King of the Quacks by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


This crazy radio evangelist from Birmingham
named Curtis Howe Springer
got some land out in the desert
and named the town Zzyzx
and built a 60 room hotel and spa
with church on the property
claiming the nearby hot springs were healing
even though he faked them using a system of boilers
and he hired a bunch of homeless men from
down on Skid Row in Los Angeles to work there
and claimed to be a doctor
who bottled and sold his cure to thousands
claiming it could cure: constipation, hemorrhoids
and hair loss and when the American Medical Association
found out, they labeled him: King of the Quacks,
which seems like a great nickname to me
and when his cure was found to be nothing more
than celery, carrot, and parsley juices
he was evicted from the land and charged with squatting
and selling “junk medicine” for which he spent
49 days in the clink for his troubles.


© 2019 Ryan Quinn Flanagan


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Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, BlogNostics, The Rye Whiskey Review, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.


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