Cripples descend to the streets with their horrendous habits and torn tickets…

Cover of Planet of the and dog....

Have you ever considered the flamboyant machinery of disability? Not the machine of desire like Deleuze, but of insistence. The Dis-machine is about insistency and each of us who’s claimed disability must be rendered robotic by our demands. Not the cyborg of Judith Butler the Dis-machine: it’s a childish contraption, irritatingly repetitive, always whiny and whinnying. So it’s loud, gets attention, and the human soul boils inside it.


Wasn’t that enough for you? Didn’t we give you a radio and some Braille playing cards? Oh yes, and didn’t we give you Social Security Disability payments? Isn’t it enough we didn’t tumble you into the sea?

What? You want to be of the earth like your neighbor?


Flamboyant: mid 19th century: from French, literally ‘flaming, blazing,’ present participle of flamboyer, from flambe ‘a flame.’

Disability, advocated for, is a repetitive life-long enslavement, stiff, mechanical. Vocalized it becomes hot, a conflagration.

The disabled, considered children by those without disabilities, are, effectively steam engines, wholly constructed; hot to the touch.


Now I don’t know you. You, my fellow passenger. We’re flying Iodine Air. The commuter plane is filthy and smells like gym socks. I don’t know a thing about you, Man Across the Aisle—you who imagine because I have a guide dog I can’t tell you’re sizing me up with the face of a reproving minister. Perhaps you don’t like dogs; maybe blindness upsets you. In extremis, I remind you of death, which is wonderfully ironic because I see you as a specialized proto-cadaver. That is, you’re biggest contribution to humanity will come when you’re dead and on a table. I’m on fire alright.


Desire’s basic function according to Deleuze and Guattari is to assemble and render itself mechanical.

All disabled are “Le machine hot” and you really shouldn’t touch me.

What is the constructive thing the disabled form?


This is the problem: the bio-political conditions of disability are stripped of effectual desiring-production and must, therefore, be voiced relentlessly, like the notes of a calliope.

Meanwhile the journalists trained their lenses on the crippled child who was allowed to meet the great basketball player. Normal people wept and considered the little boy “brave” for wanting to walk in the world.


This is the problem: there are no workshops for disablement mastery.

Cripples descend to the streets with their horrendous habits and torn tickets.

The desiring machines of crippledness are fueled by the chrysanthemums of healing.

These are not the true machines.

You see I feel as well as my body tells me I do. I throw flames from my wide mouth.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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