Air Traffic Lover
It is mission accomplished –
she is in the bathroom cleaning up
and I roll over and start digging through
his side drawer by the bed,
pull out all these giant dildos that wobble in my hands
so that when she returns, she finds me
standing buck naked in the middle of her bedroom
unable to answer her; another hard working
air traffic lover guiding the planes into their waiting bays
with twin jiggling ribbed glow in the dark wands
and a no nonsense focus
while some crazy woman runs onto the tarmac naked
screaming: WHAT THE HELL!
and is tackled by airport security.
Harvester of Organs
Harvester of organs –
I believe one of us is double parked
and the other beyond caring;
I leave the scalpel to you, doctor fly by night,
I am stuck in the middle of this life
with the window rolled down,
some strange breakout on my elbow
that causes me to itch at inopportune times,
I’ll take kidneys for 800, Alex!
Keep the change.
It is better that I never know your name
nor you my address.
We must be careful to not become friends.
I see you eyeing my pancreas, mister love handles!
Behind those child’s sunglasses that have
found their way around your head.
Would you ever date a girl with an x carved in her forehead?
he asks after too many beers.
The bartender scoffs
and moves the bowl of peanuts away
so such conversations do not become contagious.
That was just those crazy Manson chicks, I say.
What real woman is going to walk around shopping
for organic veggies with a bloody x carved in her forehead?
The blood dries, he says.
It’s not permanent.
She can clean it up real nice,
think of it as a tattoo.
It’s not the blood that’s the problem.
But I know you’d be all over that,
And you wouldn’t?
I can see he doesn’t believe me.
Even if the rest of her was smoking hot?
Such a woman does not exist,
Why don’t you finish the rest of your beer
which does, so we can get out of here.
He gets up and stumbles off to the bathroom
without finishing his beer.
he yells back across the bar.
She’d be a maniac in bed!
And everywhere else,
the bartender says
under his breath.
downing the last
of his piss warm beer.
Making that pained face
that knows we will be seeing each other
There is no one else in the bar.
Just a ceiling of open insolation hanging down.
The way the fibreglass gets in the lungs.
No way to tell if it is still light out.
The front window tinted dark
and duct tape over the door from the last
disagreement that got out of hand.
The clock on the wall is broken.
I wobble off my uneven stool and step in gum
that has yet to dry.
A single green wad
I have been careful to avoid
I could never
imagine being a cop.
of my adolescence
was spent running
The Only Kid in High School with Tattoos
There were always a few greaser candidates in shop.
Held back a couple years and rebuilding engines
so that you wondered why they never became mechanics
and started making money.
Perhaps there was a criminal record that held them back.
With full beards and half a decade older than everyone else.
The jocks left these skids alone.
Even with their constant presence,
I was the only kid in high school with tattoos.
Had come back from a year away in the city
with multiple tattoos from a summer
of roofing money.
In a black leather jacket
and army camo bandana.
Looking much more threatening
than I was.
Like how I took biology class all those years ago
and wore a necklace full of animal parts around my neck
to deter the bullies.
Putting everything in vinegar to kill the smell.
Frog legs, bird eyes, wavy fish tails
Reciting all the home addresses of all the bullies
and their extended family back to them
so that my friends could stop paying them
and were left alone.
I must admit,
I always held that against
That they never fought back.
That they would not defend themselves.
By any means necessary.
I was ready to die
and they all seemed to be
getting ready for college.
It was a positional thing.
Maybe he said that, maybe he didn’t
No one can know for sure anyways,
he’s long gone and that’s that,
no use sweating lemon peel
for rind, let the streets and pulpit
and silly lectern talk,
no one really knew the man
and those that pretend to often have
more immediate motivations,
nothing to do with him and everything
to do with them and you’re no bird,
so why are you regurgitating into the
clamouring mouth of rumour?
People go missing every day.
And who the hell knows what they say.
Wipe your ass
and celebrate another
Spread happy herpes
With glow in the dark hats
and live in the gym abs.
The dropping of the ball.
In distant bedbug motels.
Some carless brown shit box
down in the lot.
With dealer’s plates.
Collecting a careful
As I stand under the shower.
Let the water meet my naked body.
Dress in silence
as though anyone can be
She comes over and hands me her number,
tells me to call her.
Well, I don’t think my wife would like that very much,
I say flashing my ring.
Walking off with her friends
as though she doesn’t care
in the least.
Which is why I have to care twice as much.
To make up for all the rest of
When my wife returns from the bar,
I hand her the card.
She crumples it up
without even looking
Kisses me on the cheek.
A real wet one so everyone
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, Punk Noir Magazine, The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, Gutter Eloquence, The Dope Fiend Daily, and The Rye Whiskey Review.