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John C. Mannone: The Art of Flying

103_ym_theartofflying_bernie.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2024

The Art of Flying

by John C. Mannone

 

is not about piloting airplanes

flying stick and rudder

gyroscopes and gauges.

 

The art of flying is not about being high

(or low for that matter)—

that’s against my religion, anyway.

 

“The art of flying” is not an ars poetica.

That tension. The white-knuckle breaking

at the end of the line.

 

No! It’s not a metaphor for soaring

either. Above it all. Above the troubled

swells. The ocean is gray today.

 

I’ll try not to look at the ruffle of waves

even though they’ll appear small, and smooth

as soft glass from thirty-seven thousand feet.

 

The art of flying is not about paper airplanes

hung as origami above a baby’s crib

that fall as kamikazes.

 

What were those pilots thinking

before the impact anyway? I suppose

about their enemy; their duty & honor

 

more so than their own lives. Maybe

they thought about their sweethearts.

I wonder if they knew their gods?

 

The art of flying is to get on airplanes

without traffic jams, security cameras,

or the profiling. All I want to do is board

this stinking airplane —

kisses from seventy-two virgins

are waiting for me in paradise.

 

 

 

John C. Mannone has poems in Windhover, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. Winner/Nominee of numerous contests/awards, John edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. He’s a physics professor teaching high school math in Tennessee.

 

http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/jcmannone/

Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received. She is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024