At the behest of a fellow artist friend Kelli Bickman, whose art you can see her at http://www.kellibickman.net/, she gave me the idea of doing an explication of the poems I’ve written in the past and present. I figured that if I’m doing this for the first time, I might as well explain why I call this blog The Autistic Super-Blog.
My debut poem for this segment, Autistic Superkid, is one that means a lot to me in more ways than one, it was the first poem I got published in Chronogram as well as being featured in an anthology of Hudson Valley Writers called Riverine (http://www.sunypress.edu/p-5213-riverine.aspx.) To a young autistic poet and be included into such giants of the community such as Da Chen, Barbara Adams, Phillip Levine, Will Nixon, Mikhail Horowitz and Orange County’s current Poet Laureate Robert Milby was (and still is) a very humbling experience and one of my proudest moments as a poet. So without any further ado:
I am and have always been
The autistic superkid
I am one of the first
But not the last
And I am always trying to improve
I am an ambassador of two worlds
Half-citizen of Earth; Half citizen of Wallbrook
This is how I truly am
Even though it’s not how I look.
When I wrote what I now consider my signature poem, I was only discovering what my having autism was as a young adult, what limitations and challenges I’d have to face throughout my life. It was at the suggestion of my late college mentor, the Late Larry Berk, that I went to look up books written by the famous livestock engineer Temple Grandin. She recounted in her books, Thinking in Pictures and Emergence: Labeled Autistic the very same challenges I was facing now and for that I wish to thank her so much for her inspiration (and for being so gracious for a photo with her.)
Back to my poem, that spark that was lit by reading Temple’s books, stoked by my late mentor’s suggestion opened up so many possibilities for me, if she could achieve that kind of success, then what’s stopping me from doing the same? I wanted to convey that struggle of fitting in and standing out into one poem, noting the challenges (like Wallbrook from the 1988 film Rain Man) but also giving that same spark of empowerment to others like me.
I really hope to make this a fixture on the Superblog, so I welcome any comments and critiques, but I hope that my poem helps people to step out of the dark and….