Archive | August, 2013

Funny Phrases and Revenge

30 Aug

by Nancy Scott

          Stealing clever phrases and writing ideas is something I do all the time.

          I told my friend David that I’d used his getting lost while we were going to a writers’ meeting, in an essay.  And I correctly wrote that he didn’t confess lostness right away.  “I have news for you,” he immediately informed me.  “Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out that I’m lost.”  Now that was something I’d never considered.  I basically expect to get lost.  It would never be something I’d have to figure out.

          Vicky, during lunch at the Hoagie place said, “You like people who talk and people who are characters.” 

          “Do you mean I encourage people to be characters?”  (Could that be true?) 

          “Of course,” Vicky answered, as if this were obvious.

          Melanie, after only three weeks working with me, was trying to reorganize my mailing-label mess.  She still preferred understatement, saying “It’s amazing what you can find in here.”

          When I asked my elderly neighbor how he was feeling and he said, “I’m complaining much better now,” I knew I’d use that somewhere.  I think you could use it too, if it gives you a good comeback.

          Sometimes good comebacks are hard to come by.  Like when Dr. M., who knew I was blind, yelled up to me one morning as I walked on my balcony, “I know what you’re doing up there.  You’re birdwatching.”

          The only comeback I could think of was, “They’d have to be very big, noisy birds.”

          And Terry’s only attempt at anything approaching humor happened the day she couldn’t reach to dust a cabinet top.  She proclaimed, “The stepladder is shrinking.”  Being over 50, I understood that phenomenon.

          Recently, though, we finished cleaning my large bedroom closet in record time.  I complimented her, saying, “You’re so fast.” 

          “Well, you don’t have as much crap as you used to,” she said, straight-faced.  I laughed and told her she was becoming a smart-ass.  “I’ve been hanging out with you for over 20 years,” she stated.  “What do you expect?”

          This time my comeback was better.  “Keep that up,” I warned, “and you’ll have an entire essay of your own.”

 Nancy Scott, Easton, PA, is a blind essayist and poet.  Her over 600 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries. An essayist and poet, she has published three chapbooks. She won First Prize in the 2009 International Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. Recent work appears in Breath and Shadow, Contemporary Haibun Online, and Stone Voices.

Colors on the Reservation

22 Aug

by Stella De Genova

Turquoise blue sky hangs over
orange clay pueblos
hot afternoon sun beating down

Arthritic fingers still nimble enough
to thread liquid silver strands
through red coral and fire opal

Amber beer bottles shattered on the road
black slate stone for protection
cold mountain nights chill to the bone

Deep, dark lines
ingrained in brown faces
hold secrets not to be told

Hair graying, brown eyes fading
look up to the new god in the heavens
praying for another tomorrow

Stella De Genova has had retinitis pigmentosa since childhood and is a visually impaired artist (Art by Stella M. De Genova).  She has a special affection for the people, colors and flavors of the southwest.  See more about Stella on the Statement page of this blog.


The Silent Mirror

9 Aug

by Jyothsna Phanija

Spending years and years before the silent mirror,
Showing it who I am,
And pleading it show me what you think,
Grinning at it, and crying when it is still silent.

I took a big stone, and shattered it in to pieces,
Still it was silent.
I cursed, “You speak with many other women
Of my own age and beauty”

Grumbled, offended, tortured it and killed.
Betrayed, I found solace in others eyes,
And asked how do I look like?
“Beautiful”… I expected”.

Jyothsnaphanija (23) is visually challenged from birth. She is a doctoral candidate at the Department of English Literature, English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad, India. She has done her Masters in English Literature from the same University and was a gold medalist in BA, English Literature. Her poetry has been published in Luvah: Journal of the Creative Imagination, Coldnoon – Travel Poetics, Tajmahal Review, Kritya, eFiction India, Miracle Literature and Art magazine, Fragrance, Induswoman Writing and forth coming in Skeleton’s Anthology, FCWE, Solstice Initiative ETC.  Her academic writings have appeared in Subalternspeak: An International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, eDhvani, UoH Journal of Comparative Literature, Wizcraft Journal of Language and Literature, BarnolipiAn International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her essay “Resistance from Ruins: An Exploration of Indian Female Gothic Narratives” has been published in the book Indian Women Novelists: A Critical Spectrum (2012), and “Picturing India from Colonial Past to Postcolonial Paradigms: A Critical Analysis of selected plays of Indian women dramatists” in the book Contemporary Indian Drama in English. Currently she is in the editorial team of   The Criterion: An International Journal in English.

Birds of a Feather

2 Aug

by Stella De Genova

Have you been asked, “Do you hang out with blind people or sighted people?”  When I first heard this question, it threw me off a little and I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to answer.  I almost felt bad to say that I didn’t just hang out with other visually impaired people.   Maybe I’m not blind enough yet to “stick with my own kind” or maybe I haven’t accepted my position in life yet.  Honestly, I just can’t wrap my head around this one.  I’ve raised my kids to be open-minded and accept all people on an individual basis and in doing so, you find you have all kinds of acquaintances and friends.  Would I tell my own kids to only hang out with people of the same ethnicity, religion or sexual preference?  Or would I tell them to only associate with someone who walks this way but not that way?  And how would I feel if I heard someone asking another if they would be friends with a blind person?

There are times that only another blind person can fully understand what we experience and it’s good to have friends you can share these moments with.  But I don’t choose to have blind friends for therapeutic reasons.  I like them and I would even like them if they could see! Seeing that I’m the only person in my family that is legally blind and none of my old friends are blind, I’d have to give up on a lot of people to only stick to the blind community.  So if I’m ever asked that question again, I think I am more prepared to answer proudly that I have good family, dear old friends and a lot of wonderful new visually impaired friends, all of whom I love and none of whom I’d give up for anything.