The Way to Leave Anything is to Step Away from the Nearness | Poem by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

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The Way to Leave Anything is to Step Away from the Nearness
by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

shock and garnish
all things gaping mouth-trap adaptable
I am always amazed at what people choose to fear
closet oddities murder scene scattered across the floor
the humming sky forever out of tune
riots in the streets where cheques were once cashed
cabbies without cars on the dole
salvation, you say?
there is no way to get there
the buses aren’t running
my eyes are freelance photographers deeply set:
heavy, bloodshot, immutable
under a rumpled hat of premature baldness
sitting on strange heads the same way say
a trained falcon sits
halfway down the arm, dreaming the death
dream
bulging feathered appetite on display
the cornices of government buildings as good a place as any
to hide
lay low in the baritone tradition
watching short fish-like men erect electrical fences
to keep the master plan in
and I find myself in a public bathroom
a message
gum-stuck to the wall:
take it or leave it.

I leave it.

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

Under One Small Star Poem By Wislawa Szymborska

Under One Small Star – Poem by Wislawa Szymborska
My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.

My apologies to necessity if I’m mistaken, after all.

Please, don’t be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.

May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.

My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.

My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.

Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.

Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.

I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.

I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.

Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.

Pardon me, deserts, that I don’t rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.

And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,

your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,

forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.

My apologies to the felled tree for the table’s four legs.

My apologies to great questions for small answers.

Truth, please don’t pay me much attention.

Dignity, please be magnanimous.

Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.

Soul, don’t take offense that I’ve only got you now and then.

My apologies to everything that I can’t be everywhere at once.

My apologies to everyone that I can’t be each woman and each man.

I know I won’t be justified as long as I live,

since I myself stand in my own way.

Don’t bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,

then labor heavily so that they may seem light.