Posted in disability/illness, Poems/Poetry, poetry

So You Want to Know What Autism Is Like

Autism* is standing still while
Everyone runs for the cliff edge
And you want to know why
Before joining them
But the surge pushes you down
And they thunder across your back
And you’re bloody but not broken
Because the rage keeps you sane
 
Autism is always being chosen
To be
The Cheese
In Farmer in the Dell
The Cheese stands alone
In the middle of the circle
As baby classmates point and sing
And you cry
But the next year you don’t cry
You will never let them break you
At least they won’t know
You care
 
Autism is getting it wrong when a boy flirts
Confusion from what he means
Interpreted by his ego
Thinking you’re indifferent
To his oh-so-obvious charms
And he hates you
 
Autism is being nice to a boy
Who seems like a friend
But not realizing
His ego cannot allow someone like you
To be kind
To flirt (must be, he reasons)
And he hates you
For showing interest in his
Oh-so-obvious charms
 
Yet autism is like everyone else
Loving friends and movies
Books and games
Dreaming of being asked
To the prom
And buying a dress
To transform the lightning and thunder
Into rainbows of love, peace and happiness
 
Autism is loving sex and drugs and rock and roll
But luckily learning that drugs can take you
Where you don’t want to go
Because you can’t come back
But some nights you think
Maybe that’s not bad
What’s to come back to?
Only thunder and lightning and rain
 
Autism is when married
Choosing a dysfunctional 
Who becomes an adversary
Family and friends roll their eyes
And laugh when he reveals your secrets
Meant only for him
It’s not like you’re barking like a dog
Or flapping your hands
Everything looks “normal”
But there must be some type of invisible mark
That all can see
Except me
 
What did they see?
What did I do?
What did I say?
 
Answers? No, so
Although I’ve never been a head banger
I want to badly butt
My head against theirs
Make them see
I’m like them
I am!
But I don’t know what to say
My tongue gets in the way
 
Children come
One is finally labeled
“Somewhat autistic”
What does that mean?
No information pre-internet
Never heard the word before
No idea I am
We’re all so different
But raise my children 
In the offbeat way
AKA, autistic
And their lives
Get drenched in different shades of rain
Thunder, lightning
Mudslides
 
What is Autism?
 
Autism is traffic jams
Oncoming headlights in
A foggy, dark night
Thunder drowning out your heartbeat
Automobile stereo’s base line ripping through your brain
 
Autism is thunder in your soul
As rain pours from your eyes
And lightning jerks your strings
 
Autism is knowing you are safest locked alone
In your room
Where no one can hurt you
But the curse is
Like everyone else
You crave society…
.
Poet’s note: Not all people on the spectrum are the same. I speak only about my life.
.
© 2020, Clarissa Simmens
.

CLARISSA SIMMENS (Poeturja) is an independent poet; Romani drabarni (herbalist/advisor); ukulele and guitar player; wannabe song writer; and music addict. Favorite music genres include Classic Rock, Folk, Romani (Gypsy), and Cajun with an emphasis on guitar and violin music mainly in a Minor key. Find her onAmazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE.

Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.

Posted in General Interest

Neurological

You’ve Become Neurological

What a fetish we have
for being in balance, for
homeostasis in a golden mean, drone balancing the books of life.
Scales, balance, dead weights.
This dubious insistence upon equalities kicks out the untoward: albinos frozen in their pale,
stammerers and limpers struggling with impatient eyes looking on.
Like they’ve crossed over the line “for whites only.” And certainly you neurological ones should stay in place, out of sight, too.

If your proprioception snaps, too,
it’s the granddaddy of the bombing out of you as you know you to be.
This is the medical tyranny of the majority as de Tocqueville cautioned about democracy.
Now what you touch is somewhere, but just not here,
It’s always a reaching.
Your fingers lost your nose to feel find. Feel find has gone.
Like your whole being’s gone dyslexic: you neurological zoo.
No more you for you.
There is anger, too, when people don’t get that it’s out of your hands.
Slithering along between neurons,
that there’s nothing to do
when your nerves fail you.
This new kind of notness,
this neural obliteration
where you can perhaps start reconnecting you.

© 2020, Linda Chown

Linda Chown

LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row.  BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.

Linda’s Amazon Page is HERE.

Posted in Poems/Poetry

Three poems by Judy DeCroce

Senseless Hope

she worries about losing

but not yet, not now

 

senseless hope can’t be found

 

it is definite…

she will always be ill

a beginning that will now 

be forever

 

I see it, when she does not

sometimes friends replace mirrors

 

but she is still herself in these moments 

with sense of humor fading 

 

details…

less, too much…

all shocking but eminent

 

diagnosis, pills, doctors watching,

talking, watching

talk

 

Still Trying

 

“We are losing altitude all the time” 

—Josephine Miles

Gravity and time must be the story,

strength…the music causing this smile.

 

Stepping to a mirror,

baring all you’ve become…

 

already, some is gone in the falling,

yet most remains. 

 

Anyway…that’s what we do.

late, early

 

Obstacles, challenges,

stepped over as they rise.

 

That horizon is a goal not always ahead.

It slips the lead, follows, or moves beside.

 

Today, yesterday, tomorrow,

that’s what we do…trying the best we can.

 

A Measure of Certainty

memories once carried off 

even with all my hurry

 

were certainly too late

no longer lasting 

 

sometimes a lost memory is the future

forever an empty field

 

I feel guilty 

the whole time.

© 2020, Judy DeCroce

Judy DeCroce, a former educator, is a poet/flash fiction writer and avid reader. Her works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, Front Porch Review, Amethyst Review, Tigershark Publishing, and Pilcorw & Dagger.
 
She began writing flash fiction and poetry in 2006 from which many have been published in US, UK, and India. Judy is also a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre for over 35 years, and has worked with students as young as kindergarten as well as adults.
She uses “first person” storytelling to entertain and has been invited to perform in many settings.
 
A requested instructor in Writers and Books summer program Summerwrite, and, ADEPT: An enrichment program through BOCES 2 in Rochester, New York, Judy continues to teach Flash Fiction and Storytelling.
Her impetus for writing was borne out a childhood tragedy where she was bedridden for 5 years with a then unidentified illness. Because of this, she found it easy to use her imagination to build stories of what could be. 
She was lucky to have a favorite aunt who would tell her stories before she went to sleep. This, was her most important connection to becoming the storyteller she is today.
Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband, poet/artist, Antoni Ooto.
Posted in Bardo News, Calls for submissions, The BeZine

“The BeZine” Call for Submissions, March 2020 issue, Themed Waging Peace; February blog post will be devoted to Illness and Disability

MISSION STATEMENT:  To foster proximity and understanding through our shared love of the arts and humanities and all things spirited and to make – however modest –  a contribution toward personal healing and deference for the diverse ways people try to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of a world in which illness, violence, despair, loneliness and death are as prevalent as hope, friendship, reason and birth.

Our focus is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We cover these topics in the form of reviews, essays, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, music, art, and photography. We share work that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.”



“THE BeZINE” CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS thebezine.com is open for submissions to the upcoming March issue, deadline March 10, themed Waging Peace. This Zine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. We are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge for submissions or subscriptions. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art, photography, and music videos and will consider anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. We do not publish work that promotes hatred or advocates for violence. All such will be immediately rejected. We’d like to see work that doesn’t just point to problems but that suggests solutions. We are also interested in initiatives happening in your community — no matter where in the world — that might be easily picked up by other communities. Please forward your submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com No odd formatting. Submit poems and narratives in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. Art and photography may be submissed as attachements. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English.

We are devoting the BLOG POSTS THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY to work addressing illness and disability. Submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art, photography, and music videos and anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. Please forward your submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com. No odd formatting. Submit poems and narrative in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. Art and photography may be submitted as attachements. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English.

Jamie Dedes
Managing Editor