KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Poem: 109 words [R]

A Step Above Cows

by Hal Sirowitz
I read somewhere that a cow
can only walk upstairs but
not down. Even though I have
Parkinson’s, I’m a step ahead
of a cow. I can walk up or down
without much trouble. And the
one time I fell, I was walking up
but lost my balance and fell down,
which proves that I’m not
a cow, because for a split second,
I had the choice of where to fall—
up or down—and unceremoniously
took the down route, because it
takes you faster to where you
want to go—at the beginning
of the stairs, so I could do it right this time.

—From Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011); republished here by author’s permission

Hal Sirowitz
Issue 2, Winter 2015

The author of six books, including the poetry collections: Mother Said; My Therapist Said; Before, During and After; and Father Said (Soft Skull Press). A prose piece on living with Parkinson’s appeared in a 2010 issue of the Manhattan Review. His work is published in many anthologies, including Billy Collins’ Poetry 180, Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems, and Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast.

Sirowitz has performed his poetry on stages across the country, and on television programs such as MTV’s Spoken Word: Unplugged and The United States of Poetry on PBS. He is former Poet Laureate of Queens and is married to the writer Minter Krotzer.

Expanded bio at:

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Hal Sirowitz, Poet: You Can Thank His Dad for that Dry Wit, an interview by Deanna Elaine Piowaty in combustus (8 June 2012); includes several poems and links to video readings

Interview with Hal Sirowitz and Minter Krotzer in Wordgathering (Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2012)

Chopped Off Arm, a poem from Mother Said recited by Hal Sirowitz (whom the emcee calls “The Maestro of Flushing”) in a video clip at YouTube

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