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Flying Island Journal 2.21

CREATIVE NONFICTION Lisa Renze: "Drive" POETRY Doris Lynch: "Intertidal" Daye Phillippo: "The Way Things Are Supposed to Be" Michael Brockley: "One-Button Man and National Gun Day" James Green: "The Weight of the Heart" FICTION Elliott Scott: "Stormin' Eddie" READ FOR FLYING ISLAND Flying Island Journal is seeking readers to join our staff. We care about representation and are looking to diversify our team and the work we publish.  What is a reader? A reader is an invaluable member of the editorial team. Readers help read submissions and recommend work for Flying Island to publish.  What is involved? This volunteer position will take roughly four hours a month. Readers will be assigned between five and ten stories, poems, or essays per month, and will be asked to assess whether each piece is a good fit for publication in Flying Island. Readers closely collaborate with relevant genre editors.  Reader candidate background
Recent posts

Drive, creative nonfiction from Lisa Renze

Image credit: Roman Kozhevnikov  It’s the last walk of the night that makes my mind wander along with my body. The dogs relish an unencumbered path, stopping occasionally to watch their breath hang in the air, while the cold arrests our lungs.    It’s the cold and the quiet that make me think of another night.    A different cold. A different place.    A different time.   He drove north and swung right where the road dead-ended into a cornfield. Defrocked stalks jutted from the frozen earth in jagged, incongruous patterns—a life-size, child’s crayon depiction of the landscape. A cold 12-pack of Milwaukee’s “Beast” as we called the cheap, watery beer, slid along the seat between us. Pat reached over and grabbed a couple cans, then wedged the flimsy cardboard against the gear shift in his beat-up pickup. Michael Jackson’s voice rose softly in the background from a mixed tape that belonged to his sister. A product of our homogenous small town 1980’s coming of age, Pat, like many of us, wa

Intertidal, a poem by Doris Lynch

  At the edge of the sea you are more than human: you are whale and flounder dancing porpoise and somnolent seal.                  You are sunlight and the blue-grey depths. Saline infuses your cells as though  all the salt caverns of the world  circulate through your body. You are ocean sounds: crash and whoosh, splash-release and lap, lap, lap.  Some days  the scalloped edges of the sea write and rewrite  their stories.  Other days the last two inches  of a wave elevate you skyward, and you water-ski  over crumbling sand. In the sea foam, shells  clink and clank; the softest pings of the tiniest  seek shelter inside your suit. The ocean— whatever its name—Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean— enters you, fills you. You are the mango orb  the sea releases into sky each morning,  and rocks gently to sleep each night. Doris Lynch has recent work in Frogpond , Modern Haiku , Tipton Poetry Journal and in the anthology: Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon . The Indiana Arts

The Way Things Are Supposed to Be, a poem by Daye Phillippo

        Come, walk with me, friend, out to the mailbox    the way we used to walk together when I lived across the road. Older sister-friend who graduated     from high school, year I was born, and who still lives  there, widowed and unable to walk much of anywhere,     anymore, but who can still go with me on the phone.  I walk and listen while you tell me about your latest    doctor's visit, and that you saw the red fox again, skimming  across your backyard, and that your first husband is      back in your life, a blessing who brings you groceries,  and rubs your aching back. And I tell you what I see—    the deer tracks cut deep in the stone-sand  shoveled to patch the potholes in the gravel drive.     To the south, how the brown field is combed in ridges empty of corn, and how my July hens are laying now,    their first small eggs, the yolks, so yellow and round  they could be suns, and you say, "Yes, honey, that's how    they're supposed to be." Then you tell

One-Button Man and National Gun Day, a prose poem by Michael Brockley

    Once a year, the men you worked with at Creviston Steel assembled in the parking lot across from the railroad tracks with their pistols and rifles. The weather was always warm and clear. A weekday in Spring. Following a gesture from Fast Eddie, they left the break room during lunch to retrieve an arsenal of weapons from the trunks of their Oldsmobiles or from the gun racks in their pickup trucks. You watched from the dirt path to the shop, an outsider to this gung-ho celebration. It was the dawn of the trickle-down era. Ronald Reagan had promised to create a million jobs. In the parking lot, the men aimed their firearms at the sky. At the small Odd Fellows lodge across the street. No crows were killed. No windows were broken. Your co-workers spoke in hushed tones. With none of the mockery about the poems you wrote that didn’t rhyme. You didn’t know enough about guns to ask the Preacher to explain the difference between a rifle and a shotgun. But you’d heard Dirty Harry proclaim the

The Weight of the Heart, a poem by James Green

    Consider the physics of the heart: Pressure and volume in quarter note measure,  systoles and diastoles obedient to natural order,  electrified ebb and flood through chambers,  impulses igniting neurons surging, resting,  liquifying breath billions of times in a lifetime  transferring energy (we are told) like a universe,  like the history of time in miniature. Consider the weight of the heart:  Less than a pound, though considerably more  when aching, incalculable at the point of breaking,  thus known for its infinite elasticity allowing it  to harbor sorrows that swell with time  or play host to spores of rancor that propagate  like mold in the recesses of a space before   turning to dark ravenous masses,    explaining why the Egyptians believed  in afterlife a heart was weighed against  a feather, and those souls with hearts heavier  were given to Ammit to be devoured and hearts lighter were admitted into  the eternal bliss of the Fields of A’aru ; The Egyptians understanding (

Stormin' Eddie, fiction by Elliott Scott

Drink #1 — Moscow Mule   The bartender at the Downstairs Pub appeared automatically, the way bartenders, it would seem, are wont to do.   Edward McGuire—Eddie for short, if you want to start keeping score (although by the end of the night there isn’t a scorebook in the world that’s going to be worth half as much as the ink and paper it’s printed on)—draped his waxed lambskin leather jacket over the barstool seatback, ordered a Moscow Mule, and settled in for the long haul.   The polyurethane on the plank stool was reduced to a paper-thin coat. The raw plank was rough on his backside. The smooth bolts in each corner of the chair weren’t so smooth without the varnish, as it turned out, and it was the little things about this day—like the worn barstools at the Downstairs Pub—that slowly gnawed at Eddie’s usually cool resolve.   And it was the big things too. It’s just that, without all these little things peppered throughout the day, the big ones might be let off the hook without a proper