Elevate Difference

The Amputee's Guide to Sex

Posing as a handbook, The Amputee's Guide to Sex opens up a new world: not of cold lifeless prosthetics, but the raw, quivering beings that lie beyond them. Containing prose poems and free verse, the Guide is sharp and unapologetic, yet simultaneously contains yearning and heartbreak.

This book strips our obsession with Being Different/Otherness down to what it feels like from the other side; it's the difference between empathizing and fetishizing. Sometimes bitter, sometimes bold and always breathtakingly honest, Weise's words are more than just poems; they are a treatise on compassion and understanding. Weise is immediately engaging, sparring with the political, sexual, and societal realms, challenging our preconceived notions of disability and intimacy.

Throughout the book, Weise draws from medical texts and jargon, as well as history. Turning the sterile and clinical into the passionate, she deconstructs the relationship between patient and surgeon, and between lovers. Each poem is carefully constructed--a succinct work of detail and beauty. "Abscission," a work whose title refers to the natural or intentional shedding of a body part (think the leaves of a tree or plant), collides with the world of lovers and doctors: Your favorite post-coital pastime/is nicknaming my scars. The name for the railroad track/along my back-Engine.

Disabled or not, readers will find something to hold onto—whether it be flesh, prose or otherwise. The book offers up work that is unique, informative, and personal.

Written by: Jennifer Treuting, June 5th 2007

Great review that definitely puts this book on my list. Thanks!--Lacey D.