Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature




Crip Music

A beat behind, sycophant, you
Sisyphus, roll and run
again and again
Sybil whistle tune, mournfully
whistle in the dark
the shoe steps the rhythm
behind, behind, behind you
with the crutch cane stick beat
the cripple who ripples across
the street with the wheel on the rack
rackle and giggle the cripple
till the music stops
we step out
and then, and then, it builds
the sound, and the beat
and the melody of the cane
and the melody of the crutch
and the melody of the wheel
and the tap of the stick
and the tick of ventilators
dilate, pulse
push breath through the street
roll forward and on
the beat in a circle
we move, we move
the line held firm
the song lifting

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community artist and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. A poem of hers is part of a collaborative videowork: check it out on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCU1MHyRFC4

Tell us what you think about this author's work or about this month's issue in general. Email: breathandshadow@gmail.com

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