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The Flying Sonnet

by Rex Wilder


Half the plane is wearing IU T-shirts

Out of respect for the team & disrespect

For winter. The distinguishing features

Of the greying landscape cannot detect


Me any better than I can them. Rivers,

Lakes, & those weedy ponds take exception:

They reflect the gasping sky as my verse

With its shaky images makes my perception


Feel more sure. Your confession took guts, 

Liv, & tied mine in a knot. A transfer of

Power. The flight attendant: Pretzels? Nuts?

I think I might be nuts when I order love.


I’m so close to heaven, all this blue,

& my lips forty years from kissing you.

Rex Wilder is the author of Red Hen Press’s “Waking Bodies” and “Boomerangs in the Living Room” and “OPEN LATE, New and Collected Poems” from Chatwin Books. Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins says: “In Rex Wilder’s poetry, the tired English of everyday use comes back to us refreshed and full of its original surprise. In a world glutted with poetry, that Wilder has found a new way to say the old things is a notable achievement.” He created a new poetic form with Richard Wilbur called the Boomerang, four of which appear in “Wide Awake, Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond,” named one of Los Angeles Times Book Critic David Ulin’s “Top Ten Books of the Year.” Stephanie Burt, called “one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation" by The New York Times, has characterized Wilder’s poetry as “…’haunting’ and ‘charming,’ a cross between Ashbery and Wordsworth.” He has many poems in Poetry (Chicago) and TLS (London) as well as The New Republic, The Nation, Poetry Ireland, Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Yale Review and others. He lives in Venice, California with his children, dogs, and conscience.


July 2019

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