UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN

Drinking Jesus Under the Table…

is not hard to do
when he is otherwise preoccupied.

I’d hate to catch him
when he has some free time
though.

Rumour has it
he turns water
into wine.

All I do
is turn wine
into empties.

I know a bar full of hard luck stories
who do that.


Hemlock

When I drink too much,
I tend to get philosophical.

Others get horny
or belligerent,
but I start in on Aristotlean
principles
of classification
or Epicurean justifications
for another bottle.

Sometimes
I dress up as Socrates
in a bed sheet
with clothes pin
complement
and go door to door
at 4:30 in the morning
trying to find anyone
who can
prove
me
wrong.

At that hour,
there are almost
no takers.


Death Row

The polish guy across the hall
comes home drunk
and fumbles with his keys
before he falls into the door
and passes out in the hall

most nights

while the one beside him
argues with his fridge magnets

and the one beside him
dusts all the doorknobs on the floor
dressed in a french maid=s costume
and heels.

The one over me
was caught humping lawn furniture
in the back alley

last week

the one below me
smashes a broom handle against the ceiling
each time I turn up the radio

and dance

and the rest of them
slowly perish
in the same vein

as us.

Suicides, madmen, and murderers
all waiting their turn.

It is never a question of
if,
but
when.


Ryan Quinn Flanagan presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of three books of poetry, the most recent entitled Pigeon Theatre (JTI Press). His work has recently appeared in The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, Zygote in my Coffee, Full of Crow, and The Antigonish Review.







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