Tag Archives: Nick Flynn

IA: “Forty-Seven Minutes” — Nick Flynn

 Years later I’m standing before a roomful of young writers in a high school in Texas. I’ve asked them to locate an image in a poem we’d just read—their heads at this moment are bowed to the page. After some back & forth about the grass & a styrofoam cup, a girl raises her hand & asks, Does it matter? I smile—it is as if the universe balanced on those three words & we’ve landed in the unanswerable. I have to admit that no, it doesn’t, not really, matter, if rain is an image or rain is an idea or rain is a sound in our heads. But, I whisper, leaning in close, to get through the next forty-seven minutes we might have to pretend it does.

“Forty-Seven Minutes” — Nick Flynn

#infiniteanthology day268

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infinite anthology: day 230

“Sudden” — Nick Flynn

If it had been a heart attack, the newspaper
might have used the word massive,
as if a mountain range had opened
inside her, but instead

it used the word suddenly, a light coming on

in an empty room. The telephone

fell from my shoulder, a black parrot repeating
                         something happened, something awful

a sunday, dusky. If it had been

terminal, we could have cradled her
as she grew smaller, wiped her mouth,

said good-bye. But it was sudden,

how overnight we could be orphaned
& the world become a bell we’d crawl inside
& the ringing all we’d eat.

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infinite anthology: day 82

“forgetting something”

Try this—close / your eyes. No, wait, when—if—we see each other /
again the first thing we should do is close our eyes—no, / first we
should tie our hands to something / solid—bedpost, doorknob—
otherwise they (wild birds) / might startle us / awake. Are we forgetting
something? What about that / warehouse, the one beside the
airport, that room / of black boxes, a man in each box? I hear / if you
bring this one into the light he will not stop / crying, if you show this
one a photo of his son / his eyes go dead. Turn up / the heat, turn
up the song. First thing we should do / if we see each other again is
to make / a cage of our bodies—inside we can place / whatever still

— Nick Flynn

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“Bag of Mice” — Nick Flynn

I dreamt your suicide note

was scrawled in pencil on a brown paperbag,
& in the bag were six baby mice. The bag
opened into darkness,
from the top down. The mice,
huddled at the bottom, scurried the bag
across a shorn field. I stood over it
& as the burning reached each carbon letter
of what you’d written
your voice released into the night
like a song, & the mice
grew wilder.

“Bag of Mice” — Nick Flynn

#infiniteanthology day8

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