Friday, May 1, 2020



Toilet Brush Bristles

it is a job, not a vocation
servicing an ungrateful public
which is why toilet brush bristles
with anger, it is not good to go
unappreciated and unpaid for too long
and our little less than white friend
tossed down into the dunk tank
of all those public toilets,
a short blue handle to create distance
for gloved hands; it is a job that
no one wants: thankless and degrading,
our little brown friend going
from stall to stall.

Cereal Killers Don’t Stop
Until The Box Is Empty

The people at Kellogg’s don’t want you to know.
They pay me hush money in the form of Monopoly money
through some clandestine Parker Bros. subsidiary
which I hide under my mattress because I can be
remarkably unimaginative during the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays
of each month.

But the truth is the truth regardless of where it comes from.
Cereal killers don’t stop until the box is empty.
Spooning is just as much about your kitchenware
as it is about bedroom love making.

And the real sickos keep more trophies than all those
sporting event jocks you grew up with.
Saving the marshmallows until the end.

A few even eat their victims.
Often in a bowl of milk.

The Fall Of Rome Began
At The Top Of The Stairs

I was just walking through the door when it happened.
There is no police report because no one wants the police involved.

And the process was gradual, one step at a time.
Greed is a thirsty flower in a hungry bed of nails.

I stood still for some moments, imitating the common statue.
Dropped bags of groceries to the floor that would soon be eaten.

I felt no guilt if you must know.
The fall of Rome began at the top of the stairs.
Sure, they were my stairs and I’d had the bannister removed,
but I had no further involvement.

Sometimes, the things that happen around you, become you.
Not true in this case at all.

I would have cooperated with the investigation
if such a thing had happened.

Tried to help everyone make detective by the end
of the fiscal year.

Put a pool in for the kids and a double garage
for the wife.

I am not some monster.
Love live the Republic!


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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