Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Poems About OCD By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian born author presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada. His work has been published both in print and online in such places as The New York Quarterly, Windsor Review, Vallum, The Antigonish Review, CV2, Horror Sleaze Trash, Evergreen Review, Your One Phone Call and In Between Hangovers.


There is not that much hair left
to tear out of my head.

And the cutters make such a mess.

My OCD is germ-based.
I wear gloves around the house
at all hours.

My hands sweat in summer
and I fixate on that.

I could be the cleanest man alive
if you discounted my mind.

But that is the problem, isn’t it?
My mind.

Science claims it has the answer for everything
when it knows better.

Like a broken payphone spitting quarters out
into the nether regions.

And I have this friend who will walk out of the grocery store immediately
if she tries to place her groceries on the conveyer
and it is wet.

Even if there is no food in the house
and she has done an entire

She also returns to streets many times
thinking she may have driven over someone
with each bump in the road.

that is a common one
among compulsives.

Seems strange to me,
but then again I lost my

In a very physical sense,
like highschool

And my book shelves are all bowing
from the weight.

I try to flip them over,
but it is hard work.

Then I sit down and compulsively write things.
My previous address bolted into the wall
so I think I am still there.

The headshrinkers call it Hypergraphia
or some stupid name like that.

They love to name things, don’t they?
Like the proud parents of everything.

But none of it helps.
The medications to a degree.

My hair straw straight.
The curls of the family album
lost forever.

I wish I could show you understanding  
like shadow puppets over
the dark walls of

There was a support group
that met each day
but they didn’t understand
And those feel good proponents of patting a dog
on the head for a half hour each week
to make up for the horror of
everything else.

And PFC Gibson sat in his ward room
with the yellow privacy curtain
pulled over.

Waiting for the nurse
to bring his nightly

Sudbury Madhouse

I remember the Sudbury madhouse.
Sixth floor lockdown.
The stained yellow privacy curtains.
And how the missus would put on a brave face
by the elevators
as we waved bye through the glass
each time.

Before I shuffled back to my room
in French River trading post slippers
for my cold piece of chicken
and single scoop of

As the heroin addict
slammed her head against the nurses’ station in tears
screaming about how they were making her
go out on the street again
to suck off old married men

for money.