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Cut straight to the chapbook:

Years ago, I came upon an old book of my father’s, which had migrated from his shelf to mine. Its cover said Manual of Flight. For some reason, I brought it with me to a poetry reading, back when I did that sort of thing. I drew a poem out of a random set of paragraphs inside it and read it, straight out of the book, in front a live audience. That poem got through to one guy in the crowd that night — a young airman.

LDCover“I’ve read a lot of flight manuals,” he said, “but I’ve never thought of them as poetry before.”

He went on and on, saying “Oh, man” and “wow.” It affected him to a degree that didn’t make sense to me, to the point that he found me later that night and brought it up again. I thought it was a silly poem, but he loved it. So now I love it.

That poem was “Roll Out of Your Turn.” Or some version of it. I’ve had to reconstruct the thing from memory and the marks I made in Manual of Flight back when. On that page, my marks blend in with my father’s, and it’s hard to tell what’s meant to be a student’s underline for emphasis or a would-be poet’s underline for reading.

Not long ago, I came upon Manual of Flight on my shelf again, and thought of that airman. It had been a while since I wrote poetry that wasn’t haiku, so I thought I’d give it a shot again. I wrote a poem a day for five days, just as warm-ups for that day’s “real” writing, and published them on my tumblelog and at Jet Pack. You know, for kicks.

Yesterday, while frustrated with some other writing that I couldn’t get safely from my skull to the page, I put the poems together into a little package, just to have something to put out into the world this week. I took an hour, rewrote “Radio Phraseology” almost completely, laid out the text in InDesign, slapped a title and a CC license on it, and fed it all to Lulu and Issuu for web publishing.

Here’s what I ended up with:

If you enjoy it, please consider dropping a nickel in my hat.


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Lift and Drag by Will Hindmarch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.