July 2014

Welcome to the July issue of the Dragonfly Press Ezine! This month, we have:

“Something Blue” by Margaret Luongo (Flash Fiction)
“Boy with a Flute” by Mary Lou Taylor (Prose Poem)
“Stroke” by David Ebenbach (Poem)

Something Blue

At dusk in Provincetown, a man stands on the gallery of a two-story building. His arms are spread, his palms flat on the porch railing. He leans forward, back straight, and talks to a group of men below. The men, six or seven of them, are all younger than the man on the gallery. They gaze up at him, attending his every word. A slender black man, the youngest of the group, listens. His sweater is draped across his narrow shoulders. His madras shorts tremble in the breeze. The ceiling of the porch is painted light blue. Farmers used to paint their porch ceilings like pale summer sky to indicate a marriageable daughter lived inside. Suitors would know to stop and court. Provincetown porches are like that summer sky, something for men to flock to—an indication of promise, with a ceiling nevertheless.

Margaret Luongo’s stories have appeared in Tin House, The Cincinnati Review, The Montserrat Review, FENCE, Granta.com, the Pushcart Prize anthology and other publications. In 2008, LSU Press published her first story collection, If the Heart is Lean. She teaches creative writing at Miami University of Ohio.

Boy with a Flute

Spread wide, green graces the cemetery. We will be buried here. Often I take my morning walk on its paved paths. On today’s stroll haunting music stops me. A young man in a baseball cap stands above a grave, his arms angled, supporting, breathing life into a flute, speaking with such eloquence through the instrument he fingers. Under my breath I begin to hum, passing by our lawyer’s grave, a choice spot near a grove of redwoods. Emmy and her young daughter lie side by side. A teacher from my school lies across the paving. They should all have music. Last week a good friend’s husband died. He was a Navy man. And the Navy came to his graveside. Under a light mist two military men removed the draped flag, folded it with ceremony, presented it to his wife with care before his casket was lowered into the earth.  Simple honors.  With a bugler sending Taps to the sky.  Our poems add word music to the day. And now the flute in a minor key, passionate yet tranquil. I can hear voices singing with him, one note at a time.

Mary Lou Taylor—editor, poet, teacher, and reviewer—is a Montalvo Arts Center artist in residence. Jacaranda Press published her poetry collection, The Fringes of Hollywood. Her poems appear in The Call: An Anthology of Women’s Writing (2014 Los Angeles Book Fair Runner-up}, The Newport Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Cæsura, Pen Woman Magazine, Steinbeck Review, Reed, Cotton and Spirit and various other journals. Editor of the Abby Niebauer Memorial competition judged by Jane Hirshfield, she serves as a trustee of the Center for Literary Arts at SJSU.

Visit her website


Because it’s sudden, like a blow. Nevermind
that it comes from inside, that it’s just a failure,
that it’s just a matter of how desperate the brain is
for blood, how easily it sets down its labor
when it can’t catch a breath. What’s impossible
isn’t this attack, this exchange of a life for one
half shut off—what’s impossible is that we make it
this far, that for years we can feed our brains
every minute and live. But you get used to it. You
get used to it, at least those of us who stand now
by the bed, hands tight on the rails, and her arm
hitches up involuntary, angled like a mantis, her jaw
rotating its weak ellipse, chewing on an empty
mouth. The violence isn’t the clot, tiny; the stillness
of the blood. It’s the violence of a person living
in a plundered home. Laid out in it—as if felled,
or more honestly fallen.

David Ebenbach is the author of a poetry chapbook called Autogeography (Finishing Line Press), as well as two short story collections —Between Camelots (University of Pittsburgh Press, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize) and Into the Wilderness (Washington Writers Publishing House, winner of the WWPH fiction prize)—and a non-fiction guide to the creative process called The Artist’s Torah (Wipf & Stock). With a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he teaches Creative Writing at Georgetown University. You can find out more about him at his website.