Cripple Poetics: A Love Story
by Petra Kuppers & Neil Marcus
With Photos by Lisa Steichmann

Excerpt: At the Gynecologist


At the Gynecologist’s

There are qualities in the material world that are seldom experienced; only necessity makes them apparent…d drake


Who are we but Atoms
Partly visible. Partly invisible.
Particles of love
Radiating poetry. Art. Philosophy.
I see myself through you and around you
As the world turns
You hold me in and about you
My curves fold on you
We meet turning into
We touch
Our Matter

You might not want children because
issues in his family
gene dance
she said, our chirpy gynecologist,
looking straight at me, slant at my lover
instruments out

What can be seen
What can be talked about
What is love
What is form
What is dance

Love him, but not children like him?
White coat atoms settle into their dance:
dream plane, wish bone, Galton’s galvanized knowledge
eugenic technology that flies off our bodies’ awkward edges
erasure of the spastic tender
touch, deliberate, the vaginal membrane

The air in this place is heavy…like water
We glide and float
outer space
For our otter bodies
You and I twirl in this ether of darkness and light.

The gynecologist motions him to come closer,
to look upon the universe
cervix’s eye into the inner coil
behold this scene
biological biopsy punches its hole into the donut of infinity:
Schroedinger’s cat is alive inside me
black box theatre


I do, in part, rely on the kindness of strangers
Often it hurts me for people to be generous
I need to be clear on what care is.
You go first.
No. after you.
Crash. An accident.
Wasn’t that how the bomb was discovered…by accident ?

we go to the hot springs
and are greeted at the entry gate by an older man with scruffy hair and long beard
he tells us we are the adventurous sort
because we travel with two wheelchairs and no ‘helper’
he says his name is Basil, which means kingly.
He says I remind him of steven hawkings
Whom he admires tremendously.
I look away and roll my eyes.
I forgive him anyway.
The king and I.
Hot springs all over the world are connected volcanically.

Petra asks the nurse in the drs office how it is to be working on Christmas eve.
Its awful. I hate you she says.
                                                                                      I hate you

Just kidding she says. Im really ok.
No matter                                                                      No matter