Airplane Poems

Everyone poet has airplane poems — the poems you write gazing out the window, musing on the strangeness of travel, taking in huge cloud formations and sectors of land and ocean. It occurs to me that this is its own genre; I’d like to do some sort of issue of these, with a code of honor that you can only submit poems that were written while in flight. They should be printed in an in-flight magazine, so people can only read them while flying, too… Without further ado, here are some of those I wrote on the plane ride to Europe.

And so I did commit
crimes against the immaculate

Stuff stuck in our teeth,
time traveling somewhere
over Jackson.

Your tongue was skittish.

It’s worlds we’re creating,
trying to create. Curtains drawn
over first class.

If it rains get in it.

Squint at page as light
slants through cabin. Captain says
storms coming, fasten seatbelt
signs on.

The famous sky was gone.

It just has to happen.
The answer is obvious to everyone
except you. Don’t bang your head
against it. Amidst turbulence,
dinner is served.

I walk backwards into the sun.

Just the work – no feeling of
reward, completeness, the last
cloud falls into
the catcher’s mitt.

A feud unites
Math and myth

What have you
lost on planes? Pens, lighters,
money, pillow, precious
minutes? They’re coming
around now with
something to sell.

Hordes of tenacious seconds turn to years.

Sometimes receiving precedes
gift, punch line
joke. Airplane
light, cloud light, book
light, dream light.

Italicized lines from James Galvin’s X.

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