From Monet to a Miner’s Ass

We are just back from the old world.
A six hour time difference with serious jet lag.
Too tired to make the two hour drive home
in the snow so that we stay over in Sudbury for the night.
At the new Microtel that just opened a while back.
Near this Mastermind store that promises to make
all your idiot kids geniuses if you buy their toys
for top dollar.

And the room has two beds.
We are so tired that my wife falls into one
and I fall into the other without a word.

After about ten minutes,
I point out the interesting choice of picture
for the hotel wall.
A mining scene with a miner’s ass bent over
right at the viewer.

Less than ten hours ago we were in Paris
with the greatest paintings and artists in the world,
my wife says without turning over.

Now we are in Sudbury and it is minus 30 with wind chill.
I say.
From Monet to a miner’s ass.

She laughs because it is true.
Sheets of ice against the window outside.
Listening to her fall into a deep sleep
just moments before
I join her.

Throwing Her Head Back like Going Retro

I can’t believe what we just did!
she says
throwing her head back
like going retro.

I tell her I can’t remember.
That somehow I have been exsanguinated
after reading Machiavelli’s The Prince.

She doesn’t know what that is.
There is a first time for everything.
You will never forget that!
She seems extremely sure of herself.
Of her gifts in the presence
of others.

Even though
it appears that I have forgotten
less than a minute and ten seconds
after the fact.

Against the back of a faux wood headboard.
Cradling her head in my arms
on the soft side of
the elbow.

Seems my short term memory
may lie in shambles,
though she seems strangely assured
about my long term prospects.

Rendering, with Black Beans

I remember the painting,
but never the painter,
isn’t that always the way;
find the work and lose the worker,
I believe the heavy industrialists with clean shaves
call that the bottom line,
and this painting was of many dinner guests
leaving the table, pairing off with the dates
they came with which made me wonder why
they even came to dinner in the first place
if they were just happier together,
I remember looking at the canvas
and thinking that,
realizing that everyone was centuries dead now,
but that this single evening remained
and how sad they all looked smiling
in their finest dress
as the men pulled out the chairs
and the women tried not to fart
until they could be alone
after all those black beans
with caramelized onions.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Bourgeon, TheSongIs.., Cultural Weekly, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Black_beans_%281126084559%29.jpg

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