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Flying Island 2.23

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 2.23 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition we publish poems by Charlotte Melin , Jared Carter , John Dorsey , and Karly Vance . Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers
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After New Year’s Eve, a poem by Charlotte Melin

After New Year’s Eve Already gone the luminaries of New Year’s Eve that lighted the curving paths in the park, the forks to enter or exit. A chill has settled in, and silence. A neighbor lifts the undecorated tree into his truck, a few kids straggle over the green. Here and there a puff of steam exhales from  a heat vent. At one house the smell of laundry drifts over the sidewalk, reaching out as if we were  all tidying up together. No one is welcoming the months to come, the inevitable discord. Yet last night in the dark, the luminaries were so peaceful as they faintly flickered promises. Charlotte Melin grew up in Indiana and returns to visit. Retired from the University of Minnesota, she lives in Northfield and has published widely about German poetry, the environmental humanities, and teaching.

Breakdown, a poem by Jared Carter

  Breakdown And now, denouement , what you will.           Nothing will last, And everything’s a kind of thrill –           a sudden blast Of sound, heralding the king, who           moments before, Reprieved hyenas in the zoo,           advised the whore And lobbyist to squeeze together,           wrote off their debts, Proclaimed an end to sultry weather,           welched on all bets. Jared Carter lives in Indianapolis .        

Poem for Jeff Rudy, a poem by John Dorsey

Poem for Jeff Rudy i don’t know where you are now maybe your ponytail has gone gray  maybe your thick glasses  are smudged with the dust from old books & you can no longer see your way  out of the worry that comes with age maybe you no longer swim  in rivers flooded with thoughtfulness as far away as pittsburgh  or johnstown  where you once sang  about the mythology of weathered hands where i once dreamt of you painting your nails in a torn t-shirt reading while jim daniels it must have been a dream your shirts were always freshly pressed & you only read larry levis & ed ochester like it was a religion & when you extended your hand i took it  & it’s been over 30 years with you now somewhere lost in time & i’m still waiting for you  to let go. John Dorsey is the former poet laureate of Belle, Missouri and the author of Pocatello Wildflower . He may be reached at .

Poor Counsel, a poem by Karly Vance

Poor Counsel I cannot tell you If ice, when it’s thin and blooming  Is like a window pane; If, when you are very still, You can see walleye and pike Darting in the dull deep. I cannot ask you If ice, when it is thick, Can hold in any sound. Mouth to ear, mouth to mouth I hear It is remarkable how jealous  Even small lakes can be, How whole the seal. I cannot warn you How to know when the lake Will become a tired old woman Sweeping piles of Ice or rock or bone Onto the shoulder of the shore  I cannot teach you  How to find the right place To cut a hole in the ice. How even to begin?  What blade can control the cut? I hear that ice tears like skin (Mercurial) And heals like a warm shore (Scarless). Karly Vance grew up in Bay City, Michigan and studied writing at Hope College. Her writing has been published in journals including Common Ground Review, Dunes Review, Midwest Quarterly , and Madison Review . She lives with her husband and son in the Chicago area.

Flying Island 1.26

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 1.26 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition we publish poems by Jason Ryberg , Tony Pearman , David Priest , and Laurel Smith . Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers

Passion Flowers and Puzzle Boxes, a poem by Jason Ryberg

Passion Flowers and Puzzle Boxes Scientists and poets alike have yet to find  whether certain experimental hybridizations  of radio waves and silver go-go boots in any way affect the erratic trajectories of UFOs; Though, they now know that the geometry of fireflies  may have some influence over the delicate symbiosis  of communication satellites, train yards  and Blue Turtle migrations. However, despite recent controversial reports there has been no independent confirmation on whether the random arrangement of orange blossoms on a city sidewalk,  slick with rain, has any more relation  to the performance of a North Korean  featherweight in the 9th than  a performance of Beethoven’s 9th by the South Korean Philharmonic does to the discovery of designs  for a steam-driven engine  written on papyrus. But, one doesn’t need a steady diet of coral calcium deposits or subterranean cold-storage of arcane information to see that a cracked engine block is bound, cosmically,  to a crack-baby foun

Nighthawks, a poem by Tory Pearman

Nighthawks House on a hill, Edward Hopper sky: the nighthawks circle the roof ridge, cryptic plumes mottled gray and black like ash bark. A white flash blazes as their wings rise and dip  in the dim half-light between night and morning. Everything in this house grieves. Ghostly shadows peer out windows as if trying to leave the mourning that hovers in the air  thick as gravestone moss.  Outside, the hawks, now erratic, look like bats as their sharp, electric peent buzzes, halted only by a boom when one and then another and then another circles high above the eaves and then dives  steeply, hurtling toward the earth, a sullen plunge saved only by a graceful,  long-winged looping that pitches back up to the heavens. The unrelenting hum of buzz, boom, swish cloaks the rooftop like a shroud, pounds against the rafters and lintels, then stops suddenly. The front-porch door swings into the silence, and we watch them carry your shrouded body to the open wings of the hearse. The hawks roost mot

a freckle, a poem by David Priest

a freckle before I knew to love you, I typed an overwrought thought about those little brown spots swirling or perhaps, though it pains me to admit, constellating on your nose, your cheeks, your very soul or a similar plea for meaning. because they couldn’t just be little bits of brown skin. they had to be stars, or flecks of swallowed sunlight, or perhaps birds, yes, birds, flocking across a cloudless face. as usual, I had it backwards. stars freckle the night, birds freckle the trees, whose leaves freckle the houses on our street. it’s only taken me nine years to realize your freckles are freckles. my favorite is one on your lip, which I first noticed while you slept. it’s barely a freckle at all, this freckle, so faint. an island in the ocean completely covered at high tide is the freckle on your lip. you could miss it altogether if you were looking for stars. David Priest is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The American Literary Review , Salon, Cleaver Magazine,