About skuusisto

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

The Fictive Life

Since poetry says so, I bring my father back from the dead and then my mother with her broken laugh. My brother, gone since infancy, he comes along, though not in human form, he’s like the northern lights. “There’s nothing to be astonished about,” I tell them. “Let’s leave off where we were.” So we fall together like leaves in wind and sweep across the velvet ditch of fictive life—you know, the one we imagined we’d live and live.



It was a long day, blazoned with hints from cumulous,

Forebodings—blackness in my wrists,

A fancy concerning self-harm—

As if customary sky may purchase

Or sell a life, in this case mine.

I’ve questions and no one to ask,

This static American business,

Bleaching yourself clear in public,

Being silent, a green chill

For a tongue. I was powerless

Today, strung across

My thirst with no one

To tell—correction—

The sun as strong as always.



Homage to Krip-Hop Nation

Yesterday I watched a Youtube video of disability activist and poet Leroy Moore. Mr. Moore is the founder of Sins Invalid—an arts program by and for the disabled and which promotes engagement with disability and black identity among other intersections. He is also the inventor of Krip-Hop, a poetics of spoken word poetry with powerful rhythms—a poetry of urgency and truth.

I’m just a white blind dude. I’m a white blind dude poet and nonfiction writer. Me? I’ve got broad interests. More than a few of my concerns have to do with trans-progressivism, which is to say I believe that oppression isn’t identical across diversity intersections but many of its mechanism are the same.

Here is Mr. Moore, reciting a poem after a black man with a prosthetic leg was brutally  wrestled to the ground by police in San Francisco. Here’s to Krip-Hop Nation.


The Ploughman

A ploughman comes to me in my dream—synesthesia—his odor is of wine, the taste of wine, ripened cherries and earth and when he speaks I hear only syllables as I do not know his language. Even in dreams there’s something of the ironist, the upper hand of the subconscious, and I know this is a Finno-Ugrian tongue, Altaic and not calibrated to contemporary joy. Each sound is sorrow. We meet on a plain of losses and the sun is amber like Russian tea in a glass and soon it will be gone and the ploughman says things I do not understand but in my dream-like way I take to mean: sun-sorrow; course-sorrow; child-loss; deep-hunger; long shadows.