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Cover art by Tim Traver, Interact Center.


INTRODUCTION At Cow Tipping Press, we’re tipping over more than cows. We’re tipping over our expectations. We’re tipping over the idea that there’s just one way to learn, to write, to create. We’re tipping over attitudes of “ugh, it’s poetry week” through poems that inspire our students to create their own and discover that the title of “poet” isn’t reserved for canonical literary figures. Best of all, we’re tipping them over together. Through laughter and storytelling, our classes build community. Diamond always came into class with new photos to share of her friends and family. Nathan always had a song to sing. Vince’s sagas about the bus rides to class are the stuff of legend. These sparks of connection are kindling for creation. The creative process isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Just ask Lyn. “Carrots are hard to make,” she wrote, “but I do it.” At Cow Tipping Press, we’re making literary carrots every week. As teachers and as people, we’re learning that what works for some doesn’t work for others. Vince gave the best advice when he wrote, “I’d say just do things your way, not the tiger way.” Creation follows many paths—we’re just trying to figure out the map. Neurodivergent stories can feel like uncharted territory, but that feeling is another cow that we’re delighted to tip over. This book is just a taste of the


incredible work that these authors have been doing. We hope that it challenges and inspires you to seek out underrepresented voices. More importantly, we hope that when you find them, you will listen. Marissa Heim Cassidy Reves-Sohn Sarah Richman Cow Tipping Press March 2016


WHAT A TIGER CAN DO

by Vince Fiorilli

My oh my, what can a tiger do If you believe in a tiger they can make you brave and unstoppable they also can make you smart and wise you can even make a good guard but the question is, do you want all that? I’d say just do things your way, not the tiger way

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THE GAME SHOW

by Nathan Bauer

Who is back in town boy with boyfriends and guys back in town, is your lips to kiss the Nobel Peace Prize 600,000 dollar in the Bauer, Nathan want to be a game show like The Price is Right

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HAPPY

by Denise Cieminski

I didn’t see Dar all day I think she was in a class One thing I did see She was mad You know when you’re mad, and there’s no one around to see if you’re around and you cry? She was crying She was around I was around I would help her Why didn’t she just come see me? I was at lunch I don’t like to see anyone upset, would you? No.

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ROYALTY WISHES

by Dontrice Dalton

My life is full of Fancy Tales. I would love to be a Queen, royalty that have heirs. A beauty. A crown to wear. In my world there would be jesters, sorcerers, lion, elephants, and a King for the Queen. The royals the riches the gold and the rubies, the stones and all the precious silver and gold. The Magic Kingdom of Kings and Queens. The Lords that reign and soldiers that kept the King safe and guarded his Kingdom.

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LOVING

by Cathy Otto

You are gentle and kind. I would like to see you again. Your love made me strong. You are sweet and tender. I would love to love you again. You are strong and funny. I need to see you again. Come back to me and let’s grow together. I would love to touch you again.

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MY OPINION ON A MOVIE

by Vince Fiorilli

I think the movie The Other Sister is a nice movie about showing how two worlds can become one. The reason I say that is how a disabled lady who is part of a rich family. But the way she grew up, she grew up in a normal world outside the rich world. Now that she returned with her family, her mom doesn’t want to let her go. But the daughter wants to prove that she can handle the real world and doesn’t need to be watched over 24/7.

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ARTISTS

by Lyn Johnson

I am an artist. I sell some of my artworks. I like to color. And I love to read and listen to music. Draw a picture. Drawing yourself, that’s the hard part. And watch TV. I sold some of my artwork. I sold carrots. Carrots are hard to make, but I do it. I make a little money off of it. Now I got a boyfriend and I’m happier with him. The 25th is my birthday. Of February. And I’m glad my boyfriend quit smoking. I got more things on my mind. He asked me to marry him but nothing’s happening. He always says he wants to get married but he never got me a ring. We’re going to Sweetheart Dance. I’m glad I got someone to take care of me. I should take care of him—he sleeps in church!

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BOOT CAMP

by Nathan Bauer

When You come to the front door Way you going to Camp Horrorland to stay in on his own can you get out but no you keep going to find all Doors and flows Got to Get to out of this Place Write to a Place like home You need to think and Believe you are most Done floor to floor and Door to Door You are Good in Minnesota to Nathan again love my men Say honey am home Come Get me a kiss

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THE JOY OF SUMMER

by Vince Fiorilli

During the summer I like the sunny days. They really attract you to the outside. I also think it’s one of the best times to go out to the lakes and do some reading. It’s also one of the perfect seasons to have some grill outs or even watch some of mother nature. I also remember going out camping with the other scouts. And man do I love waterfalls and following the springs. At night, if you go out at the right timing, you can hear the crickets sing and see the fireflies shine.

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WORK

by Denise Cieminski

Boredom at work. Not too many activities on the work floor, so I write and play dice and visit with my friends. That makes me feel real good. And that makes me tired. I ate all my lunch, but I did not eat my yogurt, but I can try it again. It was good soup. I liked it.

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ZIGGY

by Cathy Otto I

I ran excitedly over to the woman. I jumped up and licked her face. She threw my toy across the yard and I ran to get it. I brought it back to her and she threw it again. This time it flew over to the neighbor’s yard and it took me a while to locate it. After finding it I jumped on the woman and she grabbed the toy from me. She pet me repeatedly and told me I was a good boy. II

Jumping up on the woman like an excited twoyear-old was my way of greeting her. She didn’t throw my toy fast enough. It was as though she threw it in slow motion. She threw the toy haphazardly like a runaway mouse. It landed next to the front door and was easy for me to fetch. 11


III

I jumped up higher than the woman. It was to my great surprise that I had a pair of wings that brought me to such great height. I got so excited when they looked like an angel’s wings. I jumped up again and gave the woman a big sloppy kiss.

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WEIGHT WATCHER

by Lyn Johnson

Carrots, they’re healthy and fish bowls and water. So many foods, I can’t remember all of them. They’re healthy. They’re better than bad foods. I’m happier—lose weight. Milk. It’s good for your bones and your teeth, too.

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THE LIFE STORY OF BEING AS AN ATHELETE AS COACH

by Nathan Bauer

I am a self-advocacy person and I helped my dad for the ARC of Minnesota, where he goes to in Minneapolis-St. Paul. And he does helping people to get everything organized, like the State Capitol. We have a Capitol weekend tomorrow. We go up and talk to legislators and talk about our life story in your community. I am very active in your community. I love to walk. I love to dance. And I do advocate for myself, because if you have a disability people or a disability son or daughter it’s hard for them. We need them to go out and do some advocates for themselves and do a life story about them. And it’s really easy to talk to moms, to talk to dads and do anything.

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I am the Male Athlete of the Year Award. We did a long time ago with the Special Olympics. And was, I participate in three: basketball, bowling, golf and bocce. And currently volunteer as a twice track and field athlete boss with Jamie Westerfield for their competition, compete in their events. We do sometimes help them a lot and help them wheel around. We have national games, state games and area games. And I am a Global Messenger. I speak about 1,000 speeches in the world for the Global Messenger. I am Athlete the Global of the Year, Nathan Bauer.

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THIRSTY

by Dontrice Dalton

I’m a she-devil. I like blood but I don’t like red. I discovered that she-devils are weird. Find me a she-devil friend instead, because I don’t like the color red.

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DENISE

by Denise Cieminski

I saw when they put it in. A new microwave. I went all the way into the kitchen to see the new kitchen. It’s very beautiful. And the stove. And the cupboards, and the sinks— the new sinks—and the floor. I like it. It’s nice. They had to get it done, or else if they won’t get it done they won’t get it done. The tile is pretty.

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COLORS

by Vince Fiorilli

I see a lot of colors floating around But what I see is waves Are those waves supposed to tell me something? Well I thought about it overnight The next day I see them again and they’re in motion I think they’re telling me how to relax Like I learned in the past if you find things to relax you like waves or anything it can help you relax and calm down

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HONOLULU, HAWAII

by Lyn Johnson

I like to go back to Hawaii I have a girlfriend lives in Hawaii I have fun there One thing I didn’t like there was volcanoes Too scary It’s a long flight there And her parents was raised in Hawaii Her dad Her mom was raised in Washington I like to see them again As long as I don’t see sharks in the oceans It doesn’t rain hard It’s beautiful there

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THE MISSING BOTTLE

by Vince Fiorilli

I know a long time ago I planted a glass bottle with a letter in it. A letter to remind me of memories of things I did back as a kid and teen. Well now comes the time that I want to open that jar. I went to find the jar that I buried, but it wasn’t there. So I tried to find it one more time. Well I found a jar, but it wasn’t the one that I buried. So I read the note that was in there and it said, “Don’t bother to look for your notes ‘cause you will never find it and your search will just get worse.”

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MAYA ANGELOU

by Nathan Bauer

you may write me down in history she loves music I rise love to dust I rise dream come true in her love I rise day and night when you are awake and you go to bed at night, like to see in your world see Sesame Street I came to bringing a gift to her life her family, love to laugh love to cry love to party love to have a holiday a time too all good night history 21


GOOD WORKING

by Lyn Johnson

I work at Valley Natural Foods and make peanut butter. I think I’m getting a peanut butter headache. I got a good job. I like it. I been there four years. Good people—nice to me. They get us snacks, upstairs. They get snacks up there. Next December, it’s going to be my five years working there. I like my boss Steve. He knows what I do.

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SUMMER DAY

by Dontrice Dalton

Ice Cold Drinks are great on a Hot Summer Day. All the Refreshing that take place in the Summer. Just Wonderful memories of Evil’s day in his movies out on the Beach. Drinking cocktails and taking Refreshing Dunks in the swimming pool in the summer. The Brisk Wind that makes you wonder. Hot Days in the Summer Surfing on a Big Ocean Wave on a hot summer Day.

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A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE

by Denise Cieminski

CoffeeGood, WATERCREAM HOTINCUP!

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CONTRIBUTORS Nathan Bauer has two wonderful, number one nephews named Olin and Reyland. He enjoys writing because it is nice and calm and relaxing. Denise Cieminski is a very nice person. She has a nice family. She has a friend named Kurt. Not Kurt Vonnegut. Her friend’s name is Kurt Gowell. Dontrice “Diamond” Dalton was born September 30, 1970 to Portia Baker and her father Donald Dalton. She has three boys. She grew up in Gary, Indiana. As an adult she moved to Chicago, Illinois. She relocated to Minnesota in 2003. She has lived here now in Minnesota for about 13 to 14 years. Vince Fiorilli has always been on a mission in his life to see where he belongs. Or show to others that a disabled person can do what a nondisabled can. He thinks he may have found his spot now, here in writing. Lyn Johnson is still single. Oh boy, now she’ll probably get more boyfriends on her. She just wants one, not a bunch. Cathy Otto loves music and loves to dance. She always wanted to write a book, but she’s starting to write poetry. Cathy has two wonderful sons in their 20s. She wanted to live alone but finds herself living with three other women. Cathy is very friendly and assertive.


Cow Tipping Press teaches and publishes writing by adults with developmental disabilities, encouraging readers to see this form of human diversity in a new way. For more information or to browse our entire collection, visit cowtippingpress.org.


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