This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

With #beddingout in mind: / 9 August 2013

Liz Crow 'Bedding Out' is happening in Edinburgh, today and tomorrow, right now, so here #inactualfact, some excepts from 'On Borrowed Crutches'  poetry on wheels:

I have been prescribed a normal life,
life by the fifteen minute rule.
Sitting, standing, lying down; repeat.
So, now I need to ... go shopping.
First to get me ready: crutches
to the elbow, shoes and bags and
Mmmh, fifteen mins standing. Me?
No. And thats not even walking.
Yes I need to take a chair. Thanks
to the physios and Med. Eng. I have
a wheeled one, with support cushions:
seat and back engineered to fit
me. I've charged the battery, and
oh yes, another fifteen mins.
Standing, sitting, now I'll need
somewhere to lie down; and not just the bed,
the custom insert too, because
I can't actually lie flat. I wonder
how I lead a normal life
carting round the chair,
the bed and my personal array
of custom cushioned support.
Thanks be to Medical Engineering.

Being wheelborne I always feel
wide and neat - that's neat as in petite,
and wide, as in my chair is probably
a size eighteen, no twenty-two,
wrapped around my own ten.
Does my lover look beyond the wide;
the heavy preference of stressed men?
Does he enjoy being head and shoulders,
chest above my folded, wheelborne frame?
And how does he feel when I emerge
tall and slim, swinging on two metal sticks?

This practice wishes to inform you
that the doctors will no longer see you.
You were overheard by the practice
secretary, saying your doctor claimed
there was nothing wrong with you.
You will need to register with
another practice.

You have, they said, 
no quality of life.
We cannot help you work;
we cannot offer DLA.
We wash our hands
except to say
We do reserve
the right to take
your benefit away.