Spoken Word Antics

11 July 2006


In July Spoken Word Antics features poetry by Oliver Mantell.

Making Planes

by Oliver Mantell

My father is away: it is Saturday afternoon. I am sitting and building warplanes in the kitchen as he taught me to. I break open the paint and stir the pigment in. I will paint the overalls of the little man in 52, olive green. His pink face blurs as I shut him in. He is a hero, like my father is, transfixed on his cushion of glue. I build him in his world: his ME-109, piece in the wings, map out the camouflage, transfer the neat insignia. I hate perfection. I hate what isn't real. Turning it over, I distress a prop, collapse a landing gear, plot in the black and silver round of flak, an engine-oil smear. This is my dog-fight, my counter-attack, the tracers all leading to his blank catastrophe. When I thumb-smear his cockpit with glue, accidentally, I mask it with a scarlet red and he is dead.

(copyright of the author)