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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, January 10, 2018. Read by Kaveh Akbar.
About this Poem 
“Slateku is a form I invented. It’s simple: It is a poem that is written, or could have been written, with the classic Braille slate and stylus. The slate has four rows of twenty-eight cells each. Some think of it as writing backward, pressing down right to left to make dots stand up on the other side, but I think of it as writing forward in a different direction. The second slateku in this series is something only Braille readers can fully appreciate!”
John Lee Clark
 

Four Slateku

What is the point of travel
For a DeafBlind person
Other than the food the people the shops
And all that

*
 
Part one young
Question mother father
Know right name
Work some day

*

The mutant four-fingered carrot
Is in the pot and growing
Sweeter as it relaxes
Its grip

*

When we say good morning
In Japanese Sign Language
We pull down a string
To greet each other in a new light

Copyright © 2018 by John Lee Clark. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 10, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by John Lee Clark. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 10, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

John Lee Clark

John Lee Clark

John Lee Clark is the author of the essay collection Where I Stand: On the Signing Community and My DeafBlind Experience (Handtype Press, 2014).