Autistic Rights, Not Autistic Wrongs

Hey Mrs Kennedy
There with your OBE
Your shiny charity?
You ain’t that much to me.

If you read what I wrote
You wanna make a note
Don’t sit up there and gloat
You gonna miss the boat.

See what I’m tellin’ you
Ain’t just my point of view
We’re more than one or two
Autistic through and through.

So listen when we say
Your spiel has had its day
We’re dissin’ ABA
Abuse is not okay.

We spotted Wakefield ties
And anti-vaccine lies
You hung out with those guys
Now that ain’t very wise.

We followed all the tracks
Led us to frauds and quacks
We’re threatened with attacks
But we got stacks of facts.

We offered you advice
We tried to play it nice
We thought that would suffice
Won’t make that error twice.

You think we’ve had enough?
You think we’re not so tough?
We live and breathe this stuff
Don’t want to call our bluff.

When you don’t give respect
When you try to deflect
And posture for effect
Twist truth and misdirect.

You pick on one of us
Insult but won’t discuss
You are superfluous
Not even worth the fuss.

You claim that you’re “aware”
But show that you don’t care
We will be treated fair
In schools and everywhere.

To mimic NT poise
Under duress destroys
Autistic girls and boys.
We’re not your little toys.

Don’t want our names in lights
Or fancy ballgown nights
One goal in all our fights
We want autistic rights.

In Vino Veritas

Alcohol notions
Dissolve in black coffee.

Unwelcome thoughts
Tucked away
Like shameful genitals.

But is being candid
Really to be compared
To exposing oneself?

Surely that road
Leads to thoughtcrime
And sexcrime.

My frank words
Corrupt the innocent.

Lost in Translation

My language pains me.
I long for facility
To spin metaphor.

But I’m too literal.

Even when I write in terms of imagery my words on the page are simply descriptive of what is in my mind. I listen to songs like I am the Walrus with a strong sense of jealousy.

How I would love to be able to take that step beyond my literal translations to that fantastic realm where instead of painting what I see I am able to conjure whole new worlds.

It makes me feel that I have no imagination; that everything I think of is derivative. I am only able to assemble montages of what already exists, apply what others have invented.

My words disappoint me because they are such a pale imitation of the richness and depth of my thoughts. They are static, a snapshot of the mental maelstrom giving no clue as to the turbulence within.

Disengaged

My representative
Is a faceless man in a suit.
I didn’t vote for him,
I don’t support his party,
Or their policies.

So I sit here wondering
How can I feel represented?
How can my voice be heard?
Who looks out for my interests?
Who understands my life?

Every cross I mark on a ballot
Falls unseen
Into a bottomless pit.
No sound, no ripples
As if it never existed.

Nightmare

She took her leave in dead of night
And silently slipped out the door,
Then by the silver full moon’s light
Retraced the path she took before.

The trees reached up so black and bare,
Frost crackled, glistened under foot.
From bloodless lips the misty air
Of breath hung still and dark as soot.

Deep in her eyes red sparks of light
Burned bright as embers in the ice
That formed her face. Her dreadful sight
Would still one’s heart, exact her price

From those who caught a fleeting glance
Beneath the veil she wore by day
While through the mortal world she’d dance
To watch unseen our artless play.

Raven-clad in cloak of sable
She craves the blood that brings relief.
Nightmare from an ancient fable
Long lost to memory and belief.

Time Capsule

Nine keys,
What locks will they open?
What secrets lie within
To tumble forth?

Stacked papers,
Old letters bound in ribbon
And a watch
Anchored to a past time.

Photographs
Hold frozen memories,
Fade more slowly
Than the pictures in my mind.

The Ennui of Pointless Exchanges

So much time alone
Discourse a forgotten art
Even with myself.

Social relations
A memory on a wall
Posted on Facebook.

I think about Death
And the high cost of living
Balancing my books.

Monotonous trap
Even pain is no relief
Routine no solace.

Chocolate fixes
Addict’s way of marking time
Needle track stretch marks.

Life is but a joke
Reasons to get excited
Like thieves in the night.

Slowly fade away
Melt into billowing swirls
Of media dreams.

Ordinary Lives

Each life begins
In its own place and time.
Distinct. Separate.
A single unique thread
Woven by the Fates
Into the skein
of Life.

Some are short;
Some are long.
Some run straight;
Some loop and twist.
Some stand apart;
Some gather others,
Entwine.

In the end
Each is cut off, ended.
But still a part
Of the one pattern
Into which we all
Find ourselves
Written.

Take even one
And a hole remains.
Its memory impressed
On those it touched.
All so different;
All so similar;
Ordinary.

And exceptional.

I Am Autism

You don’t know me.

You see me sit, rocking.
You hear me talk to myself,
Repeating phrases from the TV.
You watch my hands as they flap
And touch. Seemingly random,
My patterns escape your notice.

You don’t know me.

You see me on the edges,
Quiet, listening but not speaking.
You hear my outbursts:
Violent eruptions of sound and motion.
You note my non-compliance
With black marks in your ledgers.

You don’t know me.

You try to change me,
Remake me in your own image.
You teach me that I am broken.
You punish me for being myself.
You make me fearful and anxious,
Afraid to break your rules.
You drive me deep inside myself.

You don’t know me.

You don’t empathize with me.
You don’t learn about me.
You don’t try to understand me.
You fear me, hurt me, hate me.
You don’t love me: if you did,
You would accept me as I am.

You don’t know me.
You don’t know Autism.

White Shame

My culture is one
Where people
Who look like me
Can stand fearlessly
And express hatred
Of people who look different.

My culture is one
Where terrorists
Are always “them”
And never “us”.

My culture is one
Where freedom
Means the freedom
To oppress and abuse
Anyone different.

My culture is one
Where laws pay lip service
To illusory equality
While turning a blind eye
To casual prejudice.

My culture is one
Where my membership
By virtue of my skin
Brings me shame
Of association.