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Flying Island Journal 7.21

      Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 7.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have four contributors in poetry and one in fiction. The season of summer often brings us into moments of reflection. The four poems in this edition bring us nostalgia in "Love Letters" with images of mango tea and a first car; bring us images of a Midwestern summer with kernels and August corn fields in "Corn Truck Overturns On Main Street"; bring us a nature walk in "Note to Erin from the Hathaway Preserve, Wabash, Indiana," with raspberries and filtered light through leaves; bring us memory and grief among water in "The Flicker."  The fiction piece, "The Triumph of Mitch," shows us how friendship can reflect the growth, or lack thereof, we see in ourselves and our lives. We hope you enjoy this issue and don't forget to submit your poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (link in the tab above). We publish new issues the last Friday
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Love Letters, a poem by Emma Birkbeck

      Love Letters A love letter to the sweet pleasure of sipping mango tea beneath the fern's elongated fingers, where her spliced tendrils mesh with hair grown to my knees and the finches hop along the sill with their gentle thud, thud, thudding . A love letter to my father's neighborhood back home,  to the man who set time on a loop until he fell into the deep sleep one cannot attain by natural means, the bells chiming noisily on their seven minute march.  An alarm clock for the downtrodden and free. A love letter to my first car, with her shakes and shivers and inability to quit the endless trudge forward. To the wasp who came to visit on the highway, to the oil seeping out behind, bread crumbs to guide you home. To the eight hundred dollars invested as an act of self love. The millions of curbs we've kissed, the stickers melting on the dashboard, the girl in the back playing heavy metal drums on the headrest. A love letter to the steering wheel who held me, hunched ove

Corn Truck Overturns On Main Street, a poem by Steve Brammell

  Corn Truck Overturns On Main Street Semi trailer filled from silos, tidal wave of last year’s golden crop. Traffic stopped, doorways blocked, old men in the coffee shop tapping their canes on glass excited to be trapped. Baby in its stroller, wide eyes filled with so much yellow, some yahoo in a four wheel drive plows in, does doughnuts, spraying kernels like hail and bullets, sheriff stays in his cruiser remembering a convoy and a roadside bomb. Someone flies their drone to document this news  where news never happens, climbing up above camera sweeps around to capture endless fields freshly tilled, waiting to be planted, and down on the road a pastor on his bike, heading out of town on a long ride to get his sermon right, imagining August, his favorite month,  with tall corn for miles and miles, hot and sighing with Nature’s breath. Steve Brammell ’s poems, short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Alabama Magazine , Birmingham Magazine , RavensPerch , Northwest Indiana Literar

Note to Erin from the Hathaway Preserve, Wabash, Indiana, a poem by James Owens

      Note to Erin from the Hathaway Preserve, Wabash, Indiana I walk alone today. Near the best raspberries, a doe crashes off into mossy shade.   Here, we met two farm dogs who loved us.  Here, you left a handful of crackers so the sick,  tottering possum would not die cold in the belly.  Here, a blacksnake swam over the limestone stream bed, a true and dark idea in a clear mind. Now, flakes of eight-minute-old sunlight fall through palm-sized gaps in the canopy of leaves,  reflect off ripples and back up, onto the leaves'  ribbed undersides, pulsing like pale,  banked embers, exactly this far from the sun. James Owens 's newest book is Family Portrait with Scythe (Bottom Dog Press, 2020). His poems and translations appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in Grain , Dalhousie Review , Presence , Queen's Quarterly , and Honest Ulsterman. Originally from Virginia, he lived in Indiana from 2003-18, and now writes in a small town in nor

The Flicker, a poem by Robert Okaji

    The Flicker I offer memory, and the pain burns colder. That morning, sleet, hail, fog, love – nothing edible defiled  our lips. Even the air invoked weight. Swallowing became privilege, the fruit of scarcity. Still, I wanted to take, to pocket that blur. Driving through the gray, I imagined dying. I imagined a flicker at the end of a long tunnel, the beginning of anger, of want. I could almost see you reclaiming shape, form. Water relies  on deceit for its color, breaking white, then clear, summoning early visions. What is past has passed. Blue exits your mouth in waves. Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan seeking work in Indiana. He is the author of multiple chapbooks, including the 2021 Etchings Press Poetry Prize-winning My Mother's Ghost Scrubs the Floor at 2 a.m. , and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Book of Matches , Juke Joint, One Art , Clade Song , Vox Populi , Indianapolis Review , and elsewhere.

The Triumph of Mitch, fiction by Joseph Mollica

When Mitch texted Gabe that he was flying into New York on business, and that he was bringing along an enthusiastic companion who’d never been east of Lake Tahoe, and that the only night he was free was tomorrow night, it felt to Gabe like they were once again in cahoots. “Door’s always open,” Gabe wrote in his return text, along with his address, to which Mitch responded with a photo of the Stanley Cup, held aloft by an ecstatic player with the shit-eating grin of none other than Mitch. Gina came home and peed and Gabe told her about Mitch. Gina on the bowl said, “You did that?” Was it failure, he thought, to remain loyal when it was so much easier to let time and distance silently dissolve their bond? It was not, he should have said. If Mitch transformed into an orange hazard cone after dark, that was his right. Shocking it wasn’t that a man of Mitch’s rakishness was predisposed to collect women for whom his atavistic drunken boastfulness was like the beckoning of a king for his hare

Flying Island Journal 6.21

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 6.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have three contributors this month in poetry.  These three poems invite you into abstraction while also grounding you in everyday scenery, showing you where our environments meet nature and art. We hope you enjoy this issue and don't forget to submit your poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (link in the tab above). We publish new issues the last Friday of every month. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors POETRY Laurel Smith: "During the night" Roger Pfingston: "Miss Tindall in a Time of Drought" Tony Brewer: "Top Tier Haiku" Follow us! Twitter: @JournalFlying Instagram: @flyingislandjournal  

During the night, a poem by Laurel Smith

    During the night                         Another fall, hip fracture: a new surgeon aligning bone and metal, charting a course for your 96-year-old frame on a vague sea, more dream than distance with markers     aimed to carry you    home, only you’re no longer  sure what home means: not the farm where you rode a pony and fed chickens,     not the house where you raised children and lost your mate, not the well-appointed rooms of your single life.   Wait: some forward motion, some backward drift, youthful hands supporting your back, calm as a mother with her small child,  something said softly then a door closed.  Journey and     dream confused, tangled like this too thin sheet wishing itself a sail, homeward bound. Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy, the arts, social justice, and public health. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Natural Bridge , New Millennium Writings , English Journal , Tipton Po