Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Emphysema & the Sucker Machine

A lifetime of big tobacco
and relentless odd job
smoke breaks.
Emphysema & the sucker machine
in the end.
My grunting grandfather
in his favourite leather chair
behind me.
And that awful suctioning noise
of the sucker machine.
My tiny six year old self
seated cross-legged on the floor.
Wincing each time it went.
Staring straight ahead
at the television,
not wanting to turn around.
Too young to understanding Death.
It’s eyes all over me
and that dreadful


Suicide Net

The government talking heads
can’t stop saying how great
the economy is.
How everyone is happy
and thriving.
They have just allocated $400 million
to build a suicide net
under the Golden Gate Bridge.
To catch all the jumpers
plunging to their deaths
in record numbers.
They say it will take five years
to build.
Creating many more jobs
during this booming economy.

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