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

Disability Arts Online

Falling behind / 26 May 2014

How long since you updated your profile?
My what?
For someone enchanted by Anais Nin and the concept of fluid personality I've been ridiculously negligent about my profile.
On Dao I'm still the wooden-puppet wordsmith, a profile arrived at by the same kind of looking back that a resume, a CV, requires; and I'm notoriously bad at delivering one of those. I am my work, not my CV.
I do still enjoy the sound of wordsmith, it conjures memories of sounds comprehensible only to me and people who are now themselves only memories.
But the conscious process of smithing has diminshed, the act of collating the finished words has become too immediate, too urgent. Digging around in the how and why, I might discover some other descriptor. 

So how do I write poetry? Do I have a technique?
I write like I draw.
I collect images, put them somewhere inside my head and let them go.
I write and I draw the process of making sense
I've always done both like breathing. I just don't remember when I started drawing or writing. 
I wrote in English, Danish and my own private made-up language. I kept a poetry diary, but always assumed that my lack of technical language skills rendered these scribbles worthless..
I had more confidence in my drawing. I've always felt confident about creating visual images and eventually the words, demanding words, just started to creep in around the edges. The gestation period for images tends to be longer and more precarious, so I needed to be watchful that the words didn't take over.

When I was homeless and there was no possibility of an actual creative practice, I learned to be so much more attentive to the present moment, to hide stuff away in my head, not attempting any specific memory and with no overall plan. I practiced letting go to be in the present and open out my attention. Structure was problematic so occasionally I would buy a little something exquisite and live with it until the end of the day when I would leave it somewhere - in the hopes that somebody or something would find it beautiful or useful.
When I acquired my home, I wrote and drew everything. I kept a paper record of the present moment. Words and doodles packed into colourful folders I've never revisited, were just a different way of letting go. And I had all this stuff in my head, in my gut, burning, making links, jumping boundaries, refining and redefining itself to rocket its own way out, setting fire to the daily scribble.
When it finally did I was no longer just keeping diaries. People started calling me a poet.

I make daily space for visual images that are no less demanding, no less urgent and somehow integral to the realisation of who I am becoming.
I'm flowing with words, words that murmur and swirl; words that demand I be attentive and follow where they lead. Words that require me to focus and not get distracted by the superfluous.
Words that insist and persist and won't let me go.

Ego presumes to inform me
that I am. That being me is something
consistent, someone whole, someone
who faces the world as an entity;
someone keen to be seen with one face.
One stable personality, without flaws
of multiplicity, consistent of emotion,
recognisable through the fast moving
structures of modernity; and yet
I am only today. Tomorrow I will need
to adjust to circumstances, to failure
and success. To re-evaluation and possibility.
To be, I need to be open to embrace
you and the persons you become.
I need to remain unfinished. Un-entrenched
in the person being formed.
The person who may only become
one complete being
through a process of
forensic archaeology,
years after the existence

Sometimes a word will haunt me - together with it's its partnerships, marriages and associations:

Something that impairs or detracts
from physical perfection; defect
a planar fracture or discontinuity
in a volume of rock. A minor
character weakness; significant
displacement resulting from
earth movement. A break in the
earth's crust that can, nevertheless
result in stunning geography.
Invisible or quirky, minuscule
or mammoth; breathtaking
awesome including
The fault.