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Celebrating Stephen Kuusisto

Every twenty – thirty years
I meet someone
like sun
when met coming out of a deep
and long prison
in astonishment I blink
from its impacts
or perhaps
just write poetry.

Professor Kuusisto
can be packaged –
but it is a violence –
he appreciates his freedom
more.

We liked his face.
We liked his dog.
We liked his humor.
We liked the way:
he judged us as an audience
assisted a good energy
provided a win-win for all.

I like the work
of his honor students.
I like the nonchalant
way he chose his audio
poem for the “Cortland Review.”
I love the selection
read to us from his
Eaves Dropping. (W. W. Norton)

I may even love his homework
to read
Poetry as Survival.
I love his balance
in accepting a stranger
and
I will bet you a dollar
there is very little he imitates
or seeks.

This man who
loves writing,
rises early
and understands
its terrible demands.

Blind man helping me to see
the Marxian roots of “disability”
more than a lesson in etymology
from flesh touching flesh
a call to ‘the big life’
reminiscent of another who knew strife
hope so strong once forged
it triumphs over circumstance
it triumphs over what is real.

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