The following poems, written by students in an advanced poetry workshop at Illinois Wesleyan University, were inspired by Courtney Queeney’s “Back to the Body” (from Filibuster to Delay a Kiss (NY: Random House, 2007): 77), a poem that employs the dialectical back-and-forth between “I” and “you,” and culminates in, if not precisely a synthesis, a surprise.
* * *
If I am a static radio, then you are the slap
of stiletto heals on a hardwood floor. If
I am a generic clone, you are a cosmos spinning
creation. If I am the whispering voice that prevents your
slumber, then you are my enemy territory.
If I am searching the screen for answers, then you are
the crystal ball I choose to ignore. If I am the ball of grease
you choked on, you are my heart attack and stroke. If I am
insecure in my self-image, then you are a child lost
among the clothes racks at Macy’s.
If I am everything you wish to be, then you
are the heat of locker room steam.
How did I fail to save you?
* * *
More to come…