Monday, August 30, 2010

Macadam Poem

My first post injury
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

One Poet’s Reminder to Self

(written as an affirmation when I realized the Accents Publishing 2010 chapbook winners were going to be announced next Monday, 8/30, and I wanted a little perspective)

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.

Whatever happens,
remember you were a poet
before the judges
declared a winner
and you’ll be one after.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hallway Worthy

Coloring with broken crayons
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

Conference Call

(inspired by the 8/22 conference call with members of the Azolla Story, a space for queer people of color with disabilities. We are always looking for new members!)

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 guess
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

Ire of the Righteous

(due to purposed cuts in California’s home care budget people with disabilities have established a tent city called ArnieVille)

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


(for Dr. Paul Longmore)

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

Mailings, Part II

(inspired by Postcard Poetry, 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
and war.

I write my on daily verse
in response or garner
from today’s new experiences.

Send assistant or self
to mailbox