Flumes Volume 1 Issue 1 - Page 6

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As we received submissions for this inaugural issue of Flumes, we searched for pieces that invoked an emotion, created a moment and/or shared an experience. We wanted to be transported into and immersed in the world of the speaker or narrator. Whether we were holding our sides laughing or near tears in the raw moments, the stand out pieces sucked us right into the reality on the page.

The powerful imagery in Rhony Bhopla’s “Chiming Affirmations” offered one of those raw moments:

“Our whimpers became a chant.

My hand over her mouth and nose.

Waited, as I cried—waited as the

blossoms chimed the affirmations.”

Bhopla does a beautiful job capturing the heart-wrench of loss. As we listened to a reading of the poem, each editor lived this moment with Bhopla’s characters.

On the other side of the emotional spectrum is “99 Things You Can Do With a Brick” by Ken Letko, which charmed us with its tongue in cheek tone:

“Realize a brick can take a joke

[…]

Test airport security by putting a brick in your carry-on bag

[…]

Learn patience from a brick”

Other pieces didn’t surprise or shock; instead, their words slowly built into an emptiness that left us hurting alongside the characters. The opening to “The Lighthouse,” by Sarah Holden, offers this kind of slow boil:

“The winds howl around me, leaving me feeling emptier than ever before. I've been alone for years now. The sound of the waves crashing endlessly and the silence of time between storms has become eternal. I have no choice, I just can't leave. I'm grounded on this land, here, this is where I stand. I am alone, with the emptiness, to wait for someone to save me from it.”

Holden’s story begins from such a somber place that we couldn’t help but empathize from the start. Her prose echoes the loneliness we have all experienced.