Ryan Quinn Flanagan: Two Poems

I Ate Myself in a Past Life

I feel like there’s money, just not in this town
I feel like you are your mother’s wife
I feel Cambodia is full of sun bleached skulls that are always smiling
I feel gratitude and revulsion and apathetic in unequal measure
I feel mountain climbers are not as smart as downhill skiers
I feel Tupac would have made a lousy trophy wife, even without the records
I feel dumb as dandelions when I forget where I parked my car
I feel the past does not repeat itself, so much as the future is one large sampling machine
I feel the lining of my throat being eaten away by stomach acid
I feel the powder on a moth’s wings is just “insect cocaine”
I feel departure times and divorce lawyers are the same thing
I feel I ate myself in a past life
I feel there may be leftovers in faded band shirts with silly carbon footprints
I feel there is an audience for everything
I feel buff and despised and unable to sleep
I feel sorry for those that confuse food trucks with immigration
I feel the devil has nothing on clam chowder because only one of them exists
I feel 10-pin bowling shoes and seven lanes of traffic
I feel sick and well and fruitful and fluid
I feel Jesse James is kept alive by those shooting blanks
I feel the power of a woman each time she smiles
I feel Motown and betrayed and thirsty all at once
I feel five songs into a new album is a good place to be
I feel the smell of atmosphere against my nostrils after the rains
I feel nothing lasts forever, least of all the ones
you love.


A Great Woman Makes a Good Man Right

You stand over the toilet
pull it out
and wonder why she is
still with you.

There are much easier ways
than this,
but she seems

Your are not rich
or lucky
or overly well

from all family
and friends.

What she sees,
you can only

But it is enough
to make you double

To want to make her right.

To fight in the muddy trenches
for every single inch
of her belief
in you.


What are you looking for?