‘Passenger Plane in the Sky’ by muralsonly.com
When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.
I bought a ticket for midnight, April first, one way to London. Why London? I haven’t the foggiest. No pun intended. (OK, pun intended.) Seriously, I mean where else do you begin looking for yourself except for somewhere other than where you are?
Those old charter airline terminals were so godawful weird.
I don’t know what it was, quite, the pasty orange and yellow walls,
or the steward who looked like he shaved from the inside out,
and raised mushrooms for fun and profit, in his spare time, in his hair.
All I knew was that I wanted desperately to be anywhere but there.
After filling out the waiver that said I wouldn’t hold them responsible for anything that happened, I had the feeling a strange South American doctor would suddenly run up and want to perform surgery on me with a dull Swiss Army knife. “Anything”?
I just wanted to be free,
to be up in the air in a clean aluminum and vinyl jet
with big, strong, masculine Rolls-Royce engines.
Nevertheless, there was a kind of fellowship there,
a splendid, internal sort of aching, as we sat together,
all of us passengers,
staring at those ugly, mustard-colored walls,
sticking together like gluey little aphid babies.
Finally, we swarmed aboard. I’d already seen the movie and the earphones hurt. What was I doing there? The floor groaned. I held the plane together. Then suddenly we were up, up in the clean air, the friendly skies.
The stewardesses (stewardi?) were lovely but aloof,
like those little African deer.
We climbed swiftly.
The little deer bounded about,
checking seat belts in the marshy lowlands
and carefully removing complimentary drinks
from the paws of the great polyknit-bemaned lioni
who yawned and stretched in the first class,
grassy veldtland of the foremost northern plane.
This swiftly fleeting vestibule, this Herculean dart, was, for five hours, like an orange lobbed by a snotty, laughing, happy youth. And when it came down in Bangor, Maine, there was a good, drippy, succulent splat!
And we, like so many giggling, sticky aphid babies,
slid out with the seeds,
glinting in the punchy early-morning freeze-dried coffee sunrise.
What’s in a name?
Then back on the plane.
Pound-thrust, thrust-pound, rush-roar—
ain’t no big thing, we done this before.
See the sea?
Water, water, water, water—
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