Literary Yard

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‘Sensitivity Train’ and other poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

By: Ryan Quinn Flanagan

If There is Skin in Your Soup, You Are Probably Eating it Wrong

I am on a diet.
I will not eat anything for 40 million and one days.
My head will hurt, but that just means it’s working.
Restaurants will close in my absence.
Meals on wheels will be shot into space.
I will forget what chewing sounds like.
As dinner companions fall by the wayside.
Until I am thin enough to replace a single sheet of paper
with a single sheet of me.
Then I will gorge myself upon the ridge of a newly curvaceous mountain.
If there is skin in your soup, you are probably eating it wrong.
I am on a diet.
My hair is already thinner.


Overheard Outside the High Roller Room
in Sunny Las Vegas

Look at that guy,
he just went all in.

I hope both his parents weren’t deep rollers,
remember what Hannibal Lecter
once said?

These are high rollers,
not deep rollers,
the woman laughs.
This has nothing to do
with Hannibal Lecter.

The man walks off
seemingly reassured.

With this woman
too skinny through the throat
for eating disorders.

In the hairy crotch
of sweaty dust storm

Both licking at cones of ice cream
that can’t help but melt
in the desert.

Shooting range bullet belts
off strip.

Private airstrips
forgetting all about
the ground.

Sensitivity Train

You can hardly feel it move across the tracks.
The engineer must be a plush teddy bear
with buttons for eyes.

Gliding past leafy green monsters.
On this sensitivity train.

Juggling a quiet round mint around in my mouth.
The swishing mouthwash armies down private
property sinks many miles away.

A woman with soft skin applies more cream.
The seat beside me is not empty.
My good manners have let me have the window.

I thank them before leaning back in eco-friendly pants.
The seats so comfortable I begin to snore lightly
even though it is just after noon.


Breathing Room

The inhale
is easy enough,
but the exhale seems more
like an Alcatraz escape
to me

in this living breathing room
with hulking lungs
for walls

that grow blood flush
and pulse

carrying the bad breath
of carbon dioxide

to distant locales
the twisties sell as pretzels
in industry magazines

so that life support
seems as natural
as a wrist full of
silly brown



Kick a Man Right in the Mesoamericans

Kick a man
right in the Mesoamericans
and you are running the
calendar back.

Garden slugging it out
down sliding glass windows
with broken screens.

All those steps
to stand over the alter
of blood sacrifice.

To follow the seven sisters
into a retreating truth or dare
clustered sky.

In an I’m with stupid shirt
and rattlesnake shit

Knifing tires
on a used car lot
with the prices pasted
across all the windshields.

And that silly property law way
your new girl is someone else’s
old girl.

Keeps calling like a telemarketer
with nice eyes.

This will end badly.
More blood sacrifice.

Something on the jukebox
that no one has played
in years.

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