Monday, May 28, 2018

I Am Tired of Hearing about the Underground
I am tired of hearing about the underground.
Like there are moles under the marble flooring
feeling their way through the darkness.

It is the written word.
Yes, it is a tough racket.

But all this nonsense about shit eating alligators
down in the sewers.

And the way some embrace it.
Like the guy who pounds spikes through his nose
for the travelling circus.

Give me a press that strives.
Never at the expense of itself,
but with dreams large enough to
fall out of love with.


The mail comes
and she asks me
do you know anyone
in Malta?

No, I say.

Well you got a package from Malta,
it looks weird.
Did you piss someone off in Malta?
It looks like one of those packages
full of anthrax.

I stand back and tell her to open it.

It’s taped shut, she says.

That’s to keep the powder inside,
I say.

Then she tells me the good news is that
the antibiotic she on right now
is the one they use for anthrax.

When she opens the package,
a single slim volume of poetry
falls out.

I am one of the contributors.

I guess I do know someone in Malta,
I say.                    

She keeps looking down into the empty
envelope as those she is disappointed
there is nothing else.

One of Micheline’s (for Brenton Booth)

no bullshit wordsmith
from down under
started this
no bullshit magazine
called The Asylum Floor
and he
got in touch with
Jack Micheline’s son
who said
he could look
through his father’s paintings
and choose one
for the cover of the second
issue, which may not
be a big deal
in the circles you travel,
but you can bet
your ass
it’s like Mardi Gras
in these

Words on a Flyleaf

Anyone can put words, but what are the right words?
I pause to think of something poignant and come up with nothing.
Something sincere, we have had enough nincompoop
witty already.  But what to say… 
And it hardly helps that the receiver of said sentiments
is standing over your shoulder the entire time waiting to see
what you write.  A man should not suffer performance
anxiety from signing a book, but that is what is happening here.
And you can see your very skill as a wordsmith questioned,
the look on the face saying: if a man can’t write a few words
down on a flyleaf, how the hell did he write the book?
Did he write the book?  His name is on it, but that doesn’t mean
anything these days.  People put their names on everything
without even thinking.  And each time pen approaches paper,
it gets a little quieter in the room.  As though you are a groundhog
that mustn’t be spooked lest their be six more weeks of winter.
And pen touching paper finally, I dash something off. 
What a ridiculous fool I am.  Smudging my hand in a silly
black ink that won’t come off.

I Don’t Write in Closets

I’ve been told I couldn’t write my way out of closet
which is fine with me because I don’t write
in closets.

That would be weird.
All those white dress shirts
hanging above you like
lazy bedsheets
after the clan.

Which reminds me,
critics are flies to the manure pile
that is their thesaurus.

Looking for ever colorful ways
to drag a fishing line behind the boat
of popular opinion.

Hoping someone will sink
thinking that means they have
finally come up for air.
Ryan Quinn Flanagan 

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...