Issue 58, Summer 1974
Is my dress appropriate?
Is my breath still fresh?
Will my underarms fail me?
What about my hair?
Should I have gotten it shaped,
is it long enough
to proclaim to one & all
my true & lasting blackness?
It’s the 7 a.m. flight.
Even the plane seems to yawn
as they test its engines
one by one in the historic fog of
San Francisco International.
The stewardesses in their
designed by some promotional committee
to make them look pretty & sexy,
look silly, look shot, look
O so American cheesecake!
There arent enough minutes
between now &: landing to
savor these ridiculous niceties:
coffee in flight, token sweetroll,
documentary voice of the pilot.
Shucks folks. . .
droning the time, temperatures,
altitudes, cruising speeds . . .
Dozing amidst commuters who’d fall
into deep sleep if they only knew
they were up here with a poet
trying to play his nuttiness down,
I’m on my way to interview
the great Ray Charles on assignment.
Pacific Southwest Airlines into L.A. today
— Tomorrow? Who knows? Trans-World!