Art

Three Poems After Bob Flanagan – Cletus Crow

The Funeral of Everything 
 
After “The Wedding of Everything” by Bob Flanagan
 
Tonight smells quite
different: complex
stabby sorta 
thug in steel dumpster night.
Memphis skyscrapers like AR-15s
spear through concrete slime
like painful dildos. 
On Beale Street, a man with one arm
sings about fucking
some woman with three legs. 
Shit-colored glasses
annihilate 
my twink-trash-drunk-ass senses
beyond oblivion.
Each light beam slices me.
No one trusts priests anymore 
which is proof 
our increased freedoms work.
Still, I confess
I’m afraid what this city would do
alone with a child. 
So long, Everything, your eulogy
is where I am tonight,
where I find myself broke 
and pinioned against balconies
of torture porn and beer. 
I want to die
as someone else.
 
 
 
 
How?
 
After “Why?” By Bob Flanagan
 
She’s a seemingly slutty sorority girl.
He’s a ferociously fuckable frat guy. 
I’m talking about my left and right brains. 
The baby they make becomes an artist
because therapy is too expensive 
because America can be a dumpster fire
because so many people kill so many
people over and over and over again 
because Adam and Eve were shitheads 
because God said let there be light 
because the universe likes privacy
so it can jerk off to our suffering
in bellies of supernova byproducts. 
I’ve been reading Nietzsche quotes online.
I promise I’m happy when I’m with you.
This is inspired by those rare moments 
when I want to dip a shotgun barrel
in caramel like a Granny Smith apple.
 
 
 
 
Ideation
 
After “Slave Sonnet #10” by Bob Flanagan 
 
It’s my poisonous monk, 
the end of every poem I write:
a whip-wielding dominatrix
with knives and nooses. 
I notice her then through fog,
sometimes on my penis
after, what I think, are herpes sores
bursting or maybe bed bugs. 
Jesus shouts I’ll burn forever.
Buddha says she’s dead snakes
hanging down my shoulders.
This three-inch erection called life.
Let me find peace in pain.