Ryan Quinn Flanagan – 3 poems

Khopesh, Trim My Nails  


Broidered curvature spine,  

don’t let that blithering battle axe get you down,  

replete with well-stirred venoms, those same tired concoctions  

threatening nights eternal, a girding of endurance and intention,  

to see you off the crushing pestle-path,   

that teething trash compactor grind;   

Khopesh, trim my nails, a simple man’s pampering if you please,   

nothing of dormancy or permanence,  

a brief respite is in order having brambled the bush for so long;  

excavation will bury a man, the whistling ditch digger will not tell you this,  

nor that raccoon of an archeologist troweling through the leftovers again;   

I am sick and you can be ill –  

together we forage for sympathy or try for more luck apart,   

my brand-new grindhouse nails on sheepish pander-flush display.  




…something about a glass house casting no stones,  

but this connoisseur felt fit to judge,  

had elevated herself through the critical ranks with a specific carnage,  

pulling limbs from once full body, married into royalty,  

and what she said about your product was make or break,  

at least that is what everyone was made to believe,  

until someone did a little digging and found out she was an orphan,  

dropped off at a common convent for unwed mothers,  

nameless and poor as a pauper, so that her enemies pounced,  

old money puritans and an army of young snobbish upstarts   

waiting for her to stumble, all those she had torn apart  

on her way to the top and then the many infidelities on both sides  

began to surface and her marriage fell apart; the press there to capture  

each outburst at the camera as all those tan power suits began to seem  

more clunky and less like armour as the merciless “experts”   

continued to weigh in. 


The Cross-Eyed Gypsy  


Sciatica and greasy spoon short orders all aplomb  

and the cross-eyed gypsy appeared to be infatuated with a smoking cigarette   

just under his hulking crooked nose,   

almost lost there like some tourist asking directions   

and the way his bat-glazed eyes hung around in the earthy head shop doorway   

I began to think of those many paper-towels of self-absorption,   

entire veggie patches uprooted and sent to market, 

collarbones broken like human Christmas crackers out of season, 

monthly extortion envelopes drumming up business   

from business; pickpockets working in teams like flocks of pigeons   

using distraction and quick hands for bread   

and since I have never once voted for anything or anyone in this tired name brand land   

I am told I have no say by toll booth operator, tapas bar olives,   

imbecilic hairdressers lost to once sacred curls…  

Romania or Bulgaria?   

I watch the badge look to his hands  

then rifle through denim pockets as the cross-eyed gypsy   

keeps a close watch on his last mercy stick which has   

already burned halfway down to the filter. 


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, Setu, GloMag, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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