April 9-15, 2012: Graham Fulton and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

week of April 2-8, 2012

Graham Fulton and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

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Graham Fulton
hfulton32@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Graham Fulton is 53 and lives in Paisley in Scotland. His poems have been widely published in both the UK and USA in magazines, anthologies, newspapers and online journals such as The Potomac, Poetry Super Highway, Chaparral, Illya’s Honey, Hidden City Quarterly, Concho River Review, Word Riot, Barbaric Yawp, Raintown Review, Ambit, Edinburgh Review, Envoi, Stand, The North, Scottish Literature in the 20th Century. His published collections include Humouring the Iron Bar Man (Polygon, 1990) This (Rebel Inc, 1993) Knights of the Lower Floors (Polygon,1994) Ritual Soup and other liquids (Mariscat Press, 2002) Black Motel/ The Man who Forgot How to (Roncadora Press, 2010) Open Plan (Smokestack Books, 2011) The Zombie Poem (Controlled Explosion Press, 2011) and Full Scottish Breakfast (Red Squirrel Press, 2011). His latest collection is Upside Down Heart (Controlled Explosion Press, 2012) featuring colour illustrations by artist Becky Bolton, one half of Good Wives and Warriors. New collections called Brian Wilson in Swansea Bus Station and Please Wear Comfortable Clothes and Be Prepared to Discuss Suicide are to be published by Red Squirrel and Smokestack in 2013 and 2014. More information on www.grahamfulton-poetry.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Graham Fulton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Films of Famous People
Who Will Soon Be Dead

Watching The Misfits it feels weird
to think that Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable
were dead
soon after
with the brown mountains of Nevada
and the stars in the unpolluted sky,
and so was Montgomery Clift
with his frozen in half car-crash face
and sad way of walking
who appears
at the rodeo
written by Arthur Miller,
and watching Giant it feels weird to think
that James Dean was dead soon after
with his hair shaved back at the temples
to make him look older than he is
and slumped drunk and mumbling
on a Hollywood Texas table,
and watching The Dark Knight
it feels weird to think that Heath Ledger
was dead soon after with his face all white
and a purple suit all alone in his
New York City Little Italy apartment
it doesn’t seem fair with his straggly dirty
red hair,
and watching Stand By Me it feels weird
to think that River Phoenix was dead
a precise number of years later
on a misguided sidewalk in Los Angeles
with everyone going Oh look, isn’t that
River Phoenix lying dead on the sidewalk,
he was really good in Stand by Me and showed
a remarkable degree of maturity
for one so young,

and watching the Abraham Zapruder film
it feels weird to think that John F. Kennedy
was dead a few seconds later or a few seconds
before depending which part of the film you’re
watching in the privacy of your own home,
and watching the grainy shimmery black
and white film of the first man into space
with his sparkling cosmonaut orbital helmet
it feels weird to think that Yuri Gagarin was
dead sometime in the future when he was killed
in a plane crash under inevitably suspicious
circumstances sometime in the past

Reading Song of Myself
and Watching Taxi Driver

reading Song of Myself
by bearded bisexual Walt Whitman
with all his lovely American lines
such as
I celebrate myself, and sing myself
and
A child said What is the grass?
and
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair,
I note where the pistol has fallen

which seems appropriate
as I’m watching Taxi Driver
at the same time
starring Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle
with all his lovely American lines
such as
Here is a man who would not take it anymore
and
a man who stood up against the scum,
the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit

while holding his hand over a flame
and burning roses
and leaves in a sink
and telling Harvey Keitel to suck on this
as he shoots him in the stomach.
and I’m looking
from the page to the screen
and the screen to the page
until it’s impossible
to tell them apart
and it’s actually loveable old
transcendentalist Walt Whitman
lying on a bedroom floor
and shooting himself slowly in the head
with his own blood-dripping finger
as Travis tells us
about the meaning of poems,
things plucked from thick air,
and reassures us
Clear and sweet is my soul,
and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.

Life of Brian
Filming of the movie World War Z
took place in Glasgow in August 2011

Jesus at last it’s Brad Pitt in his blue jeans
and all of the women and some of the guys
are going mental
and saying things like Oh my God!
and He’s so cute! and
He’s much smaller in real life!
and screaming and taking pictures
as he raises his arm and waves and smiles
in a meltingly friendly way
with his convincingly not-too-
long blond hair
and his reassuringly confident swagger
all the way back to his luxury trailer
for a cup of coffee, or a leisurely dump,
as soldiers
and SWAT teams
and a bearded trampy man
with a three-legged dog
wait about for the next take,
and a newly arrived wee woman
who’s missed it all
says to her man Whit ur they dayn?
to which he replies Thur maykin a film
uh thu Zombees!
to which she replies
Brian Pitt?
Who the fuck is Brian Pitt?

which is a really good question

 



 Ryan Quinn Flanagan
cyanogen_rqf@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of three books of poetry, the most recent entitled Pigeon Theatre (JTI Press). His work has recently appeared in The New York Quarterly, Poetry Super Highway, Word Riot, Gutter Eloquence, and The Antigonish Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by  Ryan Quinn Flanagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gulags
like Alarm Clocks
Chained to the Morning

……………..The cops sit across the street
day and night.
Perhaps
they’ve been tipped
off.
I don’t know what they expect
to find
at this late hour,
but it seems they think
they are still undercover.
Even though I know
that everything I throw out
is public property
(admissible in a court of law)
and that
the strange clicking on my phone
when anyone calls
means I should not divulge state secrets
or call 1-900 numbers
with my hand down my
pants.

If this is totalitarianism
than it is not very
well done.

Stalin
takes a lot of practice,
but I guess everyone has to start
somewhere.

There’s a Market for Legs

The spider in my backyard
did not deserve to have all his legs pulled off
with pliers

one
by one

but something came over me
when I watched those flies struggle
and become immobilized
in its web.

……………In a fit of rage
I ran to my father’s tool box
and went

to work.

By the time I was finished
I had a pile of legs
which I kept under my pillow
for the next three months.

Waiting for the tooth fairy
to diversify.

Honour the Ball Sack

I said
before I was grounded
for indecency
when I was eight years old
for trying to pronounce the name
of the French author.

A slip of the tongue
when I was ten
put me on time out
on the stairs of a babysitter
for claiming that peter piper picked a peck
of pickled peckers.

…………….I am now thirty
and for the life of me
I still cannot say what peter piper
was picking

…………….without incident

or quote the French greats
without reference
to the family jewels.

Age has not dulled the blade
of my propensity
for error.

I still cut deep
with infantile wisdom.