Poetry by Ben Pelhan

"Untitled" by Sarah Knight / instagram.com/sarahknight_art



A whale on a runway is always a mistake.

a spectacle, I still don’t know you well. I haven’t spent enough time with you yet. whale. your name is an awful sound. you pick me up and down. so little gravity. so much whale. there aren’t any crashes. you can’t go anywhere. so arrive. so come. so sore. land hard where you can when every color is your favorite. when the magazines are full of themselves. when the space is small. the splash is big.

big splashing

the opposite of an airplane is not a flying whale waking suddenly thinking of home spreading its fins out like wings diving through blue through sky through clouds shaped like animals wide eyed and watching the ocean get big fast like a fist in a movie wondering “how did I get here?” the opposite of an airplane is something simple like a joke.

Together person is not a bridge.

when together person stretches across oceans the body is not a bridge. it is 1000 acres of forest moved by jagged things and branches brushed ‘way like a muscly man handling a pet bird and tossed aside like big splashing. the forest bumps all into itself and changes shape like clouds and is wet and is not a bridge and is not the opposite of a bridge. together person is not a runway either. not a horizon nor a landscape. together person has a body. it does not go on forever.



Ben Pelhan is a London-based American. He founded Line Assembly: a poetry education and performance tour with accompanying documentary currently in post-production. His work has appeared/is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, BOMB Magazine, Fairytale Review, Hobart and elsewhere. To see pictures of his dog, Bella, and the occasional London elephant sighting, you can follow @benpelhan on Instagram.