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Best Famous Nick Flynn Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Nick Flynn poems. This is a select list of the best famous Nick Flynn poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Nick Flynn poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of nick flynn poems.

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Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

Alan Dugan Telling Me I Have A Problem With Time

 He reads my latest attempt at a poem
and is silent for a long time, until it feels
like that night we waited for Apollo,
my mother wandering in and out of her bedroom, asking,
Haven't they landed yet? At last
Dugan throws it on the table and says,
This reads like a cheap detective novel
and I've got nothing to say about it.
It sits, naked and white, with everyone's eyes running over it.
The week before he'd said I had a problem with time, that in my poems everything kept happening at once.
In 1969, the voice of Mission Control told a man named Buzz that there was a bunch of guys turning blue down here on Earth, and now I can understand it was with anticipation, not sickness.
Next, Dugan says, Let's move on.
The attempted poem was about butterflies and my recurring desire to return to a place I've never been.
It was inspired by reading this in a National Geographic: monarchs stream northward from winter roosts in Mexico, laying their eggs atop milkweed to foster new generations along the way.
With the old monarchs gone (I took this line as the title) and all ties to the past ostensibly cut the unimaginable happens--butterflies that have never been to that plateau in Mexico roost there the next winter.
I saw this as a metaphor for a childhood I never had, until Dugan pointed out that metaphor has been dead for a hundred years.
A woman, new to the workshop, leans behind his back and whispers, I like it, but the silence is seamless, as deep as outer space.
That night in 1969 I could turn my head from the television and see the moon filling the one pane over the bed completely as we waited for Neil Armstrong to leave his footprints all over it.

Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

Emptying Town

 I want to erase your footprints
from my walls.
Each pillow is thick with your reasons.
Omens fill the sidewalk below my window: a woman in a party hat, clinging to a tin-foil balloon.
Shadows creep slowly across the tar, someone yells, "Stop!" and I close my eyes.
I can't watch as this town slowly empties, leaving me strung between bon-voyages, like so many clothes on a line, the white handkerchief stuck in my throat.
You know the way Jesus rips open his shirt to show us his heart, all flaming and thorny, the way he points to it.
I'm afraid the way I'll miss you will be this obvious.
I have a friend who everyone warns me is dangerous, he hides bloody images of Jesus around my house, for me to find when I come home; Jesus behind the cupboard door, Jesus tucked into the mirror.
He wants to save me but we disagree from what.
My version of hell is someone ripping open his shirt and saying, Look what I did for you.
Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

Embrace Noir

 I go back to the scene where the two men embrace
& grapple a handgun at stomach level between them.
They jerk around the apartment like that holding on to each other, their cheeks almost touching.
One is shirtless, the other wears a suit, the one in the suit came in through a window to steal documents or diamonds, it doesn't matter anymore which, what's important is he was found & someone pulled a gun, and now they are holding on, awkwardly dancing through the room, upending a table of small framed photographs.
A chair topples, Sinatra's band punches the air with horns, I lean forward, into the screen, they are eye-to-eye, as stiff as my brother & me when we attempt to hug.
Soon, the gun fires and the music quiets, the camera stops tracking and they relax, shoulders drop, their jaws go slack & we are all suspended in that perfect moment when no one knows who took the bullet-- the earth spins below our feet, a blanket of swallows changes direction suddenly above us, folding into the rafters of a barn, and the two men no longer struggle, they simply stand in their wreckage propped in each other's arms.
Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

Cartoon Physics Part 1

 Children under, say, ten, shouldn't know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence.
At ten we are still learning the rules of cartoon animation, that if a man draws a door on a rock only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries will crash into the rock.
Ten-year-olds should stick with burning houses, car wrecks, ships going down -- earthbound, tangible disasters, arenas where they can be heroes.
You can run back into a burning house, sinking ships have lifeboats, the trucks will come with their ladders, if you jump you will be saved.
A child places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus, & drives across a city of sand.
She knows the exact spot it will skid, at which point the bridge will give, who will swim to safety & who will be pulled under by sharks.
She will learn that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff he will not fall until he notices his mistake.
Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

Bag Of Mice

 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, smoldering 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.

Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

You Asked How (formerly Even Now She Is Turning Saying Everything I Always Wanted Her to Say)

 At the end there were straws
in her glove compartment, I'd split them open
to taste the familiar bitter residue, near the end
I ate all her Percodans, hungry to know
how far they could take me.
A bottle of red wine each night moved her along as she wrote, I feel too much, again and again.
You asked how and I said, Suicide, and you asked how and I said, An overdose, and then she shot herself, and your eyes filled with wonder, so I added, In the chest, so you wouldn't think her face was gone, and it mattered, somehow, that you knew this.
Every year I'm eight years old and the world is no longer safe.
Our phone becomes unlisted, our mail is kept in a box at the post office, and my mother tells me always leave a light on so it seems someone is home.
She finds a cop for her next boyfriend, his hair greasy, pushed back with his fingers.
He lets me play with his service revolver while they kiss on the couch.
Cars slowly fill the windows, and I aim, making the noise with my mouth, in case it's them, and when his back is hunched over her I aim between his shoulder blades, silently, in case it's him.
Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem


the imagined center, our tongues 
grew long to please it, licking 

the walls, a chamber built of scent, 

a moment followed by a lesser moment 
& a hunger to return.
It couldn't last.
Resin flowed glacially from wounds in the bark pinned us in our entering as the orchids opened wider.
First, liquid, so we swam until we couldn't.
Then it felt like sleep, the taste of nectar still inside us.
Sometimes a flower became submerged with us.
A million years went by.
A hundred.
Swarm of hoverflies, cockroach, assassin bug, all trapped, suspended in that moment of fullness, a Pompeii, the mother covering her child's head forever.
Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem


 Bees may be trusted, always, 
 to discover the best, nay, the only 

human, solution.
Let me cite an instance; an event, that, though occurring in nature, is still in itself wholly abnormal.
I refer to the manner in which the bees will dispose of a mouse or a slug that may happen to have found its way into the hive.
The intruder killed, they have to deal with the body, which will very soon poison their dwelling.
If it be impossible for them to expel or dismember it, they will proceed methodically & hermetically to enclose it in a veritable sepulcher of propolis & wax, which will tower fantastically above the ordinary monuments of the city.
* When we die our bodies powder, our bodies the vessel & the vessel empties.
Our dying does not fill the hive with the stench of dying.
But outside the world hungers.
A cockroach, stung, can be dragged back out.
A careless child forced a snail inside with a stick once.
We waxed over the orifice of its shell sealing the creature in.
And here, the bottom of the comb, a mouse, driven in by winter & lack.
Its pawing woke us.
We stung it dead.
Even before it died it reeked - worse the moment it ceased twitching.
Now everyday we crawl over it to pass outside, the wax form of what was staring out, its airless sleep, the mouse we built to warn the rest from us.
Written by Nick Flynn | Create an image from this poem

Twenty-Pound Stone

 It nests in the hollow of my pelvis, I carry it with both hands, as if
 offering my stomach, as if it were pulling me forward.
At night the sun leaks from it, it turns cold, I sleep with it beside my head, I breath for it.
Sometimes I dream of hammers.
I am hammering it back into sand, the sand we melt into glass, the glass we blow into bottles.
This stone is fifteen green bottles with nothing inside.
It never bleeds, it never heals, it is a soup can left on the back shelf, the label worn off.
It is the corner of a house, the beginning of a wall.
At night it changes shape, it lies on one side, casting jagged shadows.
It brightens where my tongue touches it.
Richard's eyes were this color, a pale fruit, honeydew.
When I swing it over my head I swear it could lift me.
If I jump from a bridge it would drag me down, the current couldn't carry us, it has no lungs, no pockets of air.
If I could walk it to the center of a frozen pond & leave it, in the spring it would be gone.