The Dog Inside

Posted · Add Comment

Inside a man or woman who owns a service dog is a hidden dog; inside that dog is another and another—dogs reaching all the way back to the Basenji and the Shar-Pei. Further in is a wolf and inside that wolf a soul of spine and desire.  Who has time for Groucho Mark? “Inside of […]

Against Inspiration Porn 24-7

Posted · Add Comment

Billy was inspiring because he smiled all the time.Billy was inspirational because he neer frowned.Because he was grateful for everything.The thing Billy couldn’t understand was why all the able bodied people were so miserable. Why did they need him (with his crutches, his chair, his white cane, his smile smile smile…didn’t they already have everything?) […]


Posted · Add Comment

I decided to believe in God. There, that took care of it.  In the open air market I bought a salmon and carried it home. The kitchen was a room of souls—my grandmother, long dead,  whispered about the fish; about baking it in paper,  I heard the word “shroud” and it seemed right.  In life […]

Poetry and Disability

Posted · Add Comment

American poets who do not identify as being disabled have long used crippling and crippled tropes to signify everything from abjection and spiritual despair to picaresque comedy. My view has always been that since no one is lower on the rungs in America than her poets, and since poetry is often a relatively adolescent art, […]

Disability, Identity, and Phantom Acceptance

Posted · Add Comment

In his canonical book Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, Erving Goffman observed that the disabled are managed by the non-disabled with “phantom acceptance”–a dance of sorts where the disabled must replicate with every gesture the provisional codes of acceptance that “stigma management” has offered. Goffman puts it elegantly:   “The stigmatized individual […]


Explore the Planet

Steve Kuusisto's Books on

Letters to Borges

Planet of the Blind

Only Bread, Only Light

Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening

The Poet's Notebook

Do Not Interrupt: A Playful Take on the Art of Conversation