Karl Marx Alienated Me

from my Washing Machine


Karl Marx

alienated me

from my washing


and now I don’t have

any clean laundry.

And if I leave the house

naked again

I’ll be a repeat


And you know

what most everyone thinks

of double-dippers.


Crossing the Rubicon

with a Case of Beer

and Call Waiting


The kitchen window is open

and I wonder if she

is looking.

There are frequent complaints

about the tenant

in the basement

and the noise levels

at all hours

and the unsavoury company

he keeps.

My case of beer rattles

as I make my way

up the drive

and something tells me

she knows about the rest

of it

at 11:29

in the morning

as I pass by her window.

In a few hours I will be drunk

and the landlord

will start


And threatening to call the cops

while the nice lady upstairs

polishes wood and does

her dishes.



The pendulum swings

and we are in a playground


Pumping my young legs wildly

while my father pushes

from behind.

Higher than ever before.

The chains locking together

with effort.

And I keep looking back

to make sure he is still


That feeling you get deep in your stomach

that only fighter pilots

and hold up men

are supposed to




Hopping on a broken motorbike

with one wheel

in my neighbour’s driveway,

I forgo the helmet

and let my polyester

stand in for leather

as I tell my neighbour

I can almost feel

the wind

through my


He does not seem impressed

and says

he hasn’t seen my old lady

around lately.

I tell him

I haven’t seen her

around lately


We both


Checking Out


Last light.

Looking for salvation

where there is nothing

but toothpaste

and toenail clippings.

As the nightingale sings

and the piss trails wind

and the bony ribbed strays

of back alleys

fight to the death

for far less

than a



Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, The Academy of the Heart and Mind, Setu, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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