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  February 2006
volume 4 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Elizabeth Addis
  Jack G. Bowman
  Bob Browning
  Dana Campbell
  Michael Ceraolo
  Peggy Dobreer
  Francisco Dominguez
  Lisa Helene Donovan
  Dale Duke
  Michael Estabrook
  Daniel Gallik
  Daniel garcia-Black
  Kenneth Gurney
  Roger Humes
  Amber Jacob
  Marianne LaValle-Vincent
  Marie Lecrivain
  Gary Lehmann
  Dave Nordling
  Aire Celeste Norell
  Gina MarySol Ruiz
  David W. Rushing
  Dahn Shaulis
  Durlabh Singh
  Kari Thune
  Amy Upham
  Tyler Joseph Wiseman
  mailing list
Amy Upham
February 2006



photo by jerry garcia

    Amy is a poet, activist and vocalist. Her other full-time job (the one where she makes money) is as an advocate with the developmentally disabled. She is co-founder of a performance poetry group in Buffalo, NY, and The Erie County Disability Coalition. Amy, herself, has a mental health disability and a chronic pain condition.
    When she is not writing or rallying, she is eating organic food, sleeping on her pillowtop mattress (ahh!), getting rid of waste in a socially appropriate fashion, trying to connect with Buddy Jesus and looking for a man who doesn't watch woman-defiling porn.
Artistic Disobedience




Susan melts butter with her eyes
reveals the too-yellow of this world
Neighbors goop on a porcelain dish
hardens to stale refrigerator spread
Susan exposes the truth.

Susan rages
Susan is too sensitive
Absorbed in herself
(when no one else will give her water)

You know no one's going to love you
No one's going to give you health care

Susan folds brown paper grocery bags
then tears them up
distributes the glass-sharp shreds to the homeless
Susan doesn't watch the news
She bleeds it.

Susan's always angry
Susan blows things out of proportion
(decades of silence, one demand)

But Susan, it's all in your head
You're too sick to speak
Too selfish to listen
No one's going to notice that the mind is part of the body

Here's a streetcorner. Here's a taller, and yet a taller building for you to jump from. Here's your therapist, your pills. Here's the line to get food. Here's all you need to know about the moral majority. Here's what you never tell anyone, especially the government.

Here's nice poetry, and when you can look me in the eye. Here's a list of the patterns you you you need to work on. Oh, and here is the stress I am under, if you could hold it for me a sec., I'll be right back; I'd like to cut off my hands. And, well, now, how can I really do anything about the violence in your home or the violence in my church or the violence in the mental health agencies and law. I'll just make my corner of the world a little brighter, and forget that I've given you.

Oh, yes, here it is, the last nail to your coffin. Rest in peace.
Now don't you move a muscle
That means you have boundary issues And have I told you
enough yet, Susan,
You talk too much!
Your personality is in disorder.
Something is terribly wrong with you, Susan

Susan bows her head
nods as the tears fill her eyes
walks quietly down to her room
waiting for the world to molest her, again.

Susan, stop melting butter with your eyes.

copyright 2004 Amy Upham