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Showing posts from March, 2021

Flying Island Journal 3.21

Welcome to the Flying Island Journal edition 3.21. Our March edition consists only of poetry as we prepare for National Poetry Month in April! Poetry: Natalie Solmer: “My Shame Is the Bowl of Duck’s Blood Soup” Matthew Miller: “ I’ve Tried Everything I Know” Will Falk: “Snowbanks” Steve Brammell: “Rainwater Hair” Upcoming opportunities at the Indiana Writers Center: IWC is hosting a new virtual event, “Spring into Writing,” a four-genre workshop bundle to help you kick start your writing. You can try out different classes in four different genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. You can also take the classes individually. For more info: We have a special free event during Spring into Writing, with authors Angela Jackson-Brown and Crystal Wilkinson who will be in conversation about Angela's new book WHEN STARS RAIN DOWN. For more info, check out our website:

My Shame Is the Bowl of Duck’s Blood Soup, a poem by Natalie Solmer

      My Shame Is the Bowl of Duck’s Blood Soup My mother as a child at Easter ran from the table & refused to eat. My shame is my mother looking into the bowl  & seeing a future daughter only brought to her after too much blood & babies lost. I would bring shame, unlike the first: my golden sister. Even at the bowl, even at the table my fortune in one of 300,000 eggs locked inside my mother. Even when she, before birth, suspended inside her mother. As she grew & entered into the rooms filled with the shame of four daughters and the parish priest at the dinner table every Sunday night. Something snapped in their mother when they grew breasts. Each daughter has a differing story, a differing shame. But of their mother, they all say, One evening, she came home from confession and could not get out of bed. She went away for awhile. Though of that part, my mother says If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen. They all say she had proof miracles were real. But when they aske

I’ve Tried Everything I Know, a poem by Matthew Miller

  I’ve Tried Everything I Know Grieving still empties me, shakes me  like dust from a kerchief. By your grave,  I’ve tried to see the sun-glints of asphalt  as sequins that fell from the dress  you’re dancing in. My child, I’ve tried to prick stars in this lacquered abyss, but  it’s so thick that I cannot rip  the dark sphere. Kneeling at your stone, I’ve tried  to sweep away the brown leaves without weeping,  but I’m a spectacle of need. I’ve tried  to stand with chin to the wind, but  everything’s still spinning. I’ve tried  to be sure this heart-churning will birth  black diamonds in me. I tried  to believe they’re unbreakable, but I know  they’re also the most impure. Matthew Miller teaches social studies, swings tennis rackets, and writes poetry—all hoping to create home. He and his wife live beside a dilapidating orchard in Indiana, where he tries to shape dead trees into playhouses for his four boys. His poetry has been featured in River Mouth Review , Whale Road Review , Club

Snowbanks, a poem by Will Falk

  Snowbanks When your soul is wobbly with vertigo,  drunk on the reality of nothing left to do,  step into the blizzard and listen to the snow.  Each flake is a whisper,  each drift a direction,  each pawprint someone who came before.  It will get cold.  There’s no way to avoid it.  But, even the sun falls,  frozen wood eventually burns,  and the scent of smoke on the wind,  leads you somewhere.  If all these fail,  winter will numb you,  until you’ll feel  only what she needs you to.  You might collapse onto snowbanks, then,  but you’ll learn – yes, you’ll learn  that snow is softer than bare stone. Will Falk is a biophilic writer and lawyer born in Evansville, IN. The natural world speaks and Falk's work is how he listens. His book How Dams Fall – a work of creative nonfiction chronicling his involvement in the first-ever federal lawsuit seeking rights of nature for a major ecosystem, the Colorado River – was published by HomeBound Publications in August 2019. He is currently tr

Rainwater Hair, a poem by Steve Brammell

      Rainwater Hair All that rain and I happened to be there, my grandmother’s big house on the corner with brown asphalt siding and the mock orange in bloom, the coal stove in the front room cold now, mica pane without that winter glow  from bright burning anthracite. My grandmother in one of the printed dresses she always wore, her gray hair long in braids, and my aunt with her iron bun held by pins, and her teenage daughter, her white blond Shirley Temple curls no barrette could tame, all three grabbing metal buckets and rushing through the thunder to the down spout gushing next to the porch, telling me to bring more pots from the kitchen as theirs got filled with foamy harvest. “We wash our hair in rainwater,”  my cousin explained as the storm passed as fast as it had come, my aunt more happy than I’d ever seen her, my grandmother dipping a juice glass and handing it to me, “Drink it,” she said, “It will make you tall and handsome.” Rain tasted of lightning and flint with a hint o