April 6th, 2012
From Fourth Genre, Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2012.
In the eighth grade, my son, DJ, who is autistic and who uses a text-to-voice synthesizer to communicate, became so distraught while learning about Harriet Tubman and a little Polish boy whom the Germans murdered that he couldn’t continue reading. His breathing was heavy; his eyes had glazed over. His heart pounded in the narrow cage of his chest. In response to his ninth-grade English teacher’s question, “What are your strengths … Read More
September 13th, 2009
From Segue (Fall 2009, No. 8):
She discovered it in my brother’s dresser, stuffed beneath the tube socks, only partially concealed. She’d been putting laundry away, lost as usual in the etherized loneliness of housework, when the saucer appeared, darting between the cumulus socks and stratocumulus underpants. “It’s here to take me away,” she cried, “a UFO!” Or so I imagine, the pathos of the incident pushing back, these many yearls later, against the comedy.
And take … Read More
February 13th, 2008
From Stone Canoe: A Journal of Arts and Ideas from Upstate New York (Spring 2008, No. 2):
1. “Sad Dear Saved Me”
“Hours of light like heat hibernate/great icebergs hear the cries of hurt.” So, my son, adopted at the age of six from foster care, began a poem entitled, “Alaska.” Written on a communcation device in the fifth grade, it establishes a number of exquisite analogies–between light and bears and calving icebergs and “hurt” people. By “hurt” people he … Read More
November 3rd, 2003
From New England Review, Vol. 24, No. 1, Winter 2003.
With great difficulty Ellie pulled DJ uphill. At six, her birth-brother, whom she hadn’t seen in nearly three years, understood rollerblading to be a matter exclusively of somebody else’s exertion. While you labored, he’d stand with his legs a bit too close together, his chest a bit too rigidly upright, and his eyes more than a bit too captivated by whatever birds were darting overhead or leaves were rustling in … Read More
November 13th, 2001
From American Disasters, Edited by Steven Biel:
History, wrote the German-Jewish critic Walter Benjamin in 1940 is “one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage.” Inspired by Benjamin’s hope of jolting history out of its catastrophic standstill, Ralph James Savarese seeks the uptopian possibilities in the 1982 Air Florida crash in Washington, D.C.—in the heroism of the mysterious “man in the water” who came to the rescue of his fellow passengers and the convict-con artist who posed as a … Read More