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Showing posts from February, 2022

Flying Island Journal 2.22

  Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 2.22 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have four contributors in poetry. We hope you enjoy this issue. Send us your submissions! There are a few more days of February fee-free submissions for Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Fiction. Looking forward to reading your work! Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors & Readers POETRY Bethany Brengan, "Reader Desperately Seeking Poem" Matthew Miller,  "87 Jump Shots" Carl Boon,  "Assume America" Charlotte Melin,  "North Short Triptych" Follow us! Twitter: @JournalFlying Instagram: @flyingislandjournal Are you a writer who is from the Midwest or has close ties to the Midwest? We'd love to read your work. Submissions info in the tab above.  Support the Indiana Writers Center!

Reader Desperately Seeking Poem, a poem by Bethany Brengan

Reader Desperately Seeking Poem I. I am looking for a long-term  fling. I am looking to throw  you against the silences; I am looking  to be flung  into the center of Merriam-Webster, and to climb my way out, assay over Titmal . I am looking for you to start with a whisper, a rattle, a buzz, a breathy  death-shake, and then whisk  me away to a mythic field of lambs with phosphorus mouths. And after I have tumbled out of the vehicle,  lost my way, and been found, filthy and panting, you must bear me back to the closing  ratta-tatta-tat , crescendo-ing  into hot, fluffy blossoms over the top of a popcorn bowl. And finish—confusingly, inevitably—  by flinging all the kernels into the sky, for misshapen stars, fourth-degree kisses. II. In return, I promise to press flesh against page, my fingerprints against your lines, your open spine against my breasts, the rhythm of my in-and-out  to the blues of your stillness. . . . I promise to repeat you to myself,  slightly misquoting your best se

87 Jump Shots, a poem by Matthew Miller

87 Jump Shots arc silently in April’s breeze, some bank off the muffled glass, some clatter around and out. My hands drum the ball over cracks, dribbles echo back over unplanted furrows. I am alone in the evening, tentative and  grateful. Dandelions pick up yellow  heads for the storm, hoping the  incoming wind notices them, throws their jagged leaves. The spring gusts knock off my aim, ricochets bounce  longer and air balls blow further into the mulberries. I am shooting to see what number I can reach before one of my sons interrupts me. I hear them playing piano, fingers so quickly plucking out allegro rhythms. Crossover and swish, staccato beats on the concrete, ticking like a metronome. Moments undisturbed vary between mint and vinegar, refreshing then acrid when I know that I cannot xerox these afternoons when they are young, oblivious to how often I miss, just so zealous to chase my rebounds down. Matthew Miller teaches social studies, swings tennis rackets, and writes poetry—al

Assume America, a poem by Carl Boon

Assume America   Assume the Vicksburg Road, a strand of wild irises  nestled at your shoulder, a boy beside you with a new and gleaming  watch and pressed clothes.   Assume you’ve never seen  this country before and, unconcerned with love, seek solace  in its diners and roadsides. That’s music from a Black man walled inside a shack.   That’s strawberry pie, a curtain made of bedsheets; that’s a flag. Assume it’s yours, the flag, and what it means when night collides with it. Watch your feet.   The water moccasins, they say, sometimes mistake the land  for palaces and run amok. Myths prevail. The Yazoo City madam walks her poodles after dark  and never flinches.    Her girls recede into the walls, each her mother’s portrait, each  to be forgotten…like mandolin sound or the smell of breakfast.  You might see them at dawn   rinsing out their panties, sucking raisins, watching the sky for signs of their mothers.  You might see their brothers if you make it to Clinton  where things are happ

North Shore Triptych, a poem by Charlotte Melin

        North Shore Triptych   1. Split Rock Beneath the lighthouse the view opens to water past the pebble beach— the cold and solemn blue  of Lake Superior, washing the hardest stones endlessly  into smooth, round cobble.    2. Gooseberry Falls On the climb to the falls, only forest is always visible— rosehips, moss, cedar. The sound of water mutes the quiet step by step. Every wood handhold  is written over with initials and forgotten names. Circling back, we cross a metal walkway with a message chalked on the rusty railing: everything will be fine.   3. Tributary A swaying bridge spans  the Great-lake River  that rushes over rugged slate and greywacke—  rock tilted by force that now seems scenic  as we pause to look out over the whitewater, forgetting for a moment the violent history above the earth and below. Charlotte Melin grew up in Indiana and returns to visit. Recently retired from the University of Minnesota, she lives in Northfield and has published widely about German poe