Saturday, June 19, 2010

Love song to my motorized wheelchair

Though we are almost married
I often forget you

You're bulky and stout
I sit around you most of the time.
you're cranky and lumbering.

But then I turn you on

And I remember
I love you
on high speed
all cracked
up. I love you
rolling with me
the joystick is yours
throbbing in full gear
as we bump
denting the floor—

Every night you wait
for me to charge you up

and you come squeaking
like an ungainly pigeon
asking for more.

If I don't please you right
your weight might
crush my bones

When you tie me down
I only soar higher.

Yet you love to see me wriggling
all bound up and when I try
to pull out you hold me in.

The women who fall for me
are often paralyzed by you

They are jealous of how
I'm always lap dancing on you.
were almost sewn at the hip.

Oh my
dark dawn
Oh my loyal task master
Oh my electric
steel tempered mistress.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Acsexible: fashion, beauty and wheelchairs

This note has a jumpy quality to it. Leaping from idea to idea. Maybe its because I'm in a jumpy mood or the connections arent teased out in my mind yet. I will let it be as is. Maybe you can help me connect the dots. I trust there is a link between them.

I think its time to suggest a new turn to the fashion industry and create wheelchair accesible bras. In other words to become acsexible. That's how I plan to get rich. I know -- I'm serious, its a little frustrating to be in a really romantic moment and kill it by fumbling trying to get a bra undone and struggling to unsnap it.

And what about wheelchairs? They're so robotic and foreign looking. They evoke an alien machine, a go go gadget thing, an infirm object. Or at least they do in some peoples minds. I say bring on the art. Let wheelchairs be filled with street art, murals, flowers, politics. Let our wheelchairs become an extension of our external identity instead of a de-personalized unsexy object. That's why the back of my wheelchair now is spray painted pink. Its just the beginning though I want a jungle of color there.

Certain groups within the Mayan tradition used to flatten babies forehead's with stones when they were born because they saw the flat foreheads as a sign of beauty. Though this practice may seem brutal to us its interesting to note that in many indigenous cultures deformity and mutilation of the body was seen as a sign of beauty. I don't take credit for these words; a colleague who is a fashion designer and has done plenty of research on the subject mentioned them in passing.

Its true. Even today piercings and tattoo's which are from a certain angle a kind of defilement to the body can be seen as a sign of sexiness. We have to bring that idea back in the context of disability and deformity. If someone has some part of their body amputated or atrophied... there are two choices, both of which are valid: 1) You can hide it. 2) You can find ways to say " This is my body and I find it beautiful. That's where we need the creative fashion and costume designers to give us their input. ,

The media often portrays people in wheelchairs as infirm, heroic, childlike and sickly among other things. How about just showing people in wheelchairs as ordinary sexy people with their own diverse sense of style?

I think the media has very narrow image of beauty that contributes to some peoples notion about disability being in some way related to unattractiveness. I think its really wonderful when art, images and film can challenge and question the boundaries between beautiful and ugly. In other words, there are many types of inner and outer beauty and I aspire to welcome its diverse shapes.

In certain cases someone with a disability needs to adapt the clothes they wear because of certain limitations which in turn limits the clothes they can wear. I have a hard time with zippers and pants with buttons on them so some clothes I like have to be adapted for me or I simply can't wear them even if I like how they look.

Clothes that are both fashionable sexy and easy to wear for all kinds of people regardless of their physical limitations must be more available. Jane Austen said "there are as many ways to love as moments in time. I think what she said
also applies to beauty - there are as many ways to be beautiful as moments in time.