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He cleared his throat with bulldozers
had the necessary work permit from the city
taped to the side of his face
removing dirt from the windpipe
he found trapped miners that had died down there
their once blackened faces now skeletal
huddled together like an American football team
discussing a play that never happened
but lest you think my mud brains hung up on simple excavation
there is still the clouded mind to address, always clouded
with a thick haze of grievous confusion
the benchmark of basic clarity never met
sitting in dark cafés with stupid French names
folding the newspaper like a losing hand of poker
I have never understood why men stick their fingers
up their own assholes
and paint the walls of public bathrooms,
probably some left over cave painting thing;
an impulse to create, however grotesque
and you can hardly fault a man for that,
or perhaps it is something else altogether:
a marking of territory, simple vandalism,
who can say?  Not the municipal by-law,
least of all the gritty dust-swept truth under my fingernails
weekends of buzzing neon copulation
the waistline of the tired universe expanding
black and white canaries paired off
and living in the fence latticing
like tiny winged shoes
of never walking.

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Ryan Quinn Flanagan RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with a nurse that drives a big blacked out truck and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work has been published both in print and online in such places as Zygote in my Coffee, Red Fez, Clutching at Straws, Opium Poetry, Spoken War, madswirl, Gutter Eloquence, Full of Crow, and Word Riot. He is a cat lover who is deathly allergic to green bell peppers.

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