Pub date: September 28, 2012
Incisive and intensely felt, Stewart Cole’s striking debut collection reminds us that we too live in an age of anxiety, disoriented by doubt, up late and compelled to confront the unanswerable. Sirens draw us to the inevitable fact of human suffering, black-winged redbirds perch aloof above our daily commutes, sex denies and drives our hunger for fidelity, and the comet speaks before it strikes.
In an unabashed celebration of intellect and a visceral engagement with our shadowy impulses, Cole’s voice veers between the playful and the grave, pillow-talk and eulogy. And despite the odds, love — private, public, and free of false sentiment — emerges cloaked in a wit and intelligence
at once elusive and warm. From the urbane and civil to the lustful and dark, the poems of Questions in Bed, in an impressive synthesis of content and contour, depict the heat-seeking of our driven days and insomniac nights.
“Negotiating ‘the fragilities that make us go’ and ‘the doubts that shame our dailiness,’ Stewart Cole coaxes his dissatisfaction into abundance, as if he were holding reality by the ankles and shaking the change from its pockets. This heap of detail, gathered by an attentive mind, is then generously scrutinized and shared. Curious and sensual, Questions in Bed is a book rich with memorable phrases and new ways of seeing.” — David O’Meara
“Questions in Bed considers its questions with verve, in a clear voice that crackles with surprising word collocations and staccato consonance. The poems that spring from this music are much more a singing in their chains than a pointing to the chains themselves.” — A.F. Moritz
Broadsheet "Questions in Bed"