That is how they are viewed anyways.  Witnesses after the fact.  “Illegals” that work harder than you will ever know.  The space age is done.  Everyone knows there are aliens and planets and the only thing left now is to build space junk to drop out of orbit.  Crashing to the earth like those many Jackass videos 2.0.  You know you are bored with your planet when you start dropping shit on it just to see where it lands and what will happen.  It’s a curiosity thing.  Like holding a cigarette lighter to your ass and farting.  No one could be sure the air was really there.  We need the scientific method.  Bacon would be proud.  And I do not mean the pig.  Although bacon has been responsible for greater happiness in this world than all of the sciences together so I have to forgo Orwell’s many warnings and go the way of the hog.  Build churches of worship to a whole pork pantheon.  The vegetarians are just communists disguised as Brussel sprouts.  Ignore their leafy tomfoolery.  Heart attacks are a human right.  All praise be to Porky Pig.  And Elvis before he joined the army.

 

Mr. October Buying a Newspaper in March

If you’re going to get lost anywhere, it may as well be at sea.  The crabs you get there are seldom venereal.  They come in shells like people come in apartments.  Jimi Hendrix posters on the wall and burning incense for the cat box.  The windows left ajar so the curtains have something to swing at.  It’s Mr. October buying a newspaper in March.  Trouncing back through the snow in unlaced boots.  Dreaming of Mediterranean women that taste of wine.  That casual way they ash their cigarettes over the side of long dormant volcanoes.  And a feather in the cap has no place at the hairdresser’s.  It’s all snip snip fingers and the latest gossip.  Reggie Jackson slept with the batboy in Oakland for favours.  My head begins to hurt with “product” on it.  Saw this thing that said: Man buns don’t make you look like Thor, they make you look like soccer moms.  That one made me laugh out loud as the young whippersnappers are so fond of saying.  I may have snorted even.  I love a good laugh, it is one of life’s few pleasures.  Orgasms are nice, but you have to work for them.  The same goes for paychecks which are basically orgasms bi-weekly.  And leave it to a chemist to tell you that you have a chemical imbalance.  Luckily, they have a chemical for that.  Isn’t that convenient?  The answer delivered right to your door.  30 minutes or it’s free.  The pizza boy with pizza face is meant to be ironical.  If you see it, you laugh.  If you don’t, you still eat.  There is an ignorant mercy there that you will not find at sea.  If you are so afraid of the water why do you stand under the showerhead each morning?  Just jump right in the deep end without a map.  Real quick, like removing a bandage.  Your lungs demanding air, but they’ve been spoiled long enough.

 

 

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, Former Cactus, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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