February 1-7, 2010: Ryan Quinn Flanagan and Stephen Mead

Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Bio (auto)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a transient by nature Presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada, he is the author of three books of poetry and a chapbook entitled Epicurus Cunnilingus His work has recently appeared in The New York Quarterly, Vallum, Poetry Super Highway, Quills, and The Antigonish Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Ryan Quinn Flanagann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sticking a Fork in the Toaster
of my Soul

The sink drain is backed up with yesterday,
my mind only locks
from the outside,

and I’d hate to tip an outhouse
in the dead of winter
and watch all your hard work
flow down the street

in significant others
The last raven with a black eye
is not allowed to torment Edgar Allen Poe
in arcane German ciphers
and the tears of tubercular lovers
that even the dictionary
doesn’t know
Fitzgerald bogarted the bottle
until prohibition became a reality

so don’t let me keep you
from whatever it is you do,
while I stick a fork in the toaster of my soul
and refinance the Manhattan project
with my piggy bank full
of dead presidents
and mowed lawns.

A President is Not a Plunger
When the Toilet Backs Up

The circumference of the sun matters little
when you can’t get the can opener to work
and the soup you are trying to obtain
for sustenance

expires tomorrow
What good is a telescope or a cosmetologist
when you have diarrhea and there is nothing
left on the roll?

Stonehenge looks great on postcards
but I’ll take a dependable carburetor
when I have to get to work
and a carton of milk
when the last one

is done
Greatness is a matter of personal circumstance
and utility
if you ask me
I have seen a single tampon
in a jam
dwarf all the pyramids
at Giza
and ten centuries of religious belief brought to its knees
by a rent cheque that cleared
Do not be so quick to coronate the kings
the history books
and tourism boards

are so keen on
When’s the last time you saw Alexander the Great
take out the garbage?

A Question for Madame Zorba
and Her Tea Leaves Full of Crystal Balls

I always mean to ask the fortune teller
a few blocks over
why she has not yet divined the winning
lotto numbers
or put money on a 1000-1 World Series
and still lives in rent controlled apartments
surviving on food stamps
and government handouts
She says she always knows when
I’m coming over
but I always seem to catch her
at a bad time
Either she’s a fraud
or just a seasoned practitioner of lousy etiquette
Neither would surprise



Stephen Mead



Bio (auto)

Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer and maker of short collage-films living in Albany, NY Please feel free to put his name in any search engine for links to his art, writing and merchandise Visit Stephen’s Amazon Author Central Page

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.



Love, the summer you saw The Arch of Triumph,
A post card I dreamt about, both of our lives, as usual,
Were starting over Of course we didn’t know it Nights I took walks or sat alone on the decrepit front porch I was waiting for the cat to come home after mooching all day
On somebody’s leftovers, couch space, air conditioning By then I had him for almost two years, a large Holstein-spotted
Tabby your Ex unloaded one Christmas That same morning,
About 3 a.m , the toilet backed up, flooded my neighbor below Between ringing bucketfuls, collecting newspapers of wet soot,
He drilled a hole in his light to let excess water pour:
Brown, brown, a puddle spouting Listening, expecting skin to sizzle, hair to fry, I fell
Into infatuation & decided to move, the proximity too incidental,
A temptation whenever loneliness thumped.

Of course I stayed put while, by then, you were touring
England, newly wedded, visiting the in-laws Next came Greece, Athens’ ruins & finally, after
An airport bomb threat, mysterious Istanbul with
The trailing-after men, & the women, all tall,
Anonymous black babushkas “It’s scary, but wonderful,” you wrote.

I kept the letter on my bed stand beside a balloon globe
Filled with the breath of some close friend of ours’
On the wall, above both,
Small pasted on glow-in-the-dark stars shone, all personal
I communed to while sleeping In fact, they are still there, though a
Have fallen or lost their magical green tint.

This evening on the porch, the sap of two magnificent Blue Spruces
Rotting its roof, I visited with my downstairs neighbor, the crush,
(lie, lie) long since gone He talked of ‘World’s End’, the book,
& worried aloud about the great ozone meltdown I said to envision
Tissues converging over a re-opened wound, listened to locusts
Stirring in star-dotted branches, & saw my cat in the beams of an
Oncoming car For a minute breath stopped, then, whoosh, softness
Scampering, & his tail curling about my ankles .

Now you’re in Rome, over seas some war bombed Scary but wonderful Friend, you were right

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