NINE MILE MAGAZINE Vol. 7, Nos. 1 & 2 Fall, 2019 Publisher: Nine Mile Art Corp. Editors: Bob Herz, Stephen Kuusisto, Andrea Scarpino Associate Editors: Cyrus Cassells, Pamela (Jody) Stewart Art Editor Emeritus: Whitney Daniels Guest Editor: Diane R. Wiener Cover Art: Gustav Klimt - Beech Grove I The publishers gratefully acknowledge support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support ofGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. We also acknowledge support of the County ofOnondaga and CNY Arts through the Tier Three Project Support Grant Program. We have also received significant support from the Central New York Community Foundation. This publication would not have been possible without their generous support. We are grateful to them all. ISBN-10: 1-7326600-4-2 ISBN-13: 978-1-7326600-4-5 Poetry and artwork copyright of their respective authors and artists. All rights reserved. No poem or artwork may be reproduced in full or in part without prior written permission from its owner. Page - Nine Mile Magazine

Contents About Nine Mile Magazine x Nine Mile Books Appreciations & Asides Introduction to this Issue Poetry is Everyone’s Art Sean J. Mahoney Gorgeous were the robber barons… Look it is like what I said: West of a World, South of a Pole Woe to the Crips The social lesions And that is why too your poisons… Sheila Black Body Cast Patriarchy Sea’s Fool Cold Shoulders Poetry Prayer for Spring Poem for a New Year The Machine ofGrace Ars Poetica Free Fall Gregory Luce After From Anxiety Journal—Spring 2015 Free-floating Night Sweats Torn from a Notebook New Pen No Escape A Lesson Satie in the Dark “I am weary let me rest” xi 15 21 22 31 32 34 36 38 40 41 43 44 45 46 48 49 50 53 54 56 59 60 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 Page iii Volume 7 - Page

Pamela J. Kincheloe My parents were on the sidewalk ahead ofme, in a sunny distance The hoof-dog Lady Lazarus at the Window Dad, watching golf while I grow up King Orange Rendleman’s Umbrella Poem for H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) Mr Watson Keep, Keep Deaf at Night Raymond Luczak My First Phone Call The Deaf Boy From Atlantis Stumps Support Group Zoo Numbers Summers Ago on this Corner a Tangle of Pines Elyssa Hyre Senses ofOrange Senses of Brown Senses ofWhite Senses ofGray Senses of Purple Senses of Black Senses of Red Senses of Pink Senses ofGreen Senses of Yellow Senses of Blue Senses ofGold Senses of Copper Karen Christie #DeafinPrison Writing in English Michelangelo’s Deaf Sister A Simple Man Something to Fear MrS. THacker, Speech THerapiSt Page iv - Nine Mile Magazine 72 73 74 75 76 78 81 82 84 87 90 93 95 99 101 103 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 120 121 122 124 126 128

Teaching to Learn Hearing Aids Ecocide Kara Dorris Captivity Narrative [for & against] DESIGN Fish-Eye Lens Osteochondroma Lineage The Rapidity of Sleep [for & against] WISDOM Janus Words Self Portrait with Framing Effect Wanting to be a Girl Rainie Oet Dream, 2003—Ball Lightning “Pear-Shaped with Fuzzy Edges […] Collapsing” False Finale Twist-Tie No Mark Spiral (Needles/Holes) No Mark Spiral (Flip-Phone/Trident) No Mark Spiral (Gameboy) No Mark Spiral (Nikon) No Mark Spiral (Glow-Watch/Powerpuff) No Mark Spiral (F5) Dream, 2003—I’m Sorry, Dave Dylan Krieger lullaby brogue depressive quicksand soon enough, moon stay golden, roman my libido is an ambulance codependence on a stick where are your wounds i am here the look back isn’t lucid haziest corpus prescription parent Nathan Spoon Subplots of Freedom Yeah, Right Eel Feels 129 131 134 138 139 142 143 146 147 148 150 152 155 156 158 159 160 162 164 166 168 170 172 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 185 186 187 Page v Volume 7 - Page

All Our Spoons at Once Grammarist The Carpet is Making Me Anxious Jim Ferris Agonistes Hands Invoking the Penises of Paralyzed Men Difficult What Kind of Life The Requirements Traceability Matrix Considered What Holds the Stone Together Who Here To a Crip Friend About to Have Surgery Ave, Imperator Straight Up D.J. Savarese The Earth Beneath Us (and Sometimes the Sky) Hen Jeannine Hall Gailey Multiple Sclerosis: Shockwave When I Started Questioning My Humanity (Or When I Lost My Personhood) Time Travel is Really Hard to Write I Am the Last Teen Heroines are Fireproof Burning In, Burning Out: A 4th of July Meditation on Neural Lesions Melissa Hotchkiss A Poem Written Two Days Before My Father Died Collection Unemployed Slight Stumble Intent On Undoing the Bad Luck Of Being Broken Something Funny Predicament Land Into The Empty Page vi - Nine Mile Magazine 188 190 191 193 194 196 198 199 200 202 206 207 210 212 214 218 227 231 232 233 234 235 236 238 239 240 242 243 244 245 246 247 248

Ona Gritz Vestige Stride Rite At Fifteen Months Prologue Incubator What Happened in Yoga Class Guessing Game Sister Hands Kenny Fries Body Language Excavation Beauty and Variations To the Poet Whose Lover Has Died of AIDS The Canoe Ride Full Moon, White Sands Mortal Thoughts Daniel Simpson A Blind Boy’s First Glimpse ofHeaven A Few Things Acts of Faith All Day, New Friends Broken Reverie School for the Blind Vigilance and Dissembling Visitations of Abandonment Captain Beth and My Guide Dog Yaeger Democracy Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question The Walking Dead Why We Need New Year’s Day and the Passage of Seasons Tonight, When I Talk to My Guide Dog Tito Mukhopadhyay 1. Why Are You Awake? 2. How Couldn’t You Be Awake? 3. Awake With A Misplaced Poem 4. Awake - Waiting For Who Knows What 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 Perched on a Park Bench, I Watch the Other Mothers 257 Passing 258 259 262 263 264 269 270 272 274 277 278 279 280 281 282 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 292 295 296 297 298 Page vii Volume 7 - Page

5. While You Are Awake Refugees At Sunset Thought Boots Michael Northen Rappahannock Homestead At Akroteri Lighthouse Rally Grounds Idyll Palmyra Cove Pennsauken Pastoral October Seconds Madison Pub For My Grandmother Minotaur April Flight of Stairs Math Instructor Terynn Young Prologue For Sienna (both raw and burnt) Her Petals Hunger Lover’s To-Do List Fortress Silence The Burial Her Ocean Chris Costello Phantasm (Scissors) What My Heartbeat Says in the Dark A Plea to My Tongue Stages of Remembrance Safe Haven Our Names Autogeography Something Wicked 299 300 301 302 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 322 323 324 325 326 328 329 330 331 333 334 335 336 338 339 340 341 Page viii- Nine Mile Magazine

10 Impossible Things My Mind Has Demanded ofMy Body Vengeful Scowls 7 Habits of Leaving Emily K. Michael Faith A Phenomenology of Blindness Ajeen Patronage Anniversary in St. Augustine I Bless Our Daughter Practice Inside Jokes Strangers at the Coffeeshop 342 344 346 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 Page ix Volume 7 - Page

About Nine Mile Magazine We publish twice yearly, showcasing the best work we receive from authors whose work, energy, and vision seem to us most deeply entangled with life. This includes writers within and outside the mainstream, writers with disabilities, writers of color, writers with marginalized genders and sexual orientations, and writers from different cultures and religions. We produce this magazine in inclusive and accessible formats. We believe that poetry is everyone’s art. SUBMISSIONS For consideration in the magazine, submit 4 - 6 poems in Word or text to editor@ninemile.org. You can access a submission form at our website, ninemile.org. Please include: • your name and contact information (email and home address for sending contributor's copies) • a paragraph about yourself (background, achievements, etc.), • a statement of your aesthetic intent in the work, • a photo headshot of yourself. We respond within 2 weeks. If you do not hear from us, reconnect to make sure we received your submission. Note that we do not accept unsolicited essays, reviews, video / motion based art, or Q&A's. TALK ABOUT POETRY PODCASTS AND BLOG At our Talk About Poetry podcast working poets discuss poems that interest, annoy, excite, and engage them. The Talk About Poetry blog provides more opportunities for feedback. The addresses are: -Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bobherz; -iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talk-aboutpoetry/id972411979?mt=2; -Talk About Poetry blog: https://talkaboutpoetry.wordpress.com Page x- Nine Mile Magazine

NINE MILE BOOKS Nine Mile Books are available at our website, ninemile.org, or online at Amazon.com and iTunes. Recent books are: • The You That AllAlong Has HousedYou: A Sequence, Leslie Ullman (2019), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle and iBooks. “Leslie Ullman has the ability to spin illuminating spells through and around the matter of earth and life. Her vision penetrates with an attention as careful and as transforming as day through clear water, as moonlight on stone. She is an artisan with words, and the results are poems embodying the intricacy and beauty of the subjects they honor.” —Pattiann Rogers • A Little GutMagic, Matthew Lippman (2018), $16. “Reading Matthew Lippman's poems feels like having a conversation with a hilarious, brutally honest, and brilliant friend."—Jessica Bacal, author ofMistakes IMade atWork: 25 InfluentialWomen Reflect on What They Got Out ofGetting ItWrong. • The GolemVerses, Diane Wiener (2018), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle and iBooks. “…Diane Wiener unlocks the door to a room of confidences, secrets, passions, and fears. These poems present an interior dialogue in which the Golem is more than symbol or legend but trusted companion and guiding, grounding force. This room is furnished with intellect, wonder, inquiry, discovery, revelation, and release. Curl up in a comfy chair and bear witness to this lyric journey.”—Georgia Popoff • Perfect Crime, David Weiss (2017), $16. Of this book the poet says, "The whole of it thinks about the idea of perfect crime metaphysically, in the sense that time, for example, is, itself, a perfect crime. Perfect meaning: effect without cause. A crime or situation or condition that can’t be solved." • Where I Come From (2016), Jackie Warren-Moore, $12. Poet, playwright, theatrical director, teacher, and freelance writer, Ms. Warren-Moore's work has been published nationally and internationally. She is a Survivor, of racism, sexism, sexual abuse, and physical abuse, who regards her poetic voice as the roadmap of her survival, a way of healing herself and of speaking to the souls of others. Page xi Volume 7 - Page

• SelectedLate Poems ofGeorg Trakl (2016), translations by Bob Herz, $7.50 plus mailing, or $7.49 at Kindle and iBooks. This book includes all the poems Trakl wrote in the last two years of his life, from Sebastian in Dream and the poems that appeared in Der Brenner, plus some poems from other periods showing the development of the poet's art. • Letter to Kerouac in Heaven (2016) by Jack Micheline, $10. One of the original Beats, Michelin's career took him from Greenwich Village to San Francisco, with friends that included almost everyone, from Mailer to Ginsberg to Corso and others. He was a street poet whose first book included an introduction by Jack Kerouac and was reviewed in Esquire by Dorothy Parker. This is a replica publication of one of his street books. • BadAngels, Sam Pereira (2015). $20; or at Kindle and iBooks, $9.99. Of this poet Peter Everwine wrote, “He’s an original.” Pereira’s work has been praised by Norman Dubie, David St. John, and Peter Campion. • Some Time in the Winter, Michael Burkard (2014). $16. A reprint of the famed original 1978 chapbook with an extended essay by Mr. Burkard on the origins of the poem. • Poems forLorca, Walt Shepperd (2012). $9.95. The poems continue Mr. Shepperd’s lifelong effort to truly see and record the life around him. Lorca is his daughter, and the poems constitute an invaluable generational gift from father to daughter, and from friend, colleague, and community member to all of us. Page xii- Nine Mile Magazine

Nine Mile Magazine Vol. 7, Nos. 1&2 Fall, 2019 Volume 7 - Page

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Appreciations & Asides Notes and quotes from artists and critics we love, on art, literature, and life, that we find curiously engaging. MODERN STATE PATRONAGE OF THE ARTS. HOW awful it is. Think of the buildings in Washington. Think of the gigantic statues set up all over the world representing the Worker, the Triumph of Fascism, the Freedom of the press. Think of National Anthems. —W.H. Auden, “The Prolific and the Devourer,” in The English Auden, ed. Edward Mendelsom (Faber and Faber, 1977) WE ARE LIVING IN A MORE AND MORE ARTIFICIAL world. We are living in a world surrounded by human contraptions instead of living creatures, and I profoundly believe this is something that can’t go on. I don't think we can live in a completely human-made world. The imagery continues to come out of the place that requires something beyond human fabrication, beyond the human origin of things. And this, I think, is why even people who don’t live all the time in the country, if they are above a certain age, will tend to use imagery that has to do with the natural world, and more and more readers can’t understand it…. I remember when Robert Bly came to visit me in France years ago. He was talking about surrealism in my poems and mentioned an image about a fly turning around a statue of nothing and said it was surrealistic. And I said, “It’s not, Robert,” and I took him into a room on the farm and showed him flies going round and round and round in a circle, in the middle of the room. —W. S. Merwin, “Language is the Articulation ofMyth,” in At Home in the Dark Conversations with Ten American Poets, David Elliott (Keystone College Press, 2018) EMILY DICKINSON DIFFERED FROM EVERY OTHER major New England writer of the nineteenth century, and from every major American writer of the century save Melville, of those affected by New England, in this: that her New England heritage, Volume 7 - Page 15

though it made her life a moral drama, did not leave her life in moral confusion. It impoverished her in one respect, however: of all great poets, she is the most lacking in taste; there are innumerable beautiful lines and passages wasted in the desert of her crudities; her defects, more than those of any other great poet that I have read, are constantly at the brink, or pushing beyond the brink, of her best poems. This stylistic character is the natural product of the New England which produced the barren little meeting houses; of the New England founded by the harsh and intrepid pioneers, who in order to attain salvation trampled brutally through a world which they were too proud and too impatient to understand. In this respect, she differs from Melville, whose taste was rich and cultivated. But except by Melville, she is surpassed by no writer that this country has produced; she is one of the greatest lyric poets of all time. —Ivor Winters, “Emily Dickinson and the Limits of Judgment,” In Defense ofReason, Yvor Winters (Alan Swallow,1947). I’M NOT AT ALL INTERESTED IN TALKING ABOUT METHOD. You might say it’s a stage secret . That’s what the poet thrives on. The figures of speech he makes are original to him and distinguish him as a poet of some originality. It all comes down to the figures of speech, how original they are. —Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “The Art of Poetry, No. 104,” interview with Garrett Caples, in The Paris Review, Spring 2019. IN A CLASS LECTURE ON [MATTHEW] ARNOLD, [Robert] Lowell once said that “Dover Beach” had been criticized, “in the old days of the New Critics,” for not continuing the sea imagery in the last stanza; “But I think by then,” Lowell went on, “you’ve had quite enough of it.” —Quoted from Part ofNature, Part ofUs, Modern American Poets, Helen Vendler (Harvard University Press, 1980). I HAVE TO BE HONEST AND SAY UPFRONT THAT music is obviously better than poetry, and nothing gives me the shits more than people trying to combine the two. I can’t think of Page 16 - Nine Mile Magazine

anything worse than a poetry reading with some light jazz in the background, and it always seems to be jazz—nobody’s ever reciting Mary Oliver over happy hardcore. But whenever the world of poetry seems overly archaic and stuffy, I like to take a music break and try to reimagine what a poetry version of the Righteous Brothers might sound like…. What was that thing Emily Dickinson said about God wanting to crack her skull open? Well I bet she would have liked Tom Jones too. —Hera Lindsay Bird, “Try Hard,” Poetry Magazine, 2018. THE AMERICAN EPIC, PROBABLY NEVER TO BE matched, begins: “I celebrate myself.” Whitman deliberately counterpoints that assertion against Homer’s “Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus” (Iliad); “Tell me, Muse, of the man ofmany ways, who was driven” (Odyssey); and Virgil’s “I sing of arms and of a man” (Aeneid). Only Walt Whitman would dare to begin his central poem with self-celebration. Attempt to imagine Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, or T. S. Eliot starting a poem with “I celebrate myself.” It is beyond belief. Hart Crane, obsessed with and inspired by Whitman, celebrates the Brooklyn Bridge as the myth of America, but when it comes to self, Crane destroys his own being as an Orphic sacrifice. But Walt Whitman has come to heal us. —Harold Bloom, Possessed by Memory (KnopfDoubleday, 2019). WE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO RATHER EASY categories: we distinguish between “personal” and “political” poems —the former calling to mind lyrics of love and emotional loss, the latter indicating a public partisanship that is considered divisive, even when necessary. The distinction between the personal and the political gives the political realm too much and too little scope; at the same time, it renders the personal too important and not important enough. If we give up the dimension of the personal, we risk relinquishing one of the most powerful sites of resistance. The celebration of the personal, however, can indicate a myopia, an inability to see how larger structures of the economy and the state circumscribe, if not determine, the fragile realm of individuality… Volume 7 - Page 17

We need a third term, one that can describe the space between the state and the supposedly safe havens of the personal. Let us call this space “the social”… the social is a place of resistance and struggle, where books are published, poems read, and protest disseminated. It is the sphere in which claims against the political order are made in the name of justice. —Carolyn Forche, Against Forgetting Twentieth Century Poetry ofWitness (W.W. Norton & Company, 1993). THOUGH THE ACTUAL DEVELOPMENTS IN MANY arts may seem to be leading us away from the idea that a work of art is primarily its content, the idea still exerts an extraordinary hegemony. I want to suggest that this is because the idea is now perpetuated in the guise of a certain way of encountering works of art thoroughly ingrained among most people who take any of the arts seriously. What the overemphasis on the idea of content entails is the perennial, never consummated project of interpretation. And, conversely, it is the habit of approaching works of art in order to interpret them that sustains the fancy that there really is such a thing as the content of a work of art. —Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation,” Against Interpretation (Dell Publishing, 1969). BEFORE I GIVE A MANUSCRIPT TO MY EDITOR, I RUN a “cliché round-robin” on it. So I go through whatever it is, galleys, proofs, and I begin to circle words that are happening more than once, twice, three times. I go through the whole manuscript. I love this part of putting a book together. I mean, the book is all together. And each poem is edited enough, as far as I’m concerned. But then I find out about these words, and then, I look at each instance of my most used words and see if it will please change. Most of them will not change. Some of them I change, and then in another printing I have to change them back, because it was obvious that someone was doing something literary here in order not to use too many clichés. —Sharon Olds, 2010 interview with Michael Laskey at poets.org. Page 18 - Nine Mile Magazine

[IN] A PUBLISHED CONVERSATION I ONCE HAD with Kenneth Koch... he asked me if there were any hidden meanings in my poems. And I said no, and he said, “Why not?” and I said, “Because if there were, somebody might find them out, and they wouldn't be mysterious anymore.” So, in other words, I want my poetry not to have any hidden meanings, but I want it to be mysterious at the same time. Perhaps the only way to do that is not to have any meanings at all, I don't know—it’s something I’m still working on. —John Ashbery, dialogue with Pianist Sarah Rothenberg, 1992, (Bard College Publications). • WRITING IS ABOUT CHARACTER, IT’S NOT ABOUT content. It’s about who you are. —Nikki Giovanni, New York Times, August 1, 1996. WHEN I START WRITING A POEM, I DON'T THINK about models or about what anybody else in the world has done. —Gwendolyn Brooks, from “An Interview with Gwendolyn Brooks" in Contemporary Literature 11:1 (Winter 1970). WE HAD CEASED, WE IMAGINED, TO BE SURPRISED at anything that America could produce. We had become stoically indifferent to her Woolly Horses, her Mermaids, her Sea Serpents, her Barnums and her Fanny Ferns, but the last monstrous importation from Brooklyn, New York, has scattered our indifference to the winds... We should have passed over this book, Leaves ofGrass, with indignant contempt, had not some few Transatlantic critics attempted to ‘fix’ this Walt Whitman as the poet who shall give a new and independent literature to America – who shall form a race of poets as Banquo’s issue formed a line of kings. Is it possible that the most prudish nation in the world will adopt a poet whose indecencies stink in the nostrils? ... Walt Whitman is, as unacquainted with art, as a hog is with mathematics. —Review of the original edition ofWalt Whitman’s Leaves ofGrass, by an anonymous critic, The Critic 15 (April 1, 1856). Volume 7 - Page 19

“‘ARE YOU SURE?" ASKED PIGLET ANXIOUSLY. “ ‘Well, you’ll see, Piglet, when you listen. Because this is how it begins. The more it snows, tiddely-pom—’ “‘Tiddely what?’ said Piglet.” (He took, as you might say, the very words out of your correspondent’s mouth.) “‘Pom,’ said Pooh. ‘I put that in to make it more hummy.’” And it is that word “hummy,” my darlings, that marks the first place in “The House at Pooh Corner” at which Tonstant Weader Fwowed up. —Dorothy Parker, review of AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner in the New Yorker, 1928. GIVEN HOW CRITICAL POETS ARE, WHY DON’T they write more criticism? Even if you make the usual arguments— that criticism is woefully ill paid; that criticism interferes with those narrow shop-hours the poet is open for business (the poet might as well padlock the door, those days he’s scribbling reviews); that, since criticism is so rarely like lust, few poets can muster the desire to write about poetry—even if you rally the old apologies, you haven’t mentioned the one poets rarely speak of, that writing criticism is a mug’s game. If you write a bad review of X—indeed, if you write a good review of X that isn’t quite as good as X deserves —why, X will be delighted to be your enemy forever. You also incur the lifelong hatred of X’s bosom friends, and his beloved mother, and his distant cousins, and his dog. —William Logan, “The State of Criticism,” the Battersea Review. Page 20 - Nine Mile Magazine

Introduction to this Issue There are few things in this world as pleasurable as publishing and editing a magazine dedicated to poetry. The process of selection and reading is always exciting and often surprising. You get to see new work and to make new friends. Our work on this issue turned out to be more than the usual, that is, it turned out to be very exciting and very surprising, and produced an unexpected result: This much longer issue than we had planned. We had thought for some time to do an anthology issue of work from Deaf, Disabled, and Neurodivergent (including Autistic) poets. Our mission statement embraces diversity, and we have been committed to publishing this marginalized and too-often overlooked group since the magazine’s founding. The minianthology of neurodivergent poets we included in the Fall 2018 issue was very strong, and warranted, we believed, a deeper and more extensive look. We started out to do a single anthology issue, and then an amazing thing happened: The response to our solicitation was overwhelming, an outpouring of quality work so powerful that the only way we could accommodate it was to convert the proposed single issue into this double issue. One other smart thing we did was to ask Diane Wiener to edit the issue. Diane is a published poet (The GolemVerses, Nine Mile Books, 2018) and disability advocate deeply committed to the work of these poets. Her essay, included in this issue, provides context and helpfully grounds the work included. It is our pleasure to present this work, knowing that as big as this issue is, we have barely scratched the surface. Steve Kuusisto Andrea Scarpino Bob Herz Volume 7 - Page 21

Poetry is Everyone’s Art By Diane R. Wiener, Guest Editor 1. The poets in this double-issue anthology of Nine Mile Art & Literary Magazine are “writing while disabled”: that is, disability, deafness, neurodivergence, and mental illness are part of their lives. They hail from myriad cultural locations, ages, ethnicities, and geographies, from the United States and around the globe, and from the magazine’s home area, in Central NewYork. What’s interesting is that irrespective of location or situation, their disability, deafness, neurodivergence, and mental illness are neither limitations nor predictors of the kind ofpoetry they write or the subjects they choose to write about. Variety is their banner; their poetry is for everyone. That marvelous phrase, “writing while disabled,” is from a recent New York Times essay, “We Will Not Be Exorcised,” by Khadijah Queen and Jillian Weise, that included work by disabled poets and visual artists. It begins, “It’s possible that you are new to poetry by writers like us, but it’s muchmore likely that you just think you are. In fact, poets have always been writing while disabled.” (I quote more from this essay, below.) The essay is one of a number of essays that have appeared recently, a sign of the emerging consciousness and interest in this literature. I want to do several things in this introduction: provide some context for the kind of“identity” words so often used to describe the poets, and then describe how those words have been taken back and transformed, as well as created by their communities; share some details about the expansive work happening in our poetry community; and highlight for the reader what I find exciting about the poets and poems included here. At the conclusion of this essay, for those interested, I include several sites that feature work and discussion by members of relevant groups and movements mentioned, with some examples from poets in this collection, and a few other resources. 2. To begin—about our use of words: Disability, Deaf, Autistic, Page 22 - Nine Mile Magazine

Neurodiverse/Neurodivergent, Crip, and Mad. Crip and Mad have been and are still being used to denigrate and shame, but these words are being or have been taken back by our communities, and invested with positive meanings. These reclamations have their roots in rights movements, social justice theories, and cultural production. The purpose of these labors is liberation. Insulting language has been reframed, without erasing its dangerous legacies or denying the fact of persistent danger and inequity. This work is necessary and ongoing, and its effects are broad. Neurodiversity/Neurodivergence is a cultural umbrella under which Autistic creativity exists and thrives; neurodiversity is now understood to be a large network, including Autistic experiences, as well as various mental, intellectual, cognitive, reading, emotional, and other forms of difference. Access in the arts is everyone’s business, and it is no secret that Neurodivergent, Disabled, Deaf, Mad, and Crip poets have not been well represented inmany literary contexts. I suspect (or hope) that this has often been less a matter of intention than attention to the issue. The groundbreaking collection, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Michael Northen, and Sheila Black; CincoPuntos Press, 2011), was amajor event that disrupted the general pattern, by foregrounding poets with physical disabilities. Northen and Black both have work in this Special Issue. Many of the more recent gains in access and visibility (not just visually) began with this book. Jennifer Bartlett's 2018 New York Times self-described “digital chapbook,” “Poetry is aWay ofBeing in theWorld that Wasn’t Made forUs,”broughtworkby tendisabledpoets to theTimesaudience,with context and discussion. Two more mini-anthologies were published in the Times, in spring 2019, by the above-referencedKhadijahQueen and Jillian Weise, each including work by disabled poets and visual artists, accompanied by vivid image descriptions. The first of these, “Make No Apologies for Yourself” (May 19, 2019), begins with the question, “Are we writing for other disabled people, for the nondisabled, or for everyone?” and answers, “Theworkofthese poets speaks for itself.” Queen’s and Weise’s second piece, “We Will Not Be Exorcised” (June 15, 2019), continues from the sentences quoted Volume 7 - Page 23

above: “Homer was blind. You probably know about Milton, Byron and Barrett Browning. Jonathan Swift had vertigo his entire life. Paul Laurence Dunbar was chronically ill. EmilyDickinson, Jorge Borges, Robert Creeley, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton were all disabled. How about Sylvia Plath? And this is just a tiny fraction of our lineage. We havebeenwithyou, inyour textbooks, your bookshelves, all along. It’s also possible that you think poetry is not accessible—too hard, too obscure or too subjective. We also think poetry is inaccessible, but in amore literal sense. Poetry books are rarely available in Braille; poetry podcasts are rarely transcribed. To be at a poetry reading, we often have to climb a flight of stairs, forget the bathroom, read lips when there’s no interpreter, andbe prepared for the poems tousemetaphors that traffic in our lives. And yet, we show up. We’re here.” Underscoring the growth ofpoetry by and interest in the work of disabled writers, the June 20, 2019 posting, “New Books by Disabled Writers” on the Disability Literature Consortium site begins, “It is definitely one ofthose nice problems to have that somany newbooks are coming out from disabled writers and/or about disability related topics that it is hard to keep up with them all.” The list includes Kara Dorris andEmilyK.Michael, whosework appears in this issue ofNine Mile, as does Sean J. Mahoney’s; notably, Mahoney helped create the Disability Literature Consortium. In May, 2019, Zoeglossia, a nonprofit literary organization for disabledpoets, hosted its inaugural retreat. An intentional community, Zoeglossia is sometimes referred to as a fellowship. Zoeglossia Fellows collaborated to edit and publish the volume,WeAreNotYour Metaphor: A Disability Poetry Anthology (Squares & Rebels, 2019). One of the fellows, Raymond Luczak, has work in this Nine Mile issue. A few months earlier, in October, 2018, a group of disabled poets gathered at the University ofPennsylvania to host “ANewDisability Poetics.” Other journals focused on disability poetry and creative writing have appeared over the years, including Breath &Shadow, Kaleidoscope, Wordgathering: A Journal ofDisability Poetry andLiterature, The DeafPoets Society, Open Minds Quarterly, Queerly, and Sick Magazine. Westerly, an Australian journal, recently released DisAbility, a Special Issue including creative non-fiction, essays, and poetry. The Modern Page 24 - Nine Mile Magazine

Language Association’s forthcoming volume, The Futures of Neurodiversity, encourages poetry submissions. There is much more work to be done, but these examples and other developments provide a stellar foundation from which to continue to build and grow. 3. The point is thatNeurodivergent,Disability,Deaf,Mad, andCrip poetics are here to stay; their beautiful and excitingmultiplicity is wellrepresented by the poems in this issue. The poems of Emily K. Michael and Daniel Simpson speak directly to the kinds of questions (typically, sighted) people seem to feel free to ask Blind folks. The irony and style in Michael’s “Strangers at the Coffeeshop” and Simpson’s “Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question” each comment in honest and critical ways on the daily vicissitudes ofbeing “othered,” without losing one’s sense of humor, and likewise not being unfamiliar with intrusion. Howwe choose toperceive ourselves, as compared tohowothers think about us, threads through many of the poems. In “Body Language,”Kenny Fries says/asks, “The skin has healed but the scars grow deeper —/ When you touch them what do they tell you about my life?” Ona Gritz writes in “Vestige”: My husband has a new theory. He tells me I don’t have to have cerebral palsy, that it’s my choice. What do you say to something like that? Gritz’s description of watching the “other mothers” (“Perched on a Park Bench, I Watch the Other Mothers”) is rich with emotion that may resonate for many people—with and without disabilities— but will likely be especially compelling for those who have parented and/or experienced longing and dislocation. Sheila Black describes disability poetics in terms of its potential for liberation; Jim Ferris’s aesthetic statement serves as a kind of manifesto on disability poetics, and could easily have been used as the Volume 7 - Page 25

introductory essay to our issue. Gregory Luce, who in “Anxiety Journal—Spring 2015” notes that, “Reliefand griefmake a full rhyme,” points out howpoetry is only itselfanddoes things that onlypoetry can do. This principle is shown in every example included in the issue, by Luce and his colleagues. Many of the poets talk about medical experiences (inpatient, outpatient, and otherwise) and the feeling of being pathologized; the at-times validation and sometimes deep trouble that accompany labels and diagnoses; and matters of self-empowerment, acceptance, and emancipation, as well as fear, dread, impatience, and frustration. Jeannine Hall Gailey’s “Multiple Sclerosis: Shockwave,” Chris Costello’s “Autogeography,”DylanKrieger’s “where are yourwounds i am here,” Karen Christie’s “MrS. THacker, Speech THerapiSt,” and Kara Dorris’s “Osteochondroma Lineage,” do this beautiful and intensive work distinctly from each other. The natural world’s many possibilities and at times forbidding structures manifest in many of these poems, telling us about how moving, thinking, feeling, and being in material and invented worlds aremore nuanced than somemight imagine. KaraDorris’s invocation of the sea in “Wanting to be a Girl” is an example: When I close my octopus eyes, 4 arms, 4 legs lift. I want only 2 of each. The sky said stay, meant to be this parasitic twin, a bleed to what a girl should be. But I ache for what my body is—fused spines, lotus flower lungs. For what it could be —knee socks & Mary Janes. I red-flag the scatter pattern of debris: an arm, a metacarpal, an earring, a virginity. Who does a goddess pray to? I ask the sea, help me lose this extra being. Swim through skins, churn placentas, pull oxygen through 4 eyes, expose my vertebrae. Cast back. Even a sea wants to worship something. There are multiple styles of communication in the poems. In “Senses ofGreen,” Elissa Hyre says, Illness is green. It sounds like an EKG monitor. Page 26 - Nine Mile Magazine

It feels like a sore nose and trying not to throw up. It smells like bile. It tastes like the thick saliva in your dry mouth when you can’t breathe through your nose. Green is inevitable. While Hyre, D. J. Savarese, Tito Mukhopadhyay, and Nathan Spoon do not refer to synesthesia, explicitly, their works differently demonstrate synesthesia as a poetic form. Perhaps all poetry is at least partly syn-aesthetic, since even in its most cerebral illustrations, it resides oftentimes in a sensory realm exceeding description, a space both affective and embodied. In “King Orange,” Pamela J. Kincheloe tells us: “The clouds — they’re all the people / peering down at us / through a smeary blue window, /marveling at our graceful arms / and lithe, lizardy tails.” In this collection, replete with writing about myriad embodiments and consciousnesses, the “lithe, lizardy tails” feel, to me, like a joyous secular blessing—marvelous, indeed. As Raymond Luczak describes, in “TheDeafBoy fromAtlantis”: I was all legs and bones when you appeared covered with kelp on TV. A storm had appeared, flinging you from the bottom of the sea onto the shore. A father and son appeared and called for help. You found it difficult to breathe there in the hospital. Yet Dr. Elizabeth Merrill appeared to figure out what needed to be done. You were brought back to the ocean, where you finally appeared to revive with your webbed feet and hands... One doesn’t have to be Deaf and gay, or have watched Man from Volume 7 - Page 27

Atlantis on TV in the late 1970s (although I did), to find these lines evocative. 4. I want to close by sharing some ofmy experience of editing this collection. It’s fair to say that all of us—the lead editorial team and I —were blown away by the volume and quality ofthe submissions. We quickly realized that the only way to accommodate them was with a double issue. Many of the poets who submitted, whether or not their workwas included, commentedon the importance ofthis opportunity and their gratitude for the level ofengagement they felt they were able tohavewithus as editors. This feedbackmeans theworld tome. There were writers who said explicitly howmuch they valued the purposeful inclusion of mental illness, as it is so often excluded from disability conversations as well as from poetic realms. The landscapes and waterscapes in Mad Pride are very personal to me as a poet and as a person. The poetry in this collection highlights necessarily themes of access, both in terms of who gets to write or compose—and, under what circumstances—and how the writing and composition are received and read. It may be that you utilize text-to-speech including screen readers, a tactile reading device, eye gaze technology, a sign language interpreter, augmentative and alternative communication devices, etc., just as some ofthe writing and composition inDisability, Neurodivergent, Deaf, Mad, and Crip poetics are fashioned in a multitude of ways. 5. We hope that you enjoy this Special Double Issue of Nine Mile. Below, as promised, are some significant links of interest. Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry ofDisability, (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011) See It Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling ofa No-Good English Professor (Thought in the Act) by Ralph James Savarese (Duke University Press Books, 2018) Page 28 - Nine Mile Magazine

Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature (University of California Press, 2006) Wordgathering: A Journal ofDisability Poetry andLiterature http://www.wordgathering.com/ Significant pieces: —“Interview with Diane Wiener” (About this issue ofNine Mile), issue 49. —“I am Reading, I am Read,” Emily K. Michael, issue 49 —“Disability Poetics: A Soil Sample (Part 3),” Michael Northen, issue 10 —“Interview with Meg Day and Niki Herd” (about their edited book on Laura Hershey’s work), issue 50 —“Crip Poetry, or How I Learned to Love the Limp," Jim Ferris, issue 2 “The Poetics of Autism” by Travis Chi Wing Lau https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-poetics-of-autism “Disability and Poetry: An Exchange by Jennifer Bartlett, John Lee Clark, Jim Ferris, and Jillian Weise” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/articles/70179/ disability-and-poetry “‘QDA: A QueerDisability Anthology’ Edited by Raymond Luczak” (Review by Sandra Lambert) https://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/nonfiction/10/21/qda-a-queerdisability-anthology-edited-by-raymond-luczak/ “Kenny Fries: On How Being Disabled Influences His Work, Gay Pride, and Writing about Identity” https://www.lambdaliterary.org/interviews/07/29/kenny-fries-on-howbeing-disabled-influences-his-work-gay-pride-and-writing-about-identity/ “Roundtable Discussion on Poetics and Disability” (edited by Ilya Kaminsky, following up from 2018 Split This Rock Festival panel with Sandra Beasley, Meg Day, Constance Merritt, Khadijah Queen, and Jillian Weise) https://poetryinternationalonline.com/roundtable-discussion-on-poeticsand-disability/ Volume 7 - Page 29

“On Carelessness: Disability in the Literary Community” by Anna Binkovitz https://luminajournal.com/blog/2019/2/5/on-carelessness “Queerness, Violence, and Poetry: A Conversation with Meg Day” by Michael Stewart https://www.thetrianglepa.org/2017/05/03/queerness-violence-andpoetry-a-conversation-with-meg-day/ “Chronically Ill, Critically Crip?: Poetry, Poetics and Dissonant Disabilities” by Emilia Nielsen http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/5124/4485 “Crip Poets in Mythic Space” by Romie Stott http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/crip-poets-in-mythic-space/ Diane R. Wiener’s poetry appears in Nine Mile Magazine, Wordgathering, Tammy, Queerly, and elsewhere; it is forthcoming in The South Carolina Review. Diane has flash fiction published in Ordinary Madness (Weasel Press). She is a Research Professor at Syracuse University and has published widely on disability, pedagogy, social justice, and empowerment. Her first full-length book ofpoetry, The GolemVerses, was published by Nine Mile Books in 2018. Page 30 - Nine Mile Magazine

Sean J. Mahoney Gorgeous were the robber barons… Gorgeous were the robber barons spooning their black bean soup And gorgeous were the flowers stilled in their glass vases And gorgeous were the pines gagged quiet next to planks And gorgeous were Trotskyites styled with velvet and cuffs And gorgeous were the predators still trolling…a sniff of weakness And gorgeous were reptiles with scales and claws and flickering Tongues. That survival could be the only thing worth pursuing After dog videos and a good fuck seemed a bad idea at the time There is always unsolicited advice from co-workers for fishing Gear, there is always one shoe that looks better than its pair There is always a place you must visit if only it weren’t $4000 Away. There is still always a café with cigarettes and coffee, And always a modeling gig if you be willing and able to shoot. If truth be told then sleeping through the alarm clock will result In a passing ofmalice, of breathing, of gas, of all the loves You held in water. If truth be told pancakes should never be Perfectly round and flat — such a food is not realistic nor satisfying. If truth be told then skipping this edict and of course that mandate relegates rule followers back to ages of almost smelt and acid fumes pluming. If truth be told you can both lead a horse to water and entice drinking if the carrot is plainly visible and brushed with garlic mayo. A can, in most cases it is ‘the can’, is forever further kicked Down the road; this, in most cases, is synonymous with Napping through mealtime. A can-can can provide cardio To soothe ones respiratory system into a false sense of peace And health beam; in most cases the perp responsible goes Free or just disappears forever, heightening the sense Ofmystery popularized during early serials. And speaking of cereal, I believe we raced through allowing the snowball from hell slim chance of ever calming down. Volume 7 - Page 31

Look it is like what I said: I know as soon as when I look in your eyes that all oceans erupt with violence and very small fish fin their way across a cold bluish iris of souls and creep into pocket phones and scraps of what used to be golden paper folded along prefab lines printed for those nursing a wounded belief in destiny. Which I have issues with since smaller worlds than one which contains one’s Fulbright Scholarship, health scares, and scary selfies, crumbles before me, us, into Honda Civics with personalized plates and sexual prowess; isn’t this world just a shot short ofmorphing into Cafe Flesh? Death knocked once and oddly lost that game. Lost to a spectacled funnyman; a story written before comics got held to account for their failed gags, which still seems inconclusive these days, a write off, what with allegations resting about other powerful men. They sit atop makeshift lockers of women parts, so many allegations, that now my stomach turns as though smaller worlds within, intestinal, these worlds within force my hands through all that glass reflecting bad chemistry with waves and blood shimmer. Words. Pulled by gravity, pulling me down into pools residing in Page 32 - Nine Mile Magazine

your immutable eyes so I ask you: handle me like nothing else… Volume 7 - Page 33

West of a World, South of a Pole Writing a poem somebody else composed. Taking a shower with no feet for balance. When a linnet sets out from dark cover of a tree And is met with buckshot or slingshot or BB. After a host has provided nutrients enough To sustain its resident parasite for weeks on End their bond is broken, their body separates Becoming the identical replica read once Upon a time many stars ago, while sitting In a folding chair beneath a canvas ofmoonlight And the scrawl deciphered the following morning Holds little in way of epiphany, verbs, or resolution. Carrying action far past an ounce of bad idea And a gallon of pure heartbreak soured for lack Of suitable organs…immediate transplant; short Harvesting times like a nesting doll or tri-color Pen extending the pun and bad grammar Far and wide upon the thirsty, those who crave narrative and diction during the hour long showcase of spats and ugly disagreements. Essential oils provide some comfort for The disenfranchised and recently deceased Though metaphors as elastic as ocular muscles Ricochet over coffee flavored with Lions Mane Page 34 - Nine Mile Magazine

And honey. Work first. Write about tin stars And rusty angels losing movement in our rains. Write our world rife with earthly delights and Old creatures such as Redd fox and Drinky Crow. Mellifluous will be a word popularized again Will be the bridge over which a neuron completes Its greatest achievement. Do you see how lakes And leaves and minor peaks dusted with snow Remain long after your eyes wander and your Belly cries out, cramps in your pockets and Billfolds and 2-dollar radios for without Contraction digestion is an nothing. Stretched out next to a pad, a pencil, a mast And the last of a poem composed by somebody Else. Volume 7 - Page 35

Woe to the Crips Woe to the crips of the bad-ass man’s land; woe to their knees and wheels. Blessed the throttled of voice and damp of ear, sing of sights ne’er bore witness to and wipe that smirk away, wipe the spittle from the wired chin for there are no actors to play you or you or even you. Woe to the crips of the land! Woe to the tubes and varied buckles. Blessed be those who refuse acknowledging our spectacle of ramps in disrepair and a Net given over to muzzlers and palm greasers; that sludge could fuel my iron lung, my eleven pace makers, my power chair, my 57 th MRI. But no, though they may take my lane they cannot seduce, no longer lay claim to my bullshit taxes. I want to know for once where my dollars are going, who they buy and what they are keeping quiet with trach tubes. I know they breath not for me; know even relayed via faults in my wiring, faults in my wiring, faults… …somewhere along the line Page 36 - Nine Mile Magazine

an error in sequencing got made, made me less than a textbook definition of… Woe to the crips who wake with outrage, who seethe and roar as big pockets water golf courses inaccessible for people like us: we stake abled bodies in shrubs, around greens, alongside walkable pathways …acknowledging our shared spectacle. Volume 7 - Page 37

The social lesions I may take offense, may take your tongue And your purple ax willowing spastically During unpredictable weather events. I may watch you as you compose pictures During the comic heat of the afternoon: Twins, with braids and bloodied swords. I believe your brain stopped bursting When you asked kindly enough for it to be so and so it was sealed proper. As sure as the influence of Cat.4’s Can be felt in air, almost like a weighted Scent sinks itself deep into your lungs. A different rhythmic disease altogether, Ripe, altogether issuing a personal brand Of what we can call influence. And blue. Ang babae, a coat, and criming people With servants nursing in igneous folds Feeding the social lesions, fueling distemper. Those neighbors spreading naughty bits Of all us about: on what is left behind of you Behind you. Driving secures your safe Destruction gets attributed to personal Grease, on miscellaneous personal errors. These galvanized nails ofmen and women. For the hot frost not eaten, for shining Like fevered scat: all that jazz baby. Desperate signatures, tempo shaking Page 38 - Nine Mile Magazine

The floor belly, tickling its ass. Head screws Loosening from oaken boards, cracking Themselves like possessed drumsticks. Blackbirds singing. Black cardinal hums. Sweat seeps from very percussive energy. Ang lalaki: cancer on smooth heart muscles, On subtle love bass and samples of distrust: Stoned open, leaking your hours, my minutes Into dark soil, social lesions crushed in service… Volume 7 - Page 39

And that is why too What happened moments, even decades, ago may as well Not have happened at all. Spots of sticky disbelief Linger about thighs and belly. Out comes relevant. Seed A used husk. Transitions. Transmission needling slowly Into wet wired spaces. Unwilling and prone in treason Yet a residue remains. A lean fatigue in tote to be sure, all While humming 337 variations of Buckdancer’s Choice. Find it all ridiculously sour: blame the broken system, Blame the token incentives and the incessant pressure. Point at the balloons in the sky, point at tacos and food On illuminated boards. Say anything to fix this body. Lean sadness. Knowing finally that I will not walk On smoother water ever again but with the addition Of salts nor will I sink below. As the ways and means Of handling dysfunction make themselves known Day in, day out, I recall long drives speedling through The Santa Cruz mountains in the Catalina, the V8 Block under hood urgently churning valley dust and Grits of coast sand upward as if ejaculated art, singing Now of panic and gut measured response. I become What happens. I am animal and circuitry. Page 40 - Nine Mile Magazine

Volume 7 - Page 41

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