Skeletonized Rodents in my Tuesday Cornmeal / 8 Arms of the Octopus Four Short of a Calendar Year / Calendars on the Wall, Well Hung / Arctic Blonde

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Photo provided by Ryan Quinn Flanagan.

Skeletonized Rodents in my Tuesday Cornmeal

in the Apennines
riverbeds force fed water
things torn apart and wailing
for a mercy that never comes
the many campaigns of Hannibal
now skeletonized into the twisted
rock face

and the winds are not cruel
not in the least
it is knowledge of them that provides
the cruelty, the terror
but the winds are most impassive
kill without charge or spite

pontoon bridges to nowhere
victory parades and trading cards

virginal loins
chain link fences
failing grout lines of hell,
all manner of supple

masks for an opera of hope
and secrecy and

and this is why we must part,
you and I

the mountains
tall as tales we tell ourselves
to lessen the

8 Arms of the Octopus Four Short of a Calendar Year

breaker wall, do you hear me?
slamming against your inward diary of thoughts
invading armies of bad breath and intention
there is always retreat, have you considered that?
of course not, for you are a wall
and compression socks are beyond you
the male seahorses all giving birth like talking backwards
the 8 arms of the octopus four short of a calendar year
oil rigs drilling the Freudian seabed.

I am constructed as well, breaker wall:
of name and place and bone and arithmetic
sitting under schoolyard bleachers for long hours
carving my initials into the underside of the wood,
later spray painting many other walls
under cover of darkness,
and always after drink, as if to say
there has always been some deep unquenchable thirst
some untouched petting zoo diffidence
to it all.

the tide is rising,
higher taxes

breaker wall, can you see me?
do not look up my anus into my colon
just because I sit on you.

Calendars on the Wall, Well Hung

of hard hats on the heads of small children
of grease burns up the arms like angry mosquitoes
of calendars on the wall, well hung
of the hem lines of flustered barristers
of Rico as a person, and Rico as a case
of the dirt sleeves of the Dardanelles
of vasectomies in distant laughing forests
of paintings of horses, by horses
of charm bracelets devoid of charm
of vacuuming under the bed as an Olympic sport
of straight jacket escapees in under two minutes
of floating luxury eye-liners to nowhere
of local cable service providers and mail-order brides

of –

movement & stricture
& music


Arctic Blonde

What to do with a body once desirable
a temple closed down for renovations that never come:
tired, bloated, unfaithful; failing you in every way
the elasticity of young bows lost to time
muscles of inaction cramping in unusual places
cracking bones arthritic and waiting to become archeological
slippered feet fossilized into the fabric
white nose hairs and ear hairs and head hairs
and all the rest: arctic blonde as the hairdresser is so fond of saying
to avoid unnecessary offence
and there is something living inside her body
so I tip well
smile at all her ridiculous baby names
because she can only use



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.  His website can be found at:


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