Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet
By Tony Hoagland
At this height, Kansas
is just a concept,
a checkerboard design of wheat and corn
no larger than the foldout section
of my neighbor's travel magazine.
At this stage of the journey
I would estimate the distance
between myself and my own feelings
is roughly the same as the mileage
from Seattle to New York,
so I can lean back into the upholstered interval
between Muzak and lunch,
a little bored, a little old and strange.
I remember, as a dreamy
backyard kind of kid,
tilting up my head to watch
those planes engrave the sky
in lines so steady and so straight
they implied the enormous concentration
of good men,
but now my eyes flicker
from the in-flight movie
to the stewardess's pantyline,
then back into my book,
where men throw harpoons at something
much bigger and probably
better than themselves,
wanting to kill it,
wanting to see great clouds of blood erupt
to prove that they exist.
Imagine being born and growing up,
rushing through the world for sixty years
at unimaginable speeds.
Imagine a century like a room so large,
a corridor so long
you could travel for a lifetime
and never find the door,
until you had forgotten
that such a thing as doors exist.
Better to be on board the Pequod,
with a mad one-legged captain
living for revenge.
Better to feel the salt wind
spitting in your face,
to hold your sharpened weapon high,
to see the glisten
of the beast beneath the waves.
What a relief it would be
to hear someone in the crew
cry out like a gull,
Oh Captain, Captain!
Where are we going now?
First of all, ashinae killed me with fic last night after I was already dead for other reasons, and I forgot not to drink five cups of full-strength, non-decaf tea at the Chinese restaurant where my husband and I had excellent orange-peel shrimp after my parents volunteered to watch the kids, so I did not fall asleep until after 4:30 a.m. and I am completely brain dead.
Also I discovered yesterday that I had labeled Thursday's poem "Poem for Friday" -- sorry about that, it has been corrected.
So I finally saw Caravaggio. I'd read the BFI book on it, and seen lots of photos, and read cinzia's summary of it, but I still somehow had no idea how gay it would be. I mean, it is SO gay. Sean Bean is SO GAY. *gasping for breath* I am sure that at some point I will have intelligent things to say about it, because it's an utterly fascinating film, both in terms of fictional biography (I am tempted to call it Caravaggio RPS) and in terms of cinematography, but right now I can't get past the fact that Sean. Bean. Is. So. Gay.
Also, I bought the new Vanity Fair with The Slashiest Cover Ever. And Walking To Canterbury: A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England, which I want to read before getting to London.
divineway and ashinae: Packaging and mailing them. You may worship me when you get them. Because I am:
The evil henchman.
Grow a spine, grow a brain, and get out of dodge.
That's the only way you're surviving this one.
What fantasy stereotype are you?
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