Allison Grayhurst: “Prometheus Speaks”

 

 

 

Prometheus Speaks

Prometheus speaks
from my bathroom tiles, wailing
his defiance and fiery nightingale burning
with his tongue still unrooted
and his limbs bound to the rock, spread
like wings – Titan of the windfall, humanity’s
hope and champion, more brilliant than
his dumb and primitive siblings, more committed
than their arrogant and willful offspring.

Prometheus in the shower curtain, dripping
liquid fire down the drain, plunging
into the underworld depths
then up for a greater torment to meet the predator bird,
dispelling all screams and ghosts and holding tight
to his suffering-throne and his compassion
for such a flawed creation.

Prometheus finally rescued
as the warm water exerts itself from on high,
– strong Herculean flow –
the wounded centaur accepting his fate.
Flow Prometheus,
trustworthy, burning, speaking
your conquering gospel,
the first crucifixion
the first flame ignited
before love’s great inception.

 

 

About the Author: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017/2018, she has over 1250 poems published in over 485 international journals. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

 

Image Credit: Jan Cossiers “Prometheus Carrying Fire” (1638) Public Domain

Ryan Quinn Flanagan: Movies with “Momo”

 

 

Movies with “Momo”

Sam Giancana
would start the projector
and watch the same movie
with his wife every night.

Always in my Heart,
starring Kay Francis
and Walter Huston.

In that very same Chicago basement
he would later be killed in
cooking sausage and peppers
for those he thought were his friends.

But decades earlier,
the basement was where he and his wife
would watch Always in my Heart.

And after his wife died,
“Momo” still retired down to the basement
each night.

That empty chair beside him,
Sam would start up the projector
and sit and watch in silence.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, As It Ought To Be Magazine The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More by Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

Artisanal Birds

Before Evening Med Pass

He Brought His Canvases Over

 

Image Credit: Still from “Always in My Heart”

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan: “Chewy Circle”

 

 

Chewy Circle

We watch this show 
where dogs compete in a series of things 
to see who is America’s Top Dog.

First, through a timed obstacle track
where the slowest timed dog and handler team
are eliminated.

Then through a scent challenge 
where they have to sniff out drugs or explosives.
The two slowest times are eliminated.

Lastly, the two remaining teams compete
through another obstacle course 
to see who can do it in the fastest time.

The winner gets to go into the Chewy Circle.
Have bragging rights and $5000 dollars donated 
to the charity of their choice.

The winner tonight wore these blue pair of doggles 
over his eyes.
Even though he was afraid to go in the water.
It was a straight fashion thing with this one,
you could tell.

His doggles made him feel sexy.
Beating out all the other police dogs
and one civilian trained entry.

So he could bark proudly from the Chewy Circle
in his bright blue doggles.

As Curt Menefee wondered how the hell he 
ever got roped into doing this gig.

And the studio audience 
cheered on.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, As It Ought To Be Magazine The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More by Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

Robbie the Owl

Artisanal Birds

Listening to Blue Monday on a Friday

 

Image Credit: Henry Pointer: “Touch this if you dare [little dog guarding a cup]” (1870) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan: “You’d Think the Mafia Would Take the Year of the Rat More Seriously”

 

 

You’d Think the Mafia Would Take the Year of the Rat More Seriously

Close ranks, clean house.
Vacation for most of the year.
One behind the ear for good luck.

But it’s business as usual.
These wise guys don’t seem so wise to me.
You’d think the Mafia would take the year of the rat more seriously.
Look for wires in more than the backs of their televisions.

Old friends you haven’t seen in a while suddenly show up
wanting to get chatty.

To reminisce about old times
that are still open cases.

Leaning in close, so attentive.
But what do I know?

Some solitary Mick.
With no paid informants
of my own.

I’m sure the made men think they
got it made.

Down at the Mediterranean social club
where the old timers play dominoes.
Behind dark roaming sunglasses so thick
they could be a pound of butter.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, As It Ought To Be Magazine The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More By Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

“Robbie the Owl”

“He Brought His Canvases Over”

“Before Evening Med Pass”

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble”

“Why Answers are Never the Answer”

 

Image Credit: From “Faune des vertébrés de la Suisse” Public Domain. Image courtesy of The Biodiversity Heritage Library

Mike Acker: “Ill-Defined”

06994001
.
.
Ill-Defined
.
Alive,
in a world of thoughtless matter?
Am I an idea, encased within
a form,
a body, housing thought; or
a breeze of notions,
insecure, uncertain
of its direction;
or but a spark
that spans a lifetime?
Maybe I am the inanimate,
resurrected and, now, lost?
Does the wind not speak to me,
as though to a kindred spirit?
Is the river’s motion not its consciousness,
not unlike mine?
And when I look
into that mirror of myself
I see the ill-defined.
.
.

About the AuthorMike Acker lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has lived in various parts of the world; his early education was in German and French. While living in California, he worked as a professional translator. Mike enjoys writing short poetry, especially with the intent of exploring the possibilities latent in a single image.

.
More By Mike Acker:
.
.
Image Credit: André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri “Le Joueur d’Orgue (The Organ Grinder)”(1853) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

“Sunday Mourning” By Mike Acker

 

 

Sunday Mourning

Real butter for a change, melts on my toast
with apricot jam thickly spread like I like it.

Cold, caloried cream swirls in freshly brewed coffee
with a teaspoon of real sugar.

Habits die hard; having just cooked an omelette
for two now only one will eat.

Glasses slide low on the bridge of my nose;
Sunday paper ready to go.

The pool’s blue tiles glisten under
the early sunshine.

What a glorious morning
this could have been.

.

.
About the Author:Mike Acker lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has lived in various parts of the world; his early education was in German and French. While living in California, he worked as a professional translator. Mike enjoys writing short poetry, especially with the intent of exploring the possibilities latent in a single image.

.
More By Mike Acker:
.
.
Image Credit: Esther Bubley “Washington, D.C. Hugh Massman, second class petty officer who is studying in Washington, must leave the house very early, so Lynn has breakfast alone while Joey sleeps on the table” (1943) The Library of Congress.
.

“Why Answers Are Never the Answer” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Why Answers Are Never the Answer

You could go your whole life in a fog,
kicking up blanks with some of the cobbler’s
best attire, tugboat brinkmanship just out of sight
and still you are pleased, joyous even, sidewalks
leaping up into your arms like a bouquet of flowers,
briefcases rush by with the secret plans, intricate actions
that will never be taken, and the song in your throat
has already found radio, crank calls to the pharmacist’s wife
because she always picks up the phone, just as indignant as
the last time, never letting you down; why answers are never
the answer, and later outside the arcade you finger around
your pockets for coins, stuff a handful into the machine
and try for the high score.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More By Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

“Robbie the Owl”

“He Brought His Canvases Over”

“Before Evening Med Pass”

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble”

 

Image Credit: Henry Pointer “Cat on a stool “playing” a violin” (1872) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

“Out of the Blue” By Mike Acker

 

Out of the Blue

Out of the blue, I hear your rustling in the back
of my frontal lobe among the cellular boxes,
caved-in and heavy with sediment.

When I pull the yellowed, frail strings
leading to you, covers are nudged open
and you appear.

Forty years have worn down your features like
pebbles in a stream; past passions are now
but faint, electrical pulses, barely registering.

But, in this commotion, a crumpled neuron nearby
opens releasing apparitions of you and me standing
over a spot in our favorite park,

searching for the golden snake ring I had thrown
into some bushes after a jealous fit over a once-
sharp reason, now too pointless to recall.

But it is not really you and me; it is aged molecules
that oscillate into a semblance of our shapes
and then shift back to forgetfulness.

As quickly as these stirrings of recollection had come
to life, they fade; the dust of the past settles
back down, like lazy snow.

I will hold on to your shadow
but you, you are now forty
light-years away.

.

About the Author: Mike Acker lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has lived in various parts of the world; his early education was in German and French. While living in California, he worked as a professional translator. Mike enjoys writing short poetry, especially with the intent of exploring the possibilities latent in a single image.

.

Image Credit: “Two Men on Banks of Stream” By Arthur Brown (1878) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

.

More By Mike Acker:

The Selfie

What Do You Call This? Bubba Ganush?

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble”

They had only just found out a few months before.
The mother was happy, if apprehensive.
The father was accepting.
And I remember him saying to me
with the mother out of earshot:
“it’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble.”
And I thought to myself what kind of trouble
can a tiny blob in a belly make?
He gave me that if you only knew face
that parents of children give to those without children.
Then the mother called him over and he
put his hand over her belly as though he were
trying to keep something from escaping.
I smiled to the mother who really did have
a strange glow about her.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More By Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

“Robbie the Owl”

“He Brought His Canvases Over”

“Before Evening Med Pass”

 

Image Credit: Jacob Byerly “Family Portrait” (1855) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

 

“Plus Ten” By Jeremy Nathan Marks

 

Plus Ten

Tonight fish
perch, whitefish, bass
even smelts
occupy spacious shore houses
while children bed down below ground
in clay beds said to hatch prodigious numbers
of tadpoles.

It is February
and the coyotes take the old swimming hole
and pretend it is Christmas Day in Australia.

Our hemispheres are flipped.

The river fills with ice.
Then it thaws.
It goes and floods in ways farmers say
it never used to.
Rain. Snow. Rain again.
The coyotes now go hunting in packs with dogs
and give the bum’s rush to gun enthusiasts at a Valentine’s Day sale.

Here in town we all sing
‘The Good Old Hockey Game’
as though pucks survive the winter wet
and jive with industrial sized climate controllers.

They do. Digitally.

Out in the muck I haven’t met a single bear that didn’t share
my exasperation at the tartness of mushed berries
or the way some satellite ref keeps moving the goal line.

Robins dine on February worms.
Crocuses laugh at snowdrops come out to see what’s up
and go down broke backed.

Ice again. Wait a day. It will be plus 10.

 

About the Author: Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in Unlikely Stories, Writers Resist, Poets Reading The News, KYSO Flash, Poetry Pacific, Rat’s As Review, The Wire’s Dream, NRM Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Eunoia Review, The Conclusion Magazine, Bravearts, and Runcible Spoon. His short story, “Detroit 2099,” will appear in The Nature of Cities Anthology later this year.

 

Image Credit: “Chûte du Niagara” Unknown Photographer (1860s-1880s) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program