Empyrean Flights Delayed


EXEUNT Hafez the Turk with Borbognoni.
Eratocles to Lesbia as he faces the other occupants:

    ‘Mad passengers on Life’s untimely main
With boarding pass, who signal to the plane,
Such sad and paltry virtue as you’re due
Would yet an airport’s tower misconstrue;
That pilots and their air-controllers may
In congress, or in intercourse, delay
(Desirous yet of wings they fain possess)
To mount the air—with each bright stewardess
Their forms and then their maidenhood address . . .

   Out, Out.  Such trash ennobles none but thee.

For craft shall ever land as birds must fly—
Checked luggage fill the hold when drinks are served;
And whether prey or falcon take to sky,
The crew must make our passage well-deserved;
Though lightning rend the night all ’round th’plane
And flame, as in a spleen, thy fevered brain.

Perchance you hope the pilot to dissuade,
Whose path through trackless wastes your flight directs.
Your shamming virtue tarnishes your blade
And though your flight be cut, it fain connects
That shining port of entry that you seek
Where love’s most noble strength is rendered weak.’

   ‘Away. The cabin crew methinks I hear:
      Fair Lesbia—have you my passport ?’


PROMPT #15:  write your own dramatic monologue.
It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare,
but try to create a sort of specific voice or character
that can act as the “speaker” of your poem,
and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.



If you should choose to kiss, and kissing, turn

Redoubling, consuming in abandon

Then would love, in loving you, prove wanton

While terrestrial forests willingly burn.

Our lips in flames no waters extinguish

Until all love’s knowledge itself unlearn;

Our pupils for that flaming lesson yearn

Which bequeaths the heart unlessened anguish.

So loving you, I leave to turn and choose

In naughtiness regained when all is ash

To profit from the loss with naught to lose.

Thus eyes that gaze, unchastened, toward the lash

Must lose, in turn what all the world had gained . . .

Read half-coherent verse—and think half-brained.



faces in the crowd:
pedals on a wet black bike . . .
where is my bike lock?