Travelogue, Kind Of

by: Tony Mancus


we’re staring down
we’re done
the map—Virginia
traffic, the listing sea
of parenthood.
our periods
are legion—
the legion is full
of old men farting
and sweat-cheap drinks.
I don’t own my suit, a seat
inside, three fingers
of simple pressure
applied beneath
the eyelids in a tilt-backed
chair. they say
it’s safe
to drive right through here.


why has every person
who’s ever been
in the seat I’m to sit in
on a plane before me
the same exact size I am?
I’ve never once
adjusted the belt
to fit my hips.
it’s already set
to my width.


I worry the edges of my pants, the crotch
always blows out eventually, too, and I don’t
listen to the safety talk.
Heart crashes in my head
enough to close my eyes. No serial #s
in my dreams Mark Hamill
gets blowjobs from invisible everyone
& the oxygen masks
don’t come down
when they should
we land with a lift & tilt
of wing & I whisper to you
as you complete your outfits—
your shoes perfectly coordinated,
the sleep staff simple
as the waking kind.


A man leans in to his traveling friends
and learns how to pop his ears
by holding his nostrils closed
and blowing—
how to log into the sky. A child
dog noises and we are confused.
There’s a dog.
The engine’s press for launch.
We are up & banking
snakes of light—the highway’s
slow & lovered
heart pressed forward rush
when the engines dip
into a flare of metal sound
then quiet.
Dog child light on the wing & so much
for what to do in the dark


This week I’ve got a hungry mouth and the body to prove it.


A symbol on the dais, the waitressed sky says careful.
I’m drinking a coke and eating the tiny pretzels.
Question games play over and over & no, there’s
nothing for
the tequila of individualism—we’re supposed to arrive
early in this tin bolt. All of our bodies produce flammable
gas and here we are, never lighting any of it.


My eyes don’t have any problems either
aside from being unable to see.


The cat gut stretching
a pie piece—you say the answer
and get it, move your circle
round the board. New question
shines up against the platform
& another copy
cat sets the sights—please me, please
yourself, please me again, then you
& in that order

no one belts the wiser purring engine
lost of its central churn and charge.


To get the flywheel: to dive the pistol
home without the depressing hammer.


viewers now must borrow someone
else’s hand to press the change
channel button & their entire lives
become unglued
the cushioned
couch beneath them


she did go on a log flume
the largest temper tantrum
I’ve texted
the strikeout move


To navigate a city by its bars—the windowed
ones, the ones to get drunk in, the policed
after-effects of many pale afternoons
clusterfucked together. The bit you battle with
is better than the battle you bait with.