Only the Moon
Can translate
Words from me
Like the tides
It tries
To draw out
From lips and pen
What really needs to be said
But speaking, writing
The true plateau
Defies me and many
Words tumble about
Defying gravity
Leaving out
Important meanings
Making us so misunderstood
But the Moon is patient
If only you learned from
The Moon…

*ASD = Autism Spectrum Disorder

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Shon/Moon

what if

one day i wrote a poem
and no one understood it
they made nice comments
but had no conception of
what it was about
and i wondered
what if it was a random block
of alphabet letters
like xyz or lmnop
and people were being kind
thinking poor c, she lost her mind
but we will pretend it is art

then i recalled a time
when i was 10
and crying at the kitchen table
seeing my face in a convex toaster
bloated and monstrous
flew up the steps
to check the mirror
and it was me
normal me
with a red nose from crying
but still me
and i wondered
what if the monster in the toaster
was really me
and people were being kind
thinking poor c, no idea that a monster is she
but we will pretend it is ok

one day i told people i’m autistic
explained and wrote what it meant
this spectrum thing is confusing
but with all the stuff on the internet
should have been clear
although we’re all different
we’re the same socially
when people tell me sad stuff
not ignoring them
not being cold
just trying to think what to say
words that will be okay
but people still roll their eyes
or walk away
what if they think i’m monotonous
when i think i’m a prophetess
and they pretend to be tolerant
just being kind
thinking poor c, no idea what a bore is she
but we will pretend we don’t mind


(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Andromeda-Urania’s Mirror, Wikipedia


(another page in my poetic diary about self-doubt)


Surprisingly longer life
Than expected
(Not complaining, keep it coming!)
Been a Jack-of-all-arts
Master of none
Trying to perfect
Trying to understand
While soul-castle
Labors behind ramparts

(Before Zeus caught me)
Directing my fire
To music and words
To painting and herbs
To daylight birds
And night sky mysteries
But always intimidated
By the experts

(Caught by leaves in the sun daily
Or pecked by the god’s eagle
Punishment for sharing my fire
With you)

Each art has been a
Swatch of color
You think too much, Gran said
But politics and correctness
Invade my brain
No one expects France
To give Mona back to
The Italians
Why did TS Eliot
Rhyme Michelangelo with “GO” *
Instead of Picasso
(Van go, yeah, I know,
Pronounced in a clearing-the-throat style)
How can I finish
When questions mock and diminish?

Is there a pecking order of musical genres?
Classical, Classic Rock,
Country, Folk, Jazz
All the way down to World?
Determining factor money
(Of course)
Yet we continue creating
With fame as a driving force

So if these questions prevent me
From pouring my entire heart
Into creating
Perhaps I should pursue
A Philosopher’s degree
(My autistic monologuing fits!)

No, because here’s the word
I search for but lack:
Innate Talent
Can practice
Scream at the Muse
One’s genetics accuse
But the elusive ingredient
I am convinced
Must be present
In order to go from a Jack to a King
(Or Queen)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chained at the mercy of birds

*TS Eliot’s The Love Song of  J. Alfred Prufrock


Migraines and nightmares
White feather floating in air
Screams echoing into darkness
It is only a dream
But what does it mean
Bad brain activity through chemistry?
Or more importantly
In my family, at least
Interpretation is everything
My mind reassures
But the image endures
As the morning progresses
Circannual rhythm begs for
As Romani ancestors’ blood
Burns from the Florida heat
Searing my already aching head
I want to leave
Circadium rhythm
Scrambles my internal clock
Producing a lifetime of insomnia
Is this another problem
Autistically to blame?
To sleep, perchance to nightmare
But I’m more like Hamlet than Ophelia
Because the dread of something after death
Makes me bear those ills
I will survive the heat
I will survive the lack of sleep
I will…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Backyard Nightlight


When the first fish
Walked out of the water
On newly-formed limbs
The ferns and trees
Must have clucked
Blaming these new mutations
On vaccinations
An adaptive immunity
Present in the seas
On affected chromosomes
From chemical run-off
Into the water
Now that there is an
“Alarmingly” high incidence
Of autism,
And being HFA
On the spectrum
I cannot help wondering
Whether we are the
Next evolutionary step
Is it just time
For a change in humanity
Like a new human
Who is unable to understand
The expressions on the faces of others
Yet is also unable to lie
Like a new human
Who seems alien
(So alienated we are)
Yet intelligent “savants”
Who have often brought
Gifts as important as Prometheus’
Fire to mankind
Will we someday be labeled
(Our genus and species)
By binomial nomenclature
As Homo autisticus
Rather than Homo sapiens?
Just wondering…

© 2015 (repost) Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Autism Awareness ribbon



When days are dragging me down
People seem made more like daggers
And I’m saturated with sadness
That leaks onto the grass and dirt
I have my ways
Of relieving the pressure

There is music, of course
Reading, writing, chocolate
But a forgotten feeling
Resurfaced when the FDA
Became involved with herbs
Raising prices
Banning bottles and jars
Of alternative medicines

So after a few days of
Rejection and feeling
Like invasive vines
Are creeping all over me
When my people skills suffer
From autism
When once again I become
The mistress of the
Inappropriate remark
From autism
When no one will tell me what I have done
I crawl into my magic center
That has room for only one
Closing my eyes
Until a vision appears
And I hear
Triple, triple
Make a ripple
Pour and stir
Blood Root and Myrrh
Plantain and Golden Seal
And other herbs so ideal

It is New Moon
And I add 100 proof vodka
And daily shake the jar
Extracting Earthen properties
In watery medium
As wind stirs the contents
And fiery moon distills and augments
Relaxing as I add and mix
Handle and sing
How I could forget the peace
Brought by the release
Of endorphins

Then, when
The moon is a silver medallion
Metal more precious than gold
I sieve and save the healing liquid
Add melted beeswax
Breathing loving words
Passing along the peace
Inside tiny jars
That will hold
An ageless recipe
Of earth, water, air and fire
Ingredients working together
Like a vocal range in a choir
A mystical tether…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Herbs and Dogs and Strings and Things


Road trip through the Route 66 of space
Wending my way among
Suns, Moons and Stars
A need to escape
My once-quiet swamp
Now juxtaposed with a mini-highway of
Muffler-less Harleys
Road rage screech of auto horns
Want to move
Maybe to the Multiverse
Sensory deprivation needed
At least two hours a day
Move somewhere
E=MC squared
Multiplied by good fortune
Poet Laureate of the Galaxy
Might as well throw in
Grammy winner
But I’ll take anything new
To escape the
Schrodinger’s Cat feeling
Of not knowing whether
I’m alive or dead
An atom
A photon
Existing in multiple states
So with pack on my back
Seeking the secret of being
A social maven
Needing a place
In way-out space
Perhaps on a planet where
Autism rules…


magical quantum equation amulet

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)




Feel like I wandered into
Pascal’s Triangle
Me, a rogue number
In my Neurodiverse way
Destroying binomial coefficients
While other numbers roll their
Equivalent to human eyes
They boot me out
And I fall into Yang Hui’s Triangle
Discovered centuries before Pascal’s
The coefficients here
Are more polite
Maybe they’re rolling their eyes
But the number beside me
Suggests I’d be happier
Checking out Yang Hui’s
Magic Square or Circles


I was so awful at Geometry
Although loving numbers and
The math magic of number 9
But here I am
Welcomed by the Magical All
And I wonder
If we on the Spectrum stepped out of Math
And into the reality of Neurotypicals
If our tribe would find
A benign but blind group
Who never roll their disdainful eyes
But do try
To accept
Our contact
How would that be…?


Then I sigh
Remembering Albrecht Durer’s
Melencolia I
His woodcut always stuck with me
Because could swear he used my mother’s face
As model for his sad winged woman
(My artist crush never displaced)
And I look at the Magic Square on the wall
Adding up to thirty-four
Yang Hui’s centuries before
And the hopelessness
Of fitting the wrong number
Into a perfect Magic Square
And know we’ll never really fit into
The Society we crave
The friends whose
Open or secret condescension
Surfaces when we try to behave
Exactly like them…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: 1514 A. Durer’s Melencolia I / Magic Square / Mission Galactic Freedom