Two Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan






Man Stands Outside the World

Perched not so high,
in squatty crouched gargoyle

Man stands outside the world
and I am that man.

Rubbing a morning’s dew
from gushing gold

A lone angled walking stick
rock-leaned out of its last thousand years.

Storm heavy over valley green.
My whisper, hideous rumour…
Clouds of ambitious breath
can’t help but leave.

The Bridge of Your Nose is Worth Crossing

The internet is said to house trolls.
With ugly weeping warts and their own URLs,
whatever those are.

I much prefer incarceration.
The way they replace the name I always forget
with a number I can’t remember.

That dumb steel clank of the bars dancing together.
Guilty in absentia.

Kafka is my favourite prisoner
because he confesses nothing to everyone.

You find that you keep reading,
offering outs to the author who never
takes them.

The bridge of your nose is worth crossing.
Traffic on either side and a half dozen Rubicons.

It’s pine needle gin and race records.
Derailment east of the Rockies.

That selfish clingy way she cries into your shoulder
as though her sadness will be there forever.

A single flicker of candlelight.
Tiny bags of almonds handed out
along the flightpath.

An army of mousetraps in the dark,
so you have to be careful.

On your way to the bathroom
and damn near anywhere else worth
travelling to.

Without a valid passport.
That open ocean way I step into the shower
and take on water.

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: DXR / CC BY-SA (

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