JOHN R. KILLACKY
By day, I am an arts warrior, public servant, heroic crip. Open,
responsive, cocksure, ambitiousI seize the public gaze as
a bully pulpit. Offstage finds me enslaved by quivering muscles
contorting my stride.
surgery, my swollen spine shut down. Gurus and saints abounded,
but no roses from above. Paralyzed weeks turned into monthsa
flicker, a twitch, a wave; sitting to standing, six steps to go
home, with wheelchair, ankle brace, and cane.
repeat to imprint; but gravity intervenes. Syncopated embellishments
focus spatial awareness; though alignment remains akimbo. With little
sensation, each footstep is defiant. Only in the pool can I run
with the ponies again.
still fixate on atrophy, ignoring progress. Balancing rehab and
recovery, clinging to a reconnecting, physical therapy and pharmaceuticals
combat lost kinesis, encouraging hope.
murmurs locate points of pleasure: behind the left knee, above the
nipple. I crawl inside the softness, relishing the incandescent
kundalini rush absent pain. Legs lie quiet, the burning subsides.
Stillness embraces me.
the extra room (that we do not have), I pliť and pirouette with
dramatic abandon, leaving behind my imploded, twisted carcass. The
tumor does not return. My pelvis aligns. Depression dissipates.
Then I awake.
spasms hurl me out of body. Heart and breath stop. I stare down
at my contorted gaping hole of a mouth and rehearse death, porous
and seductive. Floating in this space between, I no longer fear
dying, only waiting.
shadows hover. It seems easy (one breath away), but is so hard to
surrender into the void, although I am well practiced, writing libretti
for lost lives in vigils through the night and surviving my own
demise, time and again.
carries me back once more through his weight, touch, and voice.
Unfettered love makes the journey familiar and secure. No past,
no future, just present. Grasping for now, I pray for clear seeing,
acceptance without judgment.
comes. I amble toward the light.
© 2005 John R. Killacky
Let us know what
you think of this BENT feature.
John R. Killacky
co-edited with BENT editor Bob Guter the
Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories," winner of a 2004
Lambda Literary Award. Killacky recently moderated an on-line
discussion with The Non-Traditional
Casting Project entitled "Queering the Crip," with Terry Galloway,
Raymond Luczak, Judy Smith, and Greg Walloch.
BENT: A Journal of CripGay