Two Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The Only Crayon in the Crayon Box
That Ever Scared the Hell
Out of Me

The red lights in the church basement
at night
were always sinister.

My parents would have the radio on
in the front seat
and (seemingly) not take notice
as I watched the Grace United Church basement
at the corner of Cook St.
and Dunlop
light up an ominous funery red
as if the fires of hell had been released
on the world
while no one was looking
and the four horses of the apocalypse rode closer
and closer
while Connie Francis sang about the boys
somewhere above the commercial band.

I imagined wild thirsting orgies
where men in black robes
drank the blood of sacrificed virgins
and sodomized their lifeless bodies
to Gregorian chants
and pentagrams etched into the floor
or severed heads on sticks
with the mouths sewn shut
leaning against a wall run red
with blood.
I may be projecting such images
on the past
with hindsight
(or perhaps not),
but I assure you
my blind fear of that searing basement red
was both sincere
and palpable.

Imagine my terror
when my mother took me
to join the congregation
one Sunday
when she was going through her pious
give thanks
body of Christ
Noah with water wings
collection plate absolution

The only bathroom was in the basement
and I really had to go.

While Saul
turned into Paul
from the pulpit,
I turned water
into urine
all over the pew.

And as my mother lead me out
of there
a resounding chorus of Hallelujah ran out
from the congregation.

unbeknownst to my mother,
praised the good lord
in song
by day,

and dismembered stillborn babies
over a basement altar
in the evening.


I never understood why TV programs
that try to hit you up for money
are always on at 3:30am
trying to catch the stoned
welfare crowd.
Or do they imagine the Fortune 500
is looking to open its purse strings
to late night programming
and the middle-classes decided
they no longer need sleep
before work?

If this is their hope
they’ll be sorely disappointed.

If you’re like me
and you’re sitting up at 3:30am this morning
you likely spent your last 30 bucks
on mushrooms and beer
and can’t stop laughing
at the starving kids
in Africa.

1 comment:

paul said...

yep. and mores the pity.


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