Writing Submissions, May 2019

Flapper Press publishes original poems and short stories every month from readers and writers from around the world. Our May theme was "Passion."


Thank you to all who contributed this month! Stay tuned for next month's writing prompts!


I Am No Longer Afraid of Open Space


I carry the dog up the steps, bones.

When is it long enough to have lived long enough?

Years taste like cinnamon and honey,

warm milk. Remember?


You reminded me that sometimes, it’s cruel

to keep things alive. One girl says:

Isn’t it more cruel to kill her, and

isn’t that just the question of the day.


I want to be with her when she dies, she says.

His feet were hardened kelp beds, toenails golden swords

reaching for sun. I was there too.

I felt the air lift and soften

and when we finally drove home,

a cliché rainbow rose above the hearse and

we traveled side by side.


Your death smelled of cut grass,

closing garages.

It’s been suddenly so many years.

You’ve died so many times.


I used to run the overpass.

Stare down between chain-link,

sky smudged blue, cars scintillate,

perpetual. Still succulents grew. Still,

I was looking for you.

You sang of spinning and I smelled your

smoke and shampoo and the soft of your

skin. There is so much that continues

to drift in and out. That payphone in Berkeley?

You were there so fast.

My tributary of bad choices

strewn along the coastline.


Remember the smell of garlic in Gilroy?

All that irrigated earth, so odd and lonely,

so out of the blue?

— Gillian Kessler

Practicing Fan

Dancing adagio,

the lady never pauses

Knowing the earth with her feet, tasting the air with her fan,

She turns as slowly and surely as a twisting shoot of ivy.

Her fan, hand painted with peach blossoms,

Unfolds, rattles and snaps,

Impenetrable silk and steel ribs hidden in the delicate flutter.

— Michelle Tomarelli aka Coolwater

Spirit of a Dandelion Petal

Such a pretty flower,

It looks like any other,

But when one blows gently,

It flies apart, sensationally!


You want to cry,

It is a tragedy, but no, as you see the petals part,

you give an amazed start!

Because each petal is itself,

an individual,

whole and complete,

a dream like spirit that

flies its own path.


Each petal is an angel of beauty,

Fluttering in its own very short flight,

to freedom.

— Sherri Rabinowitz


Zero Gravity


Riding the sky, comes an innocent reply     And three years’ worth of lies             Remember the voice Decipher the silence Return for a suicide dive    

A hint of a razor blade, no sign of a mirror   Blood tainting skin in disorganized figures   Speaking in tongues clamped in metal and fire The burning of flesh, playing the dangers of desire

At three thousand feet, I reach three thousand beats           As my body mind and soul flies into ZERO GRAVITY Release the pressure Feel it guide us to be one with the world Until it all . . . ​ A play on words, one night’s eruption     A faded speck within my memory Can't stand the wait One more last mistake A rendezvous with our version of reality ​ My lust for evil's got me dealing with the devil Put back into motion by our own secret ritual Mistress of mystery; Addiction divine   ELAPSE WITH THE RELAPSE And take to the skies again At three thousand feet, I reach three thousand beats           As my body mind and soul flies into ZERO GRAVITY Release the pressure, feel it guide us to be one with the world Until it all . . . h​its the ground!

— Sebastian W. Suh

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