National Poetry Month Spotlight: Sandra Kolankiewicz

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!
Today’s featured poet is Sandra Kolankiewicz, who won the Fall, 2007 Black River Chapbook Competition for Turning Inside Out.
Turning Inside Out by Sandra Kolankiewicz
Turning Inside Out
I would do it if I could,
turn my eyes inward yet keep
that other half still
unknown to me, my constant companion,
just the distance of skin away,
but this time on the outside,
glistening into the dry air,
a steaming colander of
hot, red organs
pushed with their membranes
from one universe
into another.
Meanwhile, now on the inside,
nice and dark though somewhat
suffocated and thoroughly,
gratefully, unable to see,
I remember the world—
glowing—the way my arms
and legs moved me through space,
how I orbited other
bodies, other spheres, other
more complicated shapes.
The blackness is anaerobic now.
Air would kill me.
Sandra has chosen to introduce “What My Father Believed” by John Guzlowski.
She says: I love John Guzlowski’s work. Speaking with all he absorbed as a child of parents who had been in German work camps during World War II, he balances the terrible against human decency. The moral righteousness of his tone comes not from prescripted lessons on how humans should behave but rather from the desire in all of us to respond to terror and cruelty with universal understanding of suffering in one hand and love in other. I find his work extraordinary and unique.  He is always compassionate. This poem makes me want to be a better person.
Kolankiewicz_b&wNearly 200 of Sandra Kolankiewicz’s poems and stories have appeared in reviews over the past 35 years, most recently in New World Writing, BlazeVox, Gargoyle, Fifth Wednesday, Prick of the Spindle, Per Contra, Prairie Schooner, Appalachian Heritage, and Pif. Turning Inside Out won the Black River Prize at Black Lawrence Press. Finishing Line Press has just published The Way You Will Go After I Fell is soon to be released by Tri-Screen Connection.  She lives with her family in Marietta, Ohio.