A Fistful of Poems from Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Blue Collar Noir, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine, Ryan Quinn Flanagan


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.


X Woman


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,

I laugh.


And you wouldn’t?



I say.


I can see he doesn’t believe me.

Even if the rest of her was smoking hot?


Such a woman does not exist,

I say.

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.


Your loss,

he yells back across the bar.

She’d be a maniac in bed!


And everywhere else,

the bartender says

under his breath.


No shit,

I say

downing the last

of his piss warm beer.


Making that pained face

that knows we will be seeing each other

again later.


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

until now.


Killjoy Dance


I could never

imagine being a cop.


So much

of my adolescence

was spent running

from them.


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

my friends.


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.

Like Nascar.


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.


Dealer’s Plates


Wipe your ass

and celebrate another

New Year.


Spread happy herpes

to unsuspecting



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

trader’s card



As I stand under the shower.

Let the water meet my naked body.


Dress in silence

as though anyone can be

a church.


Private Property


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.


Call me,

she says.

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

you assholes.


When my wife returns from the bar,

I hand her the card.


She crumples it up

without even looking

this time.


Kisses me on the cheek.

A real wet one so everyone

will notice.


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 EloquenceThe Dope Fiend Daily, and The Rye Whiskey Review.