Poem: Dirty Movie

By: Ryan Quinn Flanagan


He put on the movie of my grandmother
working in the garden,
grainy black and white
from before I was born
and yes – she was young once,
even beautiful
I touch my face and feel hers:
soft again, unfettered by life,
the wrinkles gone.

He put on the movie of my grandmother
and stood behind me
and I could tell by the way he worked the projector
that it was to be a dirty movie, a stag movie,
the hungry silence between us
devouring everything with bulging
slaughterhouse eyes
the faint smell of liquor on his breath
basement dark minds of an unfinished originator
and there was plenty of dirt, my grandmother
digging it away with her once young hands
tossing it aside to make room for life –
a vegetable patch, and dirty hands
our dirty movie playing on…

And I think now
of the giant hands of Rachmaninov –
that they never once masturbated,
can you make such a claim?
would you?
stealing song from the blazing parakeet’s drip grip…
how outlandish
to think that beauty
and ugliness

are not the same


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