Pamela's note: This is a piece of a collection in progress, on themes of trauma and deformity.
TW: Blood and violence
Get out your knife
Snatch my blade
Press it into this rotting flesh
Check for marbling, watch for green
The content maggots eating me
Your five sharpened edges
Fingers pinching me
Squeezing this raw meat
Ground up and slab
I mold around your touch
I squeeze through your fingers
Those blades drawing blood
The vulture sniffs me out
And caws from afar
Biography: Pamela Hope is a disabled and disfigured creative and thinker. She has a background in education, organizations, and free-lance writing; and currently works in banking, of all things. Follow her @PamelaHope3.
Friday, June 19, 2020
Book content warnings:
Abuse (mentions/brief descriptions)
Racism in others (brief)
Part manual on autism/Asperger's and part memoir, Tom Cutler takes us through his Asperger's diagnosis at age fifty-five and his life events with a newly-acquired lens. This book has British humor, heartache, and a whole lot of knowledge. There are few chapters to guide us through, but there are numerous section breaks to make things more manageable.
The descriptions and details are vivid and plentiful. The author tells you what it feels like to have a panic attack, be near meltdown, have an aversion to touch, and other things some people may never feel. He goes through the history of autism/Asperger's being recognized as a neurodiversity, some of the famous people throughout history who've had (or were suspected to have) Asperger's Syndrome, and what a diagnosis can mean for people... what it meant for him.
There is discussion on the possible evolutionary advantages of people with Asperger's in the general population, and the author makes the distinction between autistic people (low functioning) and those with Asperger's (high functioning). I believe people can take whatever label applies to them that feels right, but I have complicated feelings on differentiating any disability or neurodivergence in what seems like an "us versus them" view.
The book discusses the suicide rate for people with Asperger's (nine times higher than neurotypical people). At one point, while struggling through his early college days and a breakup, Tom (who has type one diabetes) stopped taking his insulin. His depression was so immense that it cost him two touch-and-go weeks in the hospital. No one knew how lonely he was.
There are spots of sunshine. Tom Cutler is a successful humorist with a family. His depression, a constant visitor throughout his life, loosened its grip once Tom could view his actions (and those of others towards him) through the lens of his diagnosis. His interest in spinning things, sound effects, and British road signs had an extra dimension once he found out he had Asperger's.
I'd recommend this book to anyone looking to understand autism/Asperger's better, and my lovelies on the spectrum looking for an excellent account of a fellow traveler.
Friday, June 5, 2020
We are giving away a copy of the poetry collection Only Air by Stephen Lightbown. The entry window starts today (June 5th) and ends on July 30th. Learn more about the book by clicking here (the link goes to Amazon).
1. This giveaway is only open to people in the 48 contiguous United States because the book is available in physical format only. (I apologize to readers living outside the eligible area.)
2. People may enter by leaving a comment on this post, emailing us at email@example.com or getting in touch with us on Twitter @HandUnPen. Please make it clear what you are contacting us for.
3. Only one entry per person.
4. Drawing will be random, and the winner will be notified on July 31st (by 11:59 PM CST) via the method they entered with. So, if the person who won entered via email, they will receive an email... and so on.
5. No substitutions. Void where prohibited.