Poem #17: In Flight

In Flight


We pass first class telephone
services, hot towels, and
Japanese literature.

Couples with fake faces
face me, with great
reluctance and thinly masked

Patterned baldness,
like pin checkerboards,
colors too small to see, and

Wedding ring soliloquies.


Second tier slugs sift
through seats down aisle.
Like rock-riddled rivers,
we’re dammed.

Protocol joins jetsam,
no use for it here.

The overhead space is our
collective destiny,
claims jumped manifestly
by aged tycoons and widows.


A bump is a prelude
to a beep. Please
return to your seat.


Zurich, 2009


In 1992, you were newly-
minted, a cocky blonde
with horn-rimmed glasses.

Now you small-talk sales-
men, up-selling
Chardonnay and peanuts.


Lavatories are wasteful

@NBF 4.30.2009


Tel Aviv, 2009



American Airlines is the airline that all the others get together and make fun of over tapas and Sangria. In my mind, all the other airlines are natives of Spain.

Our in-flight movie today was Adam Sandler’s Bedtime Stories. Flight attendants kept referring to it as in-flight “entertainment.” I feel a lesson on semantics might be in order.

Speaking of flight attendants, I often wonder where they come from, their origins and so forth. The profession is mysterious and cinematic, though a bit tragic, too.

I wonder if Jack Kerouac ever flew on a plane. He died in 1969, but loved the open road. I’ll have to send him a letter.


One Response to “Poem #17: In Flight”

  1. I’ve been searching high and low for a copy of On The Road at my local used bookshops, but never there, never there… of course these stores aren’t really that big (Second Story, Idle Time, maybe you know them!) so they can’t be expected to have everything. It may be time to Amazon Marketplace for a one.

    I love these scenes, although I guess I had a bit of cognitive dissonance imagining a stewardess in horn rimmed glasses. I guess I associate it too strongly with ad men or scientists or profs…

    I loved your email, so appreciated both the encouragement and the concrete critiques, things to work on. Thank you for spoiling me! I was thinking it definitely needed some more /reality/ to back up the conceptual, but it’s going to take quite some rumination and work within the constraints to paint those pictures! Thanks for the jumping point to such exciting stimulation.

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