Being disabled is to be always living in a peripheral state…

Being disabled is to be always living in a peripheral state. Those who don’t experience this don’t know how unfair and unstable crippled life really is. In order to mask this the non-disabled say that access is coming “tomorrow.”

So I sing “tomorrow tomorrow the accommodations will come out tomorrow” and wait for Daddy Ableist Warbucks to come.

If you’re a disabled person you know the drill.

Cripple’s Lament

    “they say I'm alienated from reality
    as if I had the power to decide life”

                    —Sanni Purhonen

They say I’m blind and should trade my eyes
For jellyfish—or just be a coral in darkness

They say I’m nothing more than the wind enraged

For cover, in polite society they say I’m like them
But they don’t invite me to the grand reunion

They say its written someplace I’m the match end

When I was a small I carried
A dead pocket watch

I thought how one day I’d have a clean reality

They say I’m a dry season

They change their minds: I’m a rumor of tears

They talk like men drunk on silver

They say I’m a poor infinity

I’m not afraid of anything

Today, Just a Man…

“I used to be purple but now I am pink,” wrote Kenneth Koch. I used to be a disabled child but now I am a disabled man. I’ve yet to achieve pink. I guess you could say my insides are like a sea wall covered with spiny anemones. I climb it. It’s just behind my face. Somehow I never get stung.

Either/or I am darkness descending
Or giving way
So morning is clear
Today, just a man
Walking with shadows in him
And no one knows how it will be
Or if our five senses
Will ever rise

Disability and the Onion

The skin of the onion is the measure of his glory. But his skin is imperfect, a humiliation, a hundred layers of anguish. The onion is a kind of library, an archive of failures. Explore. Peel away the layers. See Aristotle waving five roses at sunrise. See Cain who goes on killing Abel. See Algebra. See the coins of Silesius. Damned if you can’t see everything. This is a sufficient way of knowing, immortal. Say whatever you want.

Making Peace

I try to believe I’m not afraid of anything, I’m making peace
ghosts all the time

            —Sanni Purhonen

schoolteacher ghost
you didn’t like me

that is, the school room was a box
of hot indignities

a kind of pornography, really

making the blind child recite
handwriting on walls

I suppose you thought it was fun

we all know intelligence
provides the exact names of things

today I can tell you
there’s an exact moment
when everyone goes ahead

without sight

After a Night at the Comedy Club

I agree with Lorca, two has never been a number
But merely anguish and sorrow


Let the mathematicians eat in darkened rooms
Weeping into their soup

Yes I think that’s right


If I go on in this way I’ll birth a goddess from my forehead
And she’ll be a real bitch


I agree also with Lorca that the dead spend their time
Gobbling up their own hands


Yes that was me—picking mushrooms
Singing songs by Blake


“How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his own little boat.”

Excerpt From
Robert Bly


I like my mistakes more than my triumphs
They’re loyal


Right down to DNA
Ice is my country


I love it when Lorca says
This is not death, it is a fruit stand