Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
Of Contour, of Cadence
by Phillip B. Williams
Resist, don’t: the difference between what one thinks
the magnolias say—branches applauding
some animal act below—and what
they actually say…nothing
between us can
we prepare for, only postpone. I’ve learned
to plead and to please, another difference.
Turn your face that way where light no more
transfigures you than darkness makes a need for
transfiguration. Yes, the scar above your eye.
Blood had dropped from the wound, a curtain.
But I believe we are, inside, all blue, you said.
Listen, neither we nor blue make sky.
The earth spins and we, utterly, are spun.
Copyright © 2016 by Phillip B. Williams. Used with the permission of the author. Originally published in Thief in the Interior in 2016.
About the Author
Phillip B. Williams is from Chicago, IL and is the author of the book Thief in the Interior (Alice James 2016). A recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Lambda Literary Award, and Whiting Award, he currently teaches at Bennington College and the Randolph College low-residency MFA.
- Day 1: Pride Month by Shelley Wong
- Day 2: Is This or Is This True as Happiness by Derrick Austin
- Day 3: Nature Poem by Sam Herschel Wein
- Day 4: Ana I Don’t Forget by Gala Mukomolova
- Day 5: Eavesdropping on Adam and Eve by Andrea Cohen
- Day 6: Billow of Thistles by Ruben Quesada
- Day 7: Prayer for My Trans Siblings by H. Melt
- Day 8: Summer by Chen Chen
- Day 9: Embers by Henri Cole
- Day 10: Male Beauty by Richie Hofmann
- Day 11: [unsent draft] by Rachel Mennies
- Day 12: Forty by Julia Guez
- Day 13: Of Contour, of Cadence by Phillip B. Williams
- Day 14: The Men We Loved by Cyril Wong
- Day 15: Riding the Bus Back to Oxford by Catherine Pond
- Day 16: The Window by Jay Besemer
- Day 17: Want Could Kill Me by Xandria Phillips
- Day 18: What a Waste by Jill McDonough
- Day 19: Eros by Randall Mann
- Day 20: An Act by Michael M. Weinstein
- Day 21: Things I Didn’t Do With this Body and Things I Did by Amanda Gunn
- Day 22: Puzzle Pieces by D. A. Powell
- Day 23: Duplicity by Jameson Fitzpatrick
- Day 24: Is It True All Legends Once Were Rumors by Carl Phillips
- Day 25: High School Sleepovers with Straight Girls by Julian Guy
- Day 26: Abu Nuwas by Kazim Ali
- Day 27: Observation Car by Lauren Clark
- Day 28: Love Song by Eileen Myles
- Day 29: Donuts by Dan Kraines
- Day 30: The Lone Palm by Jenny Johnson
Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this second year of our series is the first movement, Schéhérazade, from Masques, Op. 34, by Karol Szymanowski, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.