Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community artist, Artistic Director of The Olimpias ( and Associate Professor of English, Women's Studies, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan. Her books include Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (Routledge 2003), The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), Community Performance: An Introduction (Routledge, 2007), and, together with Neil Marcus and photographer Lisa Steichmann, the poetry collection Cripple Poetics: A Love Story (Homofactus Press, 2008).

Inspired by Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

The wheel is moved forward and back, forward, forward and back again, that is the particular direction that is imparted in pressure waves and pushes no curve in sight.

Spokes, metal spokes, spokes quite monstrous ordinarily, aligned to cascade into a point like a dragon's red tooth. The tensile steel is not necessary. The plastic will do as long as there is equal pressure and no flex, there is no place that needs to bulge out to the side and veer inward.

What is the impetus that makes machinery, that makes it thwack. What is the impetus of the endless rolling line and the necessary scar in the palm.

What is the impetus.

What is red freedom, what is it.

Where is the languid length, it is there and a dark place is not an open place, only to walk away, and to come back when wanted, only perch with tense thighs, a perch that is water, the muscle has no color. A line distinguishes it. A line break, just distinguish it.

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