Monday, April 1, 2019




It was not enough to shovel snow in New York.
Ho Chi Minh the pastry maker of East Sussex.
Heading home after a while to sit in a jungle cave
and climb into your history books while the
elephant grass slept.  To grow his beard out
knowing the Vietnamese respected their elders
in a way many others do not.  And first it was
the French and then the Americans and no
one understood how a pastry maker from
East Sussex knew more about war than all
the generals who didn’t seem to know the first
thing about making pastries and perhaps
the war as well.


Not the real Paris, that would be fatal and I would
not be able to write you this poem, but a large nightscape
print of Paris that hung on my wall, the back of my hand knocked
it last night and the canvas came crashing down on my head,
there is a hole in the Eiffel Tower from where I went through,
the Seine around my neck like a long winding necklace
until I could extract myself from the city,  turning my head in
a panic I knocked over a lamp and a rod iron candle holder
and a box of tissues with different coloured umbrellas
all over it, the canvas was rather large so my reach was
quite impressive and now the canvas sits on the floor
leaning up against a wall by the stairs, Paris lay in ruins
and much of my living room as well, the frame is still intact
so I could probably just order myself another Paris,
or perhaps a smaller city that won’t hurt nearly as much.


Follow the columns down the Appian Way,
looks like the columnists will have job security
for the next four centuries at least

the cartoonists are not so lucky
their satire is drawn on with a frazzled hand

and who ever heard of a light drizzle when you are in it?
chins tucked into chest like hurried keepsakes

those armies of monkeys that work in teams
like the Boston Red Sox with tails and their own
bloody language

I don’t trust the cold because I think it is
always on its way to heating up,
if the cold would just be itself it would
probably have a better reputation

you don’t have to believe me, you know,
this isn’t communion although there is wine;
it stains my lips the colour of stop signs
but I keep drinking anyways

shout the deserted abbeys
clanks this ornate blue goblet

the way it goes down
you could not imagine a better
planned heist

my affections all with aliases
and on the run.


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, Our Poetry Archive, Setu, Literary Yard, and The Oklahoma Review.

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