2 Poems by Conor Ryan

Illustration of 24 hour diner

I Desperately Ask the Grim Reaper to Use a Coaster When They Put Drinks on My Coffee Table

death comes for me on a daily basis

dressed in their black xl hoodie draped
over a bony frame and matching 
skinny jeans (do you think death still wears that robe?
that’s so 1000-and-late). usually 

they come by just to chat, saying things 
like, “are you sure there are no peanuts in that?” 
or “have you ever slipped in the shower?” 
or “it happens all the time.” so, 

like with any houseguest who overstays 
their welcome, i start cleaning in the hope 
they’ll get the message. i put the dishes away 
(“be careful with that large carving knife.”). i scrub 

the stovetop (“have you triple-checked the burners 
are off?”). i untangle the mess of music
cables (“are all these power adapters 
the right voltage?”). but they stay sprawled on the couch, 

looking through the latest issue of scythe monthly
and idly licking their distal phalange 
before flipping each page and saying,
“this place looks spotless! but you don’t have to go 

through all this trouble just for lil’ old me.”

Why Do I Choose to Give Myself Anxiety by Binge Listening to Podcasts About Serial Killers?

every time i leave the apartment
i double check the lock just in case.
because i think about richard chase.
and i know it will probably be
my own heart, my own hand, or some icy
patch on the highway that has me pushing
up daisies (or some other metaphor
for death), so why do i worry about
the imagined men in my closet?
it's some kind of narcissistic luxury.
i'm saying that i'm better than cancer
or a car crash. when he eats my flesh,
i will be chosen over the rest.
but for now, in my earbuds i listen
to my favorite song off red and try
not to imagine puddles of it
pouring from my body with a last sigh.

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Conor Ryan writes lil’ poems under the name @itypedumbthings and makes small songs as Woozles. He was born and raised in rural Connecticut, but has toured all over the country as a member of various bands. In his poetry he tries his best to capture tiny moments he would forget if he didn’t write them down using questionable line breaks and unecessary metaphors.

Kelli Motel is a designer, illustrator, website-maker, and random objects collector from Richmond, VA. View more work at artkelli.com. 

This month’s special comedy issue was guest edited by Danielle Chelosky. Danielle is a music journalist for Stereogum, Billboard, and MTV News and does stuff for Hobart Pulp and Rejection Letters. She writes a lot.