Poetry — August 29, 2011 14:56 — 1 Comment

Airplanes – Erik Bendix

people disappear
into airplanes
or reappear
out of them
as if from nowhere

death used to be
hard to explain
now it’s impossible
to tell apart from
the jack-in-the-boxes
of modern visits:
friends, nieces, my mother,
in and out
suddenly oops
one of them is gone
how do I know
they aren’t just on
other airplanes
like luggage
that got sent
to Valparaiso
by mistake
some paperwork goof
is concealing
my grandmother
even though she died
with me right there
holding her hand
I had just gotten
off the airplane


Erik Bendix loves vitality and texture in words. His poetry distills half a century spent wrestling with a family legacy of Holocaust survival, living close to nature, exploring world dance traditions, and finding joy in music. As a student of movement arts from Chen Man Ching's Tai Chi to Rumi's legacy of dervish whirling, he listens for the cadences of movement in words, and for where those cadences draw life from the body. He has translated all of Rilke's Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus into English, the latter into full sonnet form to capture the resonance and flow of the original.

One Comment

  1. Claire B. says:

    rhythmic, sad and playful all at once. this is a poem I won’t forget anytime soon. Thanks!

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney