Bones / Chum School / Blasting Caps / Plots / It Is Not Enough to be Fucked, they Want You Know it as Well

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Photo by Gunnar Cruetz via Wikipedia. Creative Commons: Some rights reserved.


There were no bones in the train yard
there were no bones even though that
is where they said they would be
there were plenty of stones, discarded bottles,
garbage bags of clothing littering the tracks
and I climbed up into a heavily graffitied side car
suddenly able to see the ghost of my breath
a few rats climbing over each other like children
in the playground,
but there were no bones at all
except the ones in my body,
wrenching my ankle real good
I jumped back down out
of the car.


Chum School

She went to chum school
because it was free.

The shark people thought
the kids who could not afford summer camp
should have a place to go.

And their parents should have a way
to be rid of their children for the summer
as well.

And they made the kids fill the buckets with chum.
Taught them how to throw it, and what it consisted of.
And you got to see sharks, to feed them.

And when the summer was over you got a certificate
and a little blue badge that signified you were
a graduate of chum school.

She no longer has the little blue badge,
but she looks out the certificate
and shows me.

She is still proud.
I can see it in her face.

A forty-two year old woman
who can’t keep a man,
but knows how to feed
the sharks.


Blasting Caps








He asked if I knew
of any good plots

and I told him
the cemetery was
full of them

and since he was trying
to be a writer

and not
an undertaker

he failed to see
the humour.


It Is Not Enough to be Fucked,
they Want You Know it as Well

Arterial blood
you get to know the colour,
Keats on his deathbed
after his time in medical school;
it is not enough to be fucked,
they want you know it as well.
Like an aging carriage horse passing
the glue factory.



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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