Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


The Sheltering Workshops

in Health/U.S. by

Once canopies caught fire the quick to rescind
Olmstead burst into red-taped mummies screaming
For regulations to kindle-spark along with them.

Provisions existed for many long-haired moons
Whereby those with what bureaucratic masses
Termed deformities and/or singular shortcomings

Would work segregated from regular normies,
Would work for less than the carrots and straw
Asses make each day. These changes brought

To us all by thin-lipped and tight fingered
Organizations with rough-hewn names like
ACCSES and Department of Justice, monikers

Akin to elbow calluses, bare knee patches and
Exploitive work places and sub-minimum wage
Soul leeching. These changes made in sessions

Framed by coin and greenback. Yes one can
Always follow the money; look for the mangled
Bodies of the disabled under the armored car.

They say you are so not worthy of the same
Protections cocooning the able-bodied. They
Blow their noses on the bold text of the ADA.

They justify the sheltered workshop as training
Grounds for those many who would have no
Other chance in this beautifully cruel world.

No chance to reach their full potential. Here we
Have the ugly catch-1, catch-2 of entitlement,
The full bloom of embarrassment for the rigging

Shows, the magnets and slow springs, the fractions
Of seconds lost minute by minute. The arcade
Is indeed rigged, the fire is very real, and for those

Born with wires crossed, knotted, or often times
Missing entirely, shit continues rolling down hill
And running is a luxury very few can still afford.



Many people with disabilities are being paid way below the minimum wage, and it’s perfectly legal [Mother Jones]
Report: Sheltered workshops ‘exploit’ people with disabilities [Rooted in Rights]
Companies that exploit disabled people have a friend in Jeff Sessions [Pacific Standard]

Sean J. Mahoney works in geophysics. Sean helped create to the Disability Literature Consortium (, which made its physical debut at AWP16 in Los Angeles. He co-edited the 3 existing volumes of the MS benefit anthology Something On Our Minds, and works as an assistant editor for His work has been published in Occupoetry, Barking Sycamores, Nine Mile Magazine, OTV Magazine, Catamaran Literary Reader, Your Impossible Voice, and Right Hand Pointing, among others.

Photo by Mag Pole.

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