top of page

Breath & Shadow

Winter 2012 - Vol. 9, Issue 1

"Aphasia", "Public Execution", and "These Days"

written by

Jimmy Burns



IV drip drips a quick fix.

Impoundment disgust

of abandoned food particles

reservoir between stroke

and bleeding gums-

tongue refuses to speak,

unrecognizable voice,

sound melds to gibberish,

slur inflicted from lips,

right brain poetry recital,

deluded conflict derision

of left side anarchy-

turn page, greet another day-

utter confusion during silence.



"Public Execution"


Left side deficit

tyranny of nerves and flesh,


garage sales, flea markets,

                 church bazaars,


seek wheelchairs

to buy on the cheap

{rob mobility of its parts}

claim art works of


engage conversation with


change dollars to ''''''''quarters

                spasm wave

load goodbye on ramp


    to shut-in status.



"These Days"


Near the edge of never more-

exit swinging hospital doors-

miscued words jumble haphazard syntax

labored exposition drooled downward chin-

comprehensive muddle-nouns exchanged

within exaggerated culture of verb phrases:

back brain Mozart pianos solo sonata-

murmur collides with disconnection-

present tense eaten by past and future.

Jimmy Burns writes his poetry from his wheelchair parked at his rural home near Houston. Disability poems included in Chest, Edgz, Homestead Review, Pegasus, and Wordgathering. Poetry by Burns has been nominated for a Pushcart award. In 2009 Burns won an Inglis House award.

bottom of page