Hello, I recorded a new poem “disabled dancing.” I wrote it a few days ago after chalice circle. We’d been talking about pets, and I was thinking a lot about teeth. How some people get their pets’ teeth cleaned, but I live with elders who’ve been chronically homeless, and mostly they don’t have teeth. I would give someone an apple and forget they can’t chew.
Disabled dancing is a poem about changing culture, and how I need more dancing in my life. It’s also about disability justice, pleasure, respect for all persons, and how all bodies are valid bodies. Here’s the recording I made in my bathroom.
Here’s the complete text of the poem. Please share with your abled friends, your disabled friends, your dancing friends.
what parts of culture do you want to keep?
we can keep the neatness of envelopes,
mint lemonade, wishing on stars,
candle glow, wooden toys, holding hands,
every kind of hat,
birthing classes during pregnancy.
tea, singing, lightbulb jokes,
the colors of gardening gloves,
beautiful shimmering clothing.
let’s get rid of the part where
human beings in prison don’t
count as human beings,
dogs get their teeth cleaned
while poor humans’ teeth
rot then fall out,
so the person can only eat soft things.
money-greed can no longer
bring bulldozers to every forest.
buildings can’t be ugly
soulless boring made as cheaply
as possible with materials
that legally poison us.
the pain of elders can
no longer be a punchline.
I need way more dancing.
my disabilities are not rare
strange failures of my character.
bring the disabled people
out of neglect hiding places.
let us show you
how to dance with your fingers,
dance with your eyebrows.
there are many kinds of bodies.
we don’t need to pretend
only abled bodies should be looked at.
wheel us out into the sunshine.
pain is real.
death is real.
dance with me while
we’re both ok breathing.