Sunday, January 16, 2022

Another Drink With An Umbrella, Please

—Poetry by Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Lake Eliot, Ontario, Canada
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA


For someone
so out of the loop,
she’s all over everything,
leaning against walls,
upon razor-talon elbows
tables of spent acupuncture,
leaning on people most of all,
for a crutch and sometimes
for love though she’ll never
admit it, this resting head upon
tired shoulders that have
swept century-home chimneys  
of kaleidoscope spiders
for far too long.


He came with a resumé
and references
and she kept staring at
his arms.

This strong candidate for the job
who obviously spent a lot of time
at the gym.

But there was something most unnatural
about this one, not right.

Those veiny highways to nowhere.
Sculpted as if out of granite
or perhaps something more synthetic.

That unusual way nothing jiggled.
She knew he wouldn’t get the job,
but thanked him for coming in.

Mesmerized by those giant
monkey-wrench arms.


It’s never as close
as all the doomsdayers
would want you to think.

Another drink
with an umbrella
for the coming rains.

Some smiling brown tiki bar
with that large gap in
his teeth.

Like a broken-down golf cart
from the grand canyon.

All these transplants
and not a single thought
of hair loss.

Another hurricane
making a pass
so that you fall out of love
with all those high winds
before the flooding.

Plywood over all the windows.
All the squawking birds
having left town.

And the thick seaweed-green beach
through your toes.

All that laundered money
forever on the move.

Flight attendant peanut allergies
somewhere above the clouds.

See the light.  Saw the wood.
The in-house movie
starring Jenifer Lopez at 37,000 ft.

Through a small army of government-
issue headphones that can’t stop collecting
wax and positive TripAdvisor reviews.

How I got here is video arcade machine
high score after the fact.

All those newly uninvited  
shouldering their way back
from the bathroom.

No one knowing the pilot
quite as well as the turbulent
nosing plane.

As I find myself along the flightpath.
A groundswell of sandy crab-themed
flip flops by the back sliding door
waiting to be let in after a long morning
sleep that doesn’t end anywhere.


The view from the view
is winded long grass eagle eye,
two hatted figures
walking across a reaper’s bed of white sand,
towards three wooden planks
that could not have built themselves,
not even in these most buxom years
of modern carpentry;
that healthy gathering of sea grasses
by the waterline,
so that my ogling eyes shoot around
like a lost game of marbles
under parental beds
that don’t seem to have changed
at all since our first long days
of chronic back pain.


When Napoleon himself
christens you with such a moniker
as Sea Wolf, you know your raids are making
an impact, but the British Admiralty throws you
away as soon as it is prudent, locks you away in prison
on the word of friends in high places
for being some crazy lowland Scot aiming
well above his rank;
fighting for the people of Chile, Peru and Brazil
with tactics more akin to piracy than
gentleman rules, which meant he was highly
successful against the French and Spanish
and waning Portuguese through a guile
and unmatched aggression on the open seas,
so much more like modern poker bluffs
one after the other that always worked
in a world that lacked the stomach
Thomas Cochrane seemed to have for the navy
ever since those early days when
his father relented and let him
leave the army.



The poem
going supernova,
I can’t Ciabatta bread it
back from the crusty brown brink,
sitting in front of tv faces on a bed
full of handsy galling misnomers
asking after the time every quarter hour—
the man from the embassy keeps coming over,
seems surprised each time we answer
so that I ask about the threat that is not covered
by split ends or Euphrates-based jihad from the failing
gallstone Levant that can’t even imagine
better days; not for you,
not for anyone that has ever
held hands in the leafless doomsday Fall
and thought of that sound the busy
cobblestone streets make in the sprawling
parade of streets below.


Catch my snowdrift
loose the latch on the crypt,
a stinking bag of Kimchi for thought
and when the Germans give thanks,
it’s a donkey show;
gas guzzlers of the tinted window
Nozzleum, mufflers on the low hang
bumping off the street like questionable lovers,
real road graders, isn’t that what they call
all those thick-neck footballers each Sunday
that make their living in the trenches?

The celebration has always needed champagne
more than the other way around;
no telling how Happiness got to the point that
it required bubbles; perhaps our aquarium fancy
is just a fish tank after all, all those pebbles in the bottom
like a stone drive so long you get tired
just looking at it.

And my pipes have always been for the music
and never the rust; some greasy lounge rat
making passes, empty glasses…
Another hunched, exhausted day starts again.
No tears, but you almost cry.

Today’s LittleNip:

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

―Oscar Wilde,
The Picture of Dorian Gray


We can count on a fine stew of poetry every time Ryan Quinn Flanagan shows up in the Kitchen—the dude really cooks! Thanks for dropping by, Ryan, and don’t be a stranger. And another helping of thanks to Joseph Nolan for today’s public domain photos of snow, snow, snow—Canada-style!

Today (Sunday, 1/16), 3pm: Poets Club of Lincoln will meet on Zoom at  (Meeting ID: 874 6601 5982; Passcode: 766105) Robin Gabbert is the guest poet, followed by open mic. Host: David Anderson.




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