Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Summer 2014

Volume 11 Issue 3



Breath and Shadow
Summer 2014

Volume 11 Issue 3

The Happiest Place On Earth by Erika Jahneke

I’m here because my roommate says I’m not open to new things – which, of course, she made sound like the chance for untold adventures, but has really led us to waiting in a truck stop on the way to Disney with a bunch of other disabled tourists. The only new sensation I’m filled with is a sticky banquette against my crippled butt. It seemed like a good idea at the time, sliding over, to try and be daring, and most of all, diffuse some of the fear, pity, and tiny sips of revulsion I see in the eyes of the other patrons…

Click here to read Erika Jahneke’s short story

A Spider by William L. Houts

Sprawled in my favorite chair,
I found a spider striving down
my sweater's cotton roads;
uncruel, I meant to brush her
from my collar to the floor,
but a brainless finger crushed her…

Click here to read William Hout’s poem

Here and There by Wendy Kennar

There the world, and the people in it, were damaged.  Surgeries. Broken bones.  Sprained muscles.  Strokes.  Diseases.  But no one was written off.  Everyone was there to try.  Try to regain some mobility, some strength, some independence.

Here the world continued on as it always had.  Work.  Family. Dinners.  Dishes.  Laundry.  Bills.  Hugs.  Kisses.  Time-outs.  I was the hamster on the spinning wheel, and I feared my legs wouldn't keep going…

Click here to read Wendy Kennar’s essay

4 AM, Even More by B. Z. Niditch

French bread

resembling a

quarter moon


on the granite table

an hour ago…

Click here to read B. Z. Niditch’s poems

The Scofflaw by Timothy W. Allen

There sure is a lot of scar tissue in there,” the ophthalmologist said, peering through my pupils while shining the brightest light imaginable into my eyes. But he was a man of few words, and he said little else, beyond occasionally asking:

And which is better?” while rotating various diopters as I stared blankly at the barely visible Snellen Chart, projected on the wall from an unknown source. And then, about fifteen minutes into this:

Well, you’re not legally blind,” he deadpanned. I didn’t respond. This struck me as an odd remark; I had never really thought about the issue…

Click here to read Timothy Allen’s essay

Wheelin’ by Glenda Barrett

As I rode out of the store
in my red handicapped scooter
I noticed a shiny, red motorcycle
parked alongside the sidewalk…

Click here to read Glenda Barrett’s poem

The Dollhouse by Jennifer Gifford

I’m an artist. I confine myself to one simple medium, but my art is one of a kind. Working in fear and pain, much the way Picasso worked in oils, I utilize whatever tools I have around me to complete my dark masterpieces. I specialize in the macabre, emulating the dark essence of it, capturing it in all its dark, twisted beauty. Death, sweet death, is my greatest creation…

Click here to read Jennifer Gifford’s short story

The Computer Jungle, Wildflower Engine Block by Todd Hanks (toddh1964@att.net)

In the paradise of a computer jungle,

bananas and televisions hang near

a python draping a metal limb.

In a red rust river piranhas fax

themselves closer to the wading

legs of cyber water buffalo…

Click here to read Todd Hank’s poems

Control by Debbie Johnson

BEEP-BEEP, BEEP-BEEP. The alarm clock rings and I pull the covers over my head. BEEP-BEEP. After another minute, I tire of the alarm's incessant call. I crawl out of bed remembering today’s itinerary and wish I could just stay home. Taking a deep breath, I strive to remain calm and relaxed. Yet the anxiety begins…

Click here to read Debbie Johnson’s essay

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