Wednesday, November 1, 2023



Lawrence Of Arabia Was Scared Of Camels 


Heard somewhere

that Peter O’Toole got so drunk

on liquid courage 

that he didn’t remember shooting 

that famous camel raid scene.


Lawrence of Arabia was scared of camels.

I think his co-star was as well.


Makes you wonder what the hell they 

were doing out in the desert 

on the hump to begin with.


Seems like a fear of camels is something 

you may have covered in casting

for a movie full of camels.


Who the hell is running that town?


And they nominated O’Toole for an Academy Award.

For getting blind drunk and forgetting 

he was shooting a movie.


Camels are smelly, spitting beasts anyways.

There’s a picture of me at about four of five years old 

sitting on one with a friend in the early 80s.


No one looks happy.

The camel least of all.

Heated Conversation


I listen to her 

for as long as I can.


Get up from my rod iron backed chair

and start grasping at the air.


Put a pot of boiling water on the stove,

force the air towards magnetic South  

and put down the lid.



she yells.


It’s a heated conversation,

I mumble with my back to her.


I can only imagine the look on her face.


Artisan lizards 

climbing all the cupboards.


The smell of cold coffee

over everything.

Double Ant Head Tree 


Your mind is as good as mine,

those many meaty folds of the brain 

like restless blankets you can never get quite right


and to stare out the back sliding door 

is to shrove unsuspecting Tuesdays while the 

middle of the week waits fifty miles up the road


gassed up and ready for the hump

while this double ant head tree sits windless 

and provoking 


like a favourite child that starts everything

and never gets the trouble –


that is what I see at this moment:

a community of resting crop dusters 

and layered birthday cake spina bifida

that should know better,


some Gucci Mink 

from the Ministry of Natural Resources

switching teams.





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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