Ryan Quinn Flanagan: “Newman’s Own Goons”

 

 

Newman’s Own Goons

Remember that guy at the end
of the movie Slap Shot
that does a strip tease on ice
while everyone else is fighting
around him?

That’s how I feel most the time.
But no one gives me a trophy
or parade at the end.

Which is fine with me,
I just want to dance.

Throw off my shirt
and kick off these tiresome
socks.

In the movie,
the high school band
provides the serenade.

I don’t need all those instruments.

This is a strip tease,
not an operating table.

And Newman’s Own goons
from that tiny nowhere
factory town.

All with glasses so thick
you can’t imagine anyone ever
saw the puck.

 

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: “Hockey team – P. Shea, De Barr, Myers, Brooks, Comer, Osmum, Smith, Sharp, and Jesson” The Library of Congress

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

Revisiting 2019: Our 50 Most Popular Posts of the Year

 

Dear As It Ought To Be Magazine Readers,

As we enter the next decade, I want to thank all of the writers and readers who have made our tenth year so successful. I take enormous pride in working with so many talented and inspiring writers. Without your brilliance and generosity of spirit and intellect, none of this would be possible. It has been a great privilege to publish your work on our site, and I hope to continue featuring diverse perspectives, challenging ideas, and unique voices for years to come. As a way to look back on what we accomplished in 2019, I have complied the 50 most popular posts of the year based on internet traffic and clicks.

Thank you again to everyone who wrote for, read, and promoted AIOTB Magazine in 2019. Let the 20s roar again!

Chase Dimock
Managing Editor

 

Poetry

Jason Baldinger:

Ishrat Bashir:

Jai Hamid Bashir:

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal:

Jeffrey Betcher:

Ace Boggess:

Daniel Crocker:

John Dorsey:

Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

Tony Gloeggler:

Nathan Graziano:

Cord Moreski:

Jeanette Powers:

Stephen Roger Powers:

Jonathan K. Rice:

Kevin Ridgeway:

Damian Rucci:

Anna Saunders:

Larry Smith:

Nick Soluri:

William Taylor Jr.:

Alice Teeter:

Tiffany Troy:

Bunkong Tuon:

Agnes Vojta:

Kory Wells:

Brian Chander Wiora:

Dameion Wagner:

 

Nonfiction

Daniel Crocker:

Nathan Graziano:

John Guzlowski:

Cody Sexton:

Carrie Thompson:

 

Reviews 

Chase Dimock:

Mike James:

 

Photo Credit: Fire Works At New Year’s Eve via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Ryan Quinn Flanagan: “Artisanal Birds”

 

 

Artisanal Birds 

Zeddie stood in the middle of the concourse.
Spinning in circles with outstretched arms.
The busy crowds maneuvering to get around him.

Some made faces.
Zeddie did not care to see their faces.
Arching his neck to look skyward at a flock
of artisanal birds just under the glass enclosure.

Suspended by cords that were largely invisible.
Zeddie loved to fly with the birds above the crowds.
They had accepted him as one of their own.
Even though he was not a bird.

Zeddie knew as much.
He figured the birds knew it as well.
But they were gracious in his presence 
and marvelous animals.

When the officers arrived, Zeddie was pulled 
down out of the sky by officer Hablo.
He was glad to see officer Hablo and went 
with him for a ride in his car.

Catching up on all Zeddie had missed 
migrating down south and then 
back again.

Officer Hablo wanted to know about the birds.
Zeddie told him they were marvelous 
animals.

 

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”

“Why Answers are Never the Answer”

“Listening to Blue Monday on a Friday” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Listening to Blue Monday on a Friday

Listening to Blue Monday on a Friday
it seems the specifics have crawled off some time
during the night, snuck out past the perimeter,
back down into the sewers perhaps with all the other mutants,
those walls of industrial sludge caked on so thick
the city superintendent starts to speak about layers,
like removing the paint from some famous rendering
looking for hidden secrets and finding nothing but canvas,
it’s Al Capone’s vault all over again, this is why the television people
don’t like to go live anymore which is understandable,
a pie eating contest is the only socially acceptable way
to explain pie on your face, the rest looks like straight fetishism
in the badlands, someone collecting trophies that came  
from other human beings instead of sporting events,
those bad boys and girls that get locked away all by themselves,
the sound of the manacles rubbing together as they walk,
but this poem was never for them; my cassette tape threatening
to unwind at any moment, the pink eraser end of a no. 2 pencil
at the ready to turn the spools, over Chamomile tea and
droopy socks I still listen for Ian Curtis’ voice even though I know
it can’t be there.

 

 

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”

“Why Answers are Never the Answer”

 

Image Credit: “Katedrala” František Kupka (1912) Public Domain

“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.

“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.

 

“Before Evening Med Pass” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Before Evening Med Pass

My wife has come to visit me.
On the unit at the Sudbury madhouse.
We are seated on the end of the bed.

Does he always play that horrible music?
The nurses give him one hour each day
with his guitar,
I tell her.
He plays the same thing all the time.

That’s awful, she says.
I shrug my shoulders.
Before she leaves, she meets my roommate Don
who thinks there are listening devices
everywhere.

After she leaves, I hear Don
through the yellow privacy curtain.
Your wife seems nice, do you trust her?

I tell him I do.
Then I hear him roll over in bed
and exhale once
loudly.

 

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”

 

Image Credit: Arthur S. Siegel “Parke, Davis and Company, manufacturing chemists, Detroit, Michigan. Packaging pills in the finishing department” (1943) from The Library of Congress