Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
who lost on of her moms
the Friday after Thanksgiving
when she’d only been “officially” her child
since the 2lst of June.
they don’t cover
that in honorary auntie school
and even someone who earns
her living making letters fit together
1. Chocolate really does make things better (at least a little bit)
2. Death is often unexpected and random
3. Words, friends, and favorite movies help
4. Take out food and organic pies are comforting
5. Not getting one job doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
6. There is no way a sympathy card can replace a sympathy hug
no matter how much love it’s sent with.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Being a wheelchair user
the bane of being,
especially absent accompanying ramp.
Source of only happy bio-dad memory;
he rubs my sore skull in his
lazy weekend morning attire
of maroon silk bathrobe after weak muscles
wouldn’t follow brain’s desire
to pull 50 pound body stair by stair,
The reason Brian
now has a rod in his femur,
necessitating unwelcome break
from basketball and hockey.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
1. to memorialize
2. to inform self and others
3. to be able to talk to myself without being called crazy
4. to maintain a grip on this thing called sanity
5. for money (I must admit)
6. because spilled ink has always helped create justice
7. because it passes time when waiting for bureaucrats if you have a speaker phone
8. Words last centuries!
9. It’s a better tool for self expression than an Uzi, and more legal.
(for Laura Hershey)
People pour out pent up Laura love
in poems, in e-mail. on Facebook,
on blogs, in newspapers,
wherever/however they find the space.
If granted the ability, I’d will
you back among the breathing
to your partner and not so little girl
in less time than it takes to
undergo one of my teacher’s
long, slow yoga breaths.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I stared hard at the computer screen,
trying to decide if this was someone’s idea
of a very sick Facebook joke.
Then I make no sense for a few minutes,
as I tried to find the right number of verys
to express my heart's aching.
“Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, ver…”
until my assistant insists I stop and tell her
exactly what happening.
Suddenly winning Nanowrimo in 3 and a half days
doesn’t seem so important,
especially when my characters mundane, everyday, basic actions
seem to have hit an abrupt pause.
assistant bought Chinese dinner,
watch Something’s Gotta Give for the thousandth time,
and take a 90 minute nap
after failing to add even on meaningful sentence
to my tale of a young ballerina’s journey
toward self discovery.
I venture to my local mega-grocery
hoping chocolate, which I buy with change only,
will recall the muse to mind.
After one-third of bag of Reese’s
I’m no happier or more motivated
just a little stomach sick.
somehow I find the focus
to write this poem
and decide- perhaps cruelly-
to make one of characters endure
a death, too.
these are fitting
to a genius lost
even if it's only a rough draft.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wrote the ending
breaking an unbreakable rule.
Figured out the scenes
and what will happen
when I have the support
necessary needed to spare my wrist
strain it can’t always absorb.
Final research trip is tomorrow,
off to local toy store,
where I will combine
a very cute scene,
that really makes readers believe
in the girl that my character is
with a little real world seasonal shopping.
These 5 scenes will complete
the month long tale in beginning to end
in just over 18,000 words.
because I refuse to abandon
the beloved little ballerina
I created in this month of thanks giving;
it’s into edit mode.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I learned about today
from a friend’s poem.
The women who went to a nursing home
merely because her husband/caretaker died
and had to give up a teaching career she loved.
Perhaps this was in days
before paid assistants.
For myself, get 16 paid hours
in any 24 hours period,
more than enough to insure
survival of both self and cat.
she is from that
older generation of gimps
that don’t understand the value
of accessing the hard one rights
to “I’m the boss PCA services”
and thinks no would come assist
her as arranged.
I can you
people will do a lot for $12.48 per hour,
especially in this economy.
But then again,
perhaps she had no one
to teach her about alternatives.
God knows no institution
help enforce the civil rights
we fought for, went to jail defending,
and too often, literally, died for-
because it will cost them one cash cow.
If this woman,
is still among the breathing,
perhaps I will find her
and we will talk options.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
of turkeys differently
since I saw that tom and his hens
out by the Quabbin Reservoir.
if my voice has any sway in the purchasing
of holiday gobblers,
I will advocate
for the buying of a bird
that had a nice life.
Something that died happy
simply tastes better than something
that spent it’s life penned
in an obviously too small cage.
After all, I’m going to have
a creature murdered
merely to grace my holiday plate
I at least what to know
it saw sunshine,
and had sex.
(Dedicated to Ahriah)
This is my niece’s favorite question
or it will be in a few months
when her tongue graduates from babyhood
to full on toddler status.
Auntie, why is the sky blue?
Auntie, why do zebras have stripes?
Auntie, why can’t you walk?
These are the questions
I look forward to,
ones that easy to answer
from my own knowledge
or a simple search on Google.
The harder set of questions
will come with adolescence
or earlier- given that she’s related to me,
unless we radically change both ourselves
and our social structures.
Auntie, why can’t any two people who love each other get married?
Auntie, what will happen when we’ve cut down all the trees?
Auntie, why are their still people who think that every girl likes pink?
Auntie, what did you do about it?
I don’t know what I’ll say.
All I know is that I work daily
to create a world
where questions like that
will occur only in history books,
not out of mouths of babes.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
-Martina Robinson, 2010
Resist boxes others
Assign us to with
Collected or valued. Personal
Negated by hours spent
Identity claims against
Naysayers who often say that
God told them we don’t exist.
Unduly granted weight by
Doctors. We must struggle
Always to prove our
Relentless quest to define self
Is a righteous
Endeavor; one they
You and I
Primus and Thisbe
or ,more accurately, Thisbe and Thisbe
kissing through chinks in socially constructed,
sub-culturally enforced, walls.
Every six months or so,
we have one of our marathon,
post-midnight phone conversations
and decide that honoring these
long ago conceived restrictions
is nothing short of stupid.
The morning light will find us
lack to will to pursue
such noble aims.
Monday, November 15, 2010
After a poor night’s sleep
that involved passing urine into bedpan twice
and 1 wicked attack of spasms.
After waking with a headache
that keeps going and going
at a rate the Energizer Bunny would envy
despite downing three Aleve
and half a pipe full of ganja.
After bout of writer’s block
that further delayed the deadlines
I was already behind on
After hours on phone
dealing with various bureaucracies
aiming to get basic medical needs met.
After even more hours discussing
transit, hotel room, and conference registration
and all that intervening issues involved in arranging that
for a body like mine.
After my kitchen sink
over ran it’s boundaries
causing an impromptu flood
that reviled Noah’s in rates of rise
and led to maintenance man invasion
and very freaked out puddy tat.
Just after dinner with my assistant,
a belly full of carnivorous comfort food,
and a shopping trip that yields
both tp and chocolate covered cranberries
has me thinking that this day
just might turn out okay.
the nasty, irreparable rip
in my trusty, two year old,
Sunday, November 14, 2010
born and bred Pennsylvanian
enjoyed herself eating
vegan antipasto and other cruelty-free treats;
wonders what this says about her evolving culinary palette,
although she suspects her physical body
simply will not allow
a totally flesh free existence,
whatever she might wish.
Two Tuesdays from now
at 10:45 AM
it feels like the amorphous “they”
get to decide the rest of my life.
Attempts to reassure self
that this is that,
but only one in a sting
that will present to this body
are proving futile.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The kind you willing run
full force into
like on some kind
of creativity disciple on LSD
just because it’s November
and you find yourself unable
to say no to any of your friends interesting
So, you agree to write 2 two poems a day,
and keep your job examining two topics,
which are thankfully related,
while blogging for a site you pay to belong to
although you barely cover your membership fee
with the money you earn,
and posting for pennies
on a site you enjoy mostly
because of it’s international flair.
all the while creating a 50,000 word novel,
going to the gym to make sure the 15 pounds
you lost stays lost,
and updating your Facebook status
so no one thinks you died
in what used to be
your spare time.
(for Ed Rwaitkowski)
I meet a man
who draws or paints
(depending on mood and medium)
with his feet.
His pictures would be the envy
of many able-bodied artists.
I resolve never to complain
about my speech impairment
or typing speed again.
It’s a vow
I hope to keep
for at least 24 hours.
Friday, November 12, 2010
the dance of hunted…
words pursue like
I have no time
to enjoy literary triumphs,
rest on laurels,
it’s always on to next
one step follows another
to breathe or turn muse
break into friendly, creative sister
from the banshee
she’s twisted into
in honor of November.
“Look back. Talk back.
I won’t always be around to defend you,”
my mother told me.
Some would call
that strange advice
to give a preschooler with tear filled eyes,
post classmate meanness fest.
I would learn to call it wisdom.
the look I give to homophobes
at street corners who dare
call innocent hand holding
a sign of the Antichrist’s arrival
or to people who stare either
too long or lustily at my twisted frame
could, as the girl I love, puts it,
“Freeze water in the middle of Hades.”
Even to attain
the ogle-worthy bodies
men, women, or both
depending on preference
find so alluring,
Even though wives tales
say it affects complexion.
Because we all remember
the joy of cookies, fresh baked
after stellar report cards
or basketball court victories,
rewards on a plate.
Because we all
have a memory
of apology chocolate
born by a girlfriend, boyfriend
after some wrongdoing.
Because in spite of everything,
I’ve learned I still believe
“There’s a smile
in every Hershey bar.”
Thursday, November 11, 2010
the post finals December morning
when I was about to have you put
my comfy, maroon turtleneck in suitcase.
the way your long,
well-kept fingers held the material
and how casually you told me
“I would mind having that while you were gone.”
knowing from the pitch of your voice
that the request wasn’t so casual
trading that keep me
warm in blizzards shirt
for enough kisses
to last me until New Year’s Day,
when I’d receive a fresh supply
and it would be your birthday.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Looking for the 25th hour
I dislodge myself from the world
of my 12-year-old, overstressed ballerina
and my/her need to craft some sort
of novel draft that makes enough sense
to read a scene from by November 30th.
Leave her and all her adolescent angst
in the world of fiction for the moment,
as I visit the world of verse
seeking to create two non-masterpieces
that will do nothing more than keep me in the games
I’ve elected to play.
After that there’s an article to write
about an awesome event that took
two hours out of my overbooked, overburdened afternoon.
I should blog, too.
People on Blogit worry if I don’t check in.
Called the police once,
much to my embarrassment.
The problem was a misfiring internet connection,
not, as they feared,
some assistant gone psycho.
It’ll be after midnight
when I get back to my story
where my heart truly wants to be.
Unless I find the 25th hour.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Little, spastic girls
shouldn’t walk alone
in the autumn darkness
to library programs
designed to make them
pass urine into library floors
or fear things that go bump
in the night.
And afterward said little girl
definitely shouldn’t spend
the rest of the evening
as she attempts to write
the great American novel
in 30 days.
palm of hand sized,
not good for pie baking,
as are her weightier siblings-
now sits in window,
all dolled up
with purple googly eyes,
a silver pipe cleaner smile,
and crazy Afrocentric curls,
capped with turquoise feather;
She’s transformed from vegetable
to stand in for novel main character
in the space of a Halloween party.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I never met you,
but your friend
(who has by now mentioned me, perhaps)
talked to me after I spoke
to her personal health class
but you’ve been occupying
my mind like a bad hang nail
you are tired
of residing in space
made for clothes
as opposed to souls.
my own weariness
when I was you 15 years ago.
I recall the agony
that made bad spasm days seem
like a Central Park stroll in June.
How does the lying start?
Of being abandoned
to manage this body
you can’t control independently.
You promise yourself
it’s only until you get
your own bank account,
your own home,
your own services.
After a briefer time than you imagine
the falsehoods become a habit you don’t desire
like smoking or injecting heroin.
Maintained for the illusions of ease and safety.
You bare the gut twisting.
Learn not to taste each untruth
like two days unbrushed teeth.
You get very good-
smile on cue,
swallow always present sobs.
all I can offer you-
is to beware
of the lie’s seduction
and the illusion offered.
One day you’ll
snap and blurt out
the actual reality
of your existence
and that’s better done
with just a little planning,
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I must cross Route 9
where there’s no crosswalk.
Only a two lane highway,
between the bus stop and the gym-
my final destination.
I turn the chair to maximum
and bolt across the road,
worn tires squealing
across macadam at a momentary break
in the endless traffic onslaught.
“Is risking my life
really worth saving
but her story is related
by a friend,
who’s class I’ve come to speak to-
I’ve been there
where she must live
That crazy place
between out and in
of closet, disclosure/non-disclosure,
the struggle to meet both
the needs of your queer soul
and your disabled body.
Who to tell what and when and why.
I give the friend my card
and pray she calls me,
so I can be there.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I think I’m ready to start
becoming the person
she saw in flashes
a decade and a half of nights ago
who she decided love
in spite of muscle twitches
and frequent retreats into
behavior she thought childish.
I have never met
the woman she sees
behind eyes in most evolved moments.
just sometimes, though,
I look into mirrors
and wonder if the she
looking back at me
is really that long lost woman
and not me.
I am not ready
to give up, give in, give over
control of self or life
to anyone who isn’t me
despite the seductive ease
that relinquishing sometimes
seems to offer.
I vote in every election,
beat on power’s very door,
chain myself to things, as required.
I teach others
to not be ready,
to not accept,
to not surrender.
My housemate announces-
she who used to be he-
and in another version of life
and perhaps still is,
in some parallel universe
beyond our vision,
will not help eat the Pumpkin pie
I planned to order
in an attempt to bring just a bit of tradition
to out very non-traditional household
come Turkey day.
Monday, November 1, 2010
will always make heart skip beat
has ever since that too cold January day
when gimps gathered to confront Kevorkian
and I decide to yield to six months
of pent up desire
that I am nearly too naive
Despite how well this round us
is going, for now,
I can’t help waiting
for the other shoe.
I endure almost assistantless day,
making a valiant effort not to contract
to the bug that wrapping them
each around pincher fingers in turn
and squeezing human insides
until they vomit or crap on themselves.
do I realize
it’s also a day when
the writer gets to organize
the organizer gets to dance,
and the dancer gets to write,
and my whole self gets to remember
rainbows are hidden behind clouds.
Monday, August 30, 2010
did not occur in bathroom, as expected
after late night writing binge, too closely followed
by too early morning.
Medical supply run,
with mind full of rejected manuscript,
looming payout deadlines,
and housemate crises,
went awry when I missed curb cut
by all of two feet.
freaked out housemate/employee,
and just about every on duty municipal worker
in Belchertown coming to my aid,
along with a passerby who thought he knew
how to drive my chair.
But at least I overcame my fear of falling.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
If they accept you,
take a moment to celebrate
self, work, accomplishment.
If another rejection letter arrives,
instead of desired victory,
breathe deeply, mourn (but only for a moment)
and move on.
remember you were a poet
before the judges
declared a winner
and you’ll be one after.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
at a gathering of fellow artists
my 34-year-old self remembers trauma;
elementary school art room hallway
where personal creations
never merited placement
no matter how much effort I exerted.
Was that the first place
I learned to apologize
To internalize blame
for the wayward movements
of a body I neither chose nor controlled?
Not to do this
Not to do that.
Not to do every possible thing
if certain people got to make the rules.
Rebellion came with adolescence
I turned words into weapons
which I welded against those that bullied
without reason or regard.
I wrote words
that earned me awards, acclaim,
some measure of equality.
But with discovery of self
came banishment of crayons, markers
and moving body for enjoyment.
I lacked desire to engage
in behavior I couldn’t perfect
The loss was tangible and complete.
Periodically reclaimed during some
of life’s moments-
dancing in Oregon,
joining the gym.
I hope tonight
I’ve unlearned elementary school lessons
for the final time.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I retreat into
bedroom with ancient cordless phone
I’m seeking privacy and community
in one space.
But I realize
this space is too dark
self to find needed
solidarity, support, sisterhood.
I’ll take my queer, disabled, brown ass
back to the living room
and carry on this conversation
in fluorescent’s exposing light,
I decide I don’t care who overhears
I think this is the most found
I’ve ever felt.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
They are camped out in Sacramento
as I write this,
already damaged bodies calling cement
tonight’s sleeping quarters.
One night’s tossing and turning
will hopefully preserve hard won gimp liberation,
whatever the Gubernator’s intent.
I sit inside
my warm, enclosed apartment
writing a poem to some women in Texas
and praying for justice.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I never, in life, addressed you
as Dr. Longmore.
Paul seemed more built to suit.
You were so far above all
of that academic pretentiousness.
My lack of granting you degree earned title
was not meant,
or- hopefully – taken as lack of respect
It’s a more fitting honor
to your date obsessed, historian’s mind,
which I am already missing, that
I just had my assistant devote
state paid care minutes
to removing stamp and finding exact year on
postcard’s inaugural postmark
before I mail it off
to some Washington based poet I never met
and who, I assume, never heard of you.
Alas, non-historian who removed last stamp
wasn’t as careful as you would’ve been
and I can’t know what year
last century postcard dates from.
Well, professor, I gave it my all.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Postcards again adorn
my water closet4,
as Anne Frank called it
from her World War II attic.
I removed predecessors
a year ago , preparing for
move that never materialized.
They’ve been blank ever since.
Recently postcards from unknown poets
across country begin
to appear with my post
addressing animals, flowers, duty, mourning
I write my on daily verse
in response or garner
from today’s new experiences.
Send assistant or self
Monday, July 26, 2010
(an acrostic poem in honor of the 20th anniversary)
All across nation
Members of disability community
Remembering the days before a more
Acted to ensure civil rights for disabled and
Non-disabled alike the
Summer I was 13.
We had a dance
Inside/under the main summer camp pavilion
That evening. I remember
Delighted the young girl who was me
In that moment
Surely in this new land of
Access, she could
Become anything she wanted,
Impairment or not. So much
Laughter and joy
That evening. How was that
Idealistic teen to know that
Even civil right laws didn’t
Stop bigots from being bigoted?
After all we’ve learned in the 2 decades, we still
Celebate and commune
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Deluges in brash clouds,
storm brewing beneath seas.
It’s beautiful, or would be,
if the tiger cat orange/black mushroom cloud
sent to my computer via PBS
wasn’t spewing pollution into the Gulf.
Beached oil isn’t nearly as attractive,
resembling in consistency and hue of severe diarrhea,
running into volunteers blue latex gloves.
Poet wishes she could merely ponder
elegance of accidental tragedy
without dwelling on effects
to wildlife, fisheries, and planet.
However, she knows this
to be impossible.
Friday, April 30, 2010
I am so looking forward
to the week I plan to take off
after the last bit of duty is finished
with the completion of Pride tomorrow.
Already, I admit to self
that my week, will be more
like a weekend.
Books, DVDs, and Facebook
can only occupy writer’s muse
for so long.
But I still need a break,
after 7 days of activism
as much as my advocate soul
rebukes needed rest.
This time Shaniek and I are yellow.
Members of other color squads stretch
back as far as my head will turn and still
allow me to move forward in a reasonably
no matter how bent or overtired,
are a sight that rivals any Victoria’s Secret spread.
Shannon writes me notes
in a child’s scrawl,
even though she’s 14.
if she knows
how necessary her moms-
yeah, she’s got two- notes
about dance recitals, baseball practice, and track meets
are to my personal, overworked sanity.
She reminds me,
the honorary auntie she’s never met,
that there is more too life
than this keyboard
or whether some grant committee finds
my work “suitable for funding”.
She reminds me that no matter
where someone starts out in life;
you can become what or whoever
the universe and you, yourself, decree.
1. Made mistakes, in some cases really bad mistakes
2. Brought shoes, ugh!
3. Eaten burritos, cakes, and Big Macs
4. Given speeches on various issues
5. Kissed girls
6. Had sex
7. Recited the words, verbatim, to It’s a Wonderful Life
8. Taught Dance
9. Been paid to write
10. Been to pride marches; going again tomorrow
12. Been to jail for justice!!
(Inspired by Scars by Johnny Crescendo)
I wonder, listening,
to my friends activist anthem
about his own purpled/lavender
permanent skin, if the man
who “bent my bones and organized
my personal zones.” Does have scars
and whether they are available for public viewing
as mine are in shorts while standing.
Miles rolled, self and chair
already tired from journeying to
two canceled events, although admit
my own delight at seeing grandma’s eyes
grow big and feel with tears upon discovering
an unexpected me at Atlantic City 85th birthday celebration
that I stopped by en route to DC,
where I’ve come to cast my vote
for justice on multiple fronts.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
My purpling knee injury
which rendered me bedridden
for nearly one month
could be miraculously cured
if recalcitrant adults would just heed
his repeated baby words.
“Put her in the chair, mommy.”
“Put her in the chair, mommy.”
“Put her in the chair, mommy.”
His refrain repeated, everyday and often
when he visited ill, prone, irritated
aunt by designation.
On the day,
I was well enough
to be mobile.
He points at me, driving around
chasing him through parking lot,
tired after near month of non-exertion
and says, defiantly,
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
(assignment 20a, theme "looking back")
I look back,
my memories of you
calling to me as always.
I see you in dreams,
naked and eager-
your long hair running
between my shower wet
Its funny when I think
of being with her;
her skinny fame, her crutches,
her hair like yours,
between dry fingers
as I don’t know her
as well as you.
she’s the future.
You’re the past.