Friday, April 15, 2022

Three Poems by Samir Knego

Note: "Fall I" and "Fall II" first appeared in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. "Exit or dancing, for what it’s worth and it’s not about not being disabled” first appeared in The Fieldstone Review.

Fall I

Passing a church with the stations of the cross outside
Jesus fell in front of my eyes
once, twice, then a third time

Watching Christ in pain and difficulty
I thought of Nancy Eisland’s image
of God in a wheelchair

“Open to all!” proclaimed a sign
At the top of several steps

(sometimes, the punchline is almost too obvious)

Fall II

And the falls, all of them.
Some people don’t know that feeling of precariousness,
always half-preparing to plummet, or float away.

When the very earth can’t hold you like it should
(or can, but won’t–I’m not sure if it’s worse to assume intentions or abilities)
you turn to the sea and sky instead.

Some Christians talk about living in the world but not of it
and maybe disability is the flip side,
as you’re steeped in a world that keeps separating itself from you.

or dancing, for what it’s worth
and it’s not about not being disabled

When I dream about dancing I don’t dream about being able to stand or step or spin

I don’t dream about dancing as something physical, not really

I don’t dream of it as something that my body could do or cannot do or should or would do. No,

I dream of dancing as a feeling, as a joy as a floating as a you and I

In space somewhere just moving and laughing and being together

And maybe there is music and maybe there is only perfect silence but somehow

I know that this feeling, this being, this thing that is of my body but not quite in it--

That this is dancing, for what it’s worth.

Biography:  Samir Knego is a multidisciplinary artist and zinester. He lives in North Carolina with a bright green wheelchair and an ever-growing CD collection and was LEVEL’s Spring 2021 Local Artist-In-Residence. When he’s not making art, he works in a library and listens to lots of heavy metal. Find him on Twitter: @SamirKnego

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