Chicago Over Everything

Ms. Widman

High School Creative Writing 


This week the students at Amundsen looked at prose poems and explored how pace can be reimagined in a formal structure that lacked line breaks and enjambment. We read “When I Say That Loving Me Is Kind Of Like Being A Chicago Bulls Fan” by Hanif Abdurraqib and “The Fight in the Meadow” by Russell Edson, two stunning prose poems that treat image like an untamable force in the poem. Memory and meaning collide without the smirking of line breaks to drive the story. During the brainstorm session we described ourselves using people, places, or things in Chicago that are representative or metaphorical for our identity in relation to the city. The students then went off into the wild wonder of the page to write an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical prose poem. I am so tickled with the students I’m publishing below!


Who Do I Blame?

by Raul M.


Is it true, Father? That He made the devil so much stronger than a man? Or are we the ones who made the devil stronger than a man?

After a long night shift, I ended up at a library. There, I would learn more about us men. Book after book after book had made my head twirl and crack. I close my eyes

and I end up at somewhere else. I ended up near a strange mirror.

Shaped like a bean, I appear in it, and it starts to dance while shifting into many things. I closed my eyes and ran. And ran. And ran with the thing in the mirror laughing and dancing.


I stop by a park and sit on the bench near the entrance. 




Willis Near the Willis Tower

by Daniel J.


Willis went to go explore Chicago. He biked down the lakefront trail and saw the Chicago Theatre the way down the street. He figured out that he needed some groceries so Willis stopped by a Farmers Market to get an Italian beef sandwich. Willis could smell the flowers down at the garden and looked at the observatory. After some time wandering around Willis wanted to look at the fish so he biked down to the aquarium to look at the different sea animals. Willis stood tall in front of the walls of glass, fins passing him by.  




“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.