August 24-30, 2009: Ryan Quinn Flanagan and Robert Preuss

week of August 24-30, 2009: 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan and Robert Preuss

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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, Quills, and The Oklahoma Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ryan Quinn Flanagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Jack London Fixed My Carburetor…

and didn’t overcharge He said he charged me factory rates
for parts
and labour

and that she was good to go
as soon as
my card cleared
Pulling out of the bay door
and off the lot,
I saw Jack London get into a four door
late model Sedan
in my rear view

and position it on
the lift
When I got home
I told my neighbour that Jack London
fixed my carburetor

and didn’t
That’s not Jack London, said my neighbour
That guy’s been working down at the car place
since it opened seven years ago He lives in the apartments two streets over
on Ferguson

Jack London lives two streets over
on Ferguson?,
I inquired

My neighbour dropped the hood
and looked at me
in utter bewilderment
Who said anything about
Jack London?

Cloudy, with a 90% Chance of Foucault

Foucault said something about sexuality
and the three condoms in the toilet
tend to agree,

as does the housewife
who stocks up on zucchinis
and the predominance of obelisks
and skyscrapers
in every city
I even see Foucault in the thick white milk
of passing clouds
on their way to yet another one night stand

a few time zones away
Getting their freak on
Mountain Standard Time.

What I meant to say was…

I love you
when you walked in on me
grating cheese into a blow up pool
in the livingroom
while Johnny Cash on the stereo
said something else
I meant to say I love you
when I used your credit card
to pay that single engine Cessna to fly over the house
at twenty after six
with a banner in tow
that read:

I meant to say I love you
when I swallowed all your Vicodin
and shit myself when the adoption lady
came by the house
and every time I get drunk
and you have to come pull me out of the gutter
I’m just trying to make the same
old point
When I dipped into your life savings
to pay for falconry lessons
and that rented Batman costume
I was wearing
when you came home from work
and walked in on Batman paring carrots
over the bed
what I meant to say was I love you,
but I’ve never been that good
at expressing myself
Like the time I wanted steak for dinner
and brought home
a cow.

Robert Preuss

Bio (auto)

Robert Preuss resides in Schenectady, NY His essays and verse have appeared in numerous literary magazines including The Modern Review He edits Poets Collective.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Robert Preuss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Blues Machine Has Stopped

In memory of Cora Walton “Koko” Taylor, 1928-2009

Between numbers
Willie Dixon
used to explain
what constitutes
the blues
thus creating
the College of Pentatonic Engineers (COPE)

and standing out
among a standout faculty
Koko Taylor
that a woman singing
the blues
could indeed
move the Earth.

Her exams
were neither
written nor voiced
but danced
and if you could dance
that was singing
the blues you were a bluesman
or blueswoman and this blues,
this testimony,
was a bridge between us

and by shaking the Earth
all together,
stone and earth and clay
might yield before
that kingdom
implicit in the language
of the blues,
a lunar,
reflective tongue.

We are time and tide
together Our ships groan
like great oaks
which slough off
stout limbs
as they stretch
yet we are
inexorable Coil hawks
stifle hungry cries
across quilted hills Antares in occultation,
the silent code
pinpoint to pinpoint
in arabesque meadows
of silken tips
and braided ends
lies bereft of secrets,

When we say the blues
we ain’t talkin’ no hydrangeas There are some finer points,
however Say you meet
the Devil All I can say is you better smile
and act like a lady
Hah huh huh And if you meet a lady
things gonna get a little complicated
and this is why we sing the blues.

And though the sky itself
heaves shrunken,
the ends of bare wires
sputter and pop
and the howl templars
of hoodoo
are stifled
and the wing-ding
wang dang doodle
that spilled night into
so many long days
has spun to an end,
that span,
a transposition
of sidereal keys,
not quite amphibious
but like some
blue terrapin
across time and tide,
an ancient passage
such as a poem,

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