Wednesday, November 1, 2017




I feel that slow burn
spreading to itinerant places
haunts of eluded ghost rattles
down the blood flow
I ball my hands up into fists
so my knuckles can crack
beside silent bells
this is the auction and
the sacrifice
this is corrected temperament
backing out of strange
a sudden warmth
over the land

for a new


He had this tattoo on his right bicep
of a pyramid with an eye
and I wanted to ask him if he thought
pyramids really had eyes
the same way potatoes and iguanas
have eyes
and I guess he caught me staring at it
because he told me it was an Illuminati tattoo
and I asked what the Illuminati was
and he said they were the people that controlled everything
and I asked him if they could do something about my constipation
and the paperboy cutting corners
and he flexed his bicep and asked if I thought it was cool
and I didn’t but to say so would have been rude
so I just agreed with him that pyramids have eyes
and left it at that.


It was when we were living in that place along Bernick Drive.
My grandfather would stop by unannounced.
He would run his giant fingers through my hair and chide my parents:
it’s getting long, he would say, no grandson of mine is going
to look like a hippie.
Then he would take me in his old grey Crown Victoria.
My parents would never protest.
And he would tell the hairdresser to buzz it all off.
They would stare at him for a moment than down at me.
Then they would buzz it all off.
And I loved the sound of the brazer (that’s what I called it
when I was five years old).
I would close my eyes and almost fall asleep in the chair.
Then the hairdresser would remove the smock
and brush the loose hair away.
And my grandfather would palm my head.
Turn it side to side.
Inspect her handiwork before paying.
Then we would go for ice cream even though
it was the middle of January.


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, Setu, Literary Yard, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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