autism

JACK-OF-ALL-ARTS or FOCUS, PLEASE!

(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
Everything
While soul-castle
Labors behind ramparts

Self-Prometheused
(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:
Talent
Innate Talent
Can practice
Try
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)
Talent…

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

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

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ANOTHER SLEEP DISORDER POEM

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
Migration
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
Hypnagogia
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

ON AUTISM

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
Myself,
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

REMINDER: NOT ALL AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARE THE SAME

FRAGRANT RELEASE

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
Wondering
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

QUANTUM JAUNT ELSEWHERE

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
Sirens
Sirens
Sirens
Want to move
Maybe to the Multiverse
Sensory deprivation needed
At least two hours a day
Move somewhere
Where
E=MC squared
Multiplied by good fortune
Equaling
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)
IMAGES: QUANTUM EQUATION ELSEWHERE / QUANTUM AMULET

NEURODIVERSE ROMP

(WITH YANG HUI, PASCAL & DURER)

ONE

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

TWO

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…?

THREE

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

 

albrecht-durer.jpg!Portrait

THINGS THAT AREN’T THERE

WORK/SONG IN PROGRESS (NEEDS LOTS OF WORK)

(ANOTHER AUTISM POEM/FOLKSONG)

note to me: chorus ?

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
An unaware incantation
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

note to me: do I want to rhyme the verses traditionally or chaotically?

Can’t make myself
Get on that train again
Happened months ago
Can’t let it go

Thought I saw a small trash can
Next to coffee shelf
Tossed my uneaten sandwich
Porter flipped out, upset my mental health

Can’t make myself
Get on another plane
Body search in my long dress
Made me feel like an embarrassed mess

Can’t go around huge crowds no more
Walked into an ad board not on a door
How’d it get there, I asked, rubbing my head
Knew I should just stay in bed

Can’t cross streets, haven’t learned
To watch for cars when talking
Friend saved me when we were young
No one there now when I’m walking

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

Autistic brains can perform magic
An unaware incantation
I’ve taught myself to think first
And not lose my concentration

There’s a secret door to the attic
Dusty, yet brimming with bling
Often difficult to let it shine
But I know the effort is mine

What came first, I wonder
The Princess or the Pea
Mounds of moldy mattresses
Brain on Silly Putty

The pea’s an irritation
Like pearls to the oyster
Sensitivity crazes me
Just lock me in a cloister

I guess I want you all to know
Autism comes in many colors
I’ve shared mine with you today
It’s sometimes painful but mostly okay

chorus

Things that aren’t there
Life often unfair
Reverse imagination
Is an invisible conjuration
Impossible at times to overcome
For some of us on the Spectrum

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: CS & fallen Florida Black Vulture perch

 

 

 

NEW POETRY BOOK

The paperback edition of my newest book Xeriscaping Poetry (A Wild Mellowing) is now available on Amazon for $6 with B&W photos. The Kindle edition is $1.99 and the photos are in color. Although I edited and redid the photos, some of them are not centered and I made the decision to leave them as is since there is some inconsistency with the Kindle Beta Program for paperback. I do want to thank Karen Bruton for her invaluable help with my book cover. I will NEVER understand how to change the DPI despite her meticulous instructions! Here is the link:

 

 

FIRST MEETING

 

Bestowing quirkiness
Should I show my best?
Try to impress?
Your face reveals
Flickers of annoyance
Boredom
Yet can’t stop
Self-putdowns
Weight, wrinkles
Evanescing clown
Embarrassed
Look at my lap
Hearing your sigh
I mustn’t cry
But then you say
Now that your self-negativity
Is swept away
We can be ourselves
I’m part of your tribe
Whatever the experts think
Caused our different social vibe
Let’s compare creative moments
Occurring every day
What thoughts you bring
To first light of morning
How to deal with chores
Interrupting the lures of fun
And I smile
Looking you full in the eyes
Knowing now you won’t spout lies
Or serve warmed-over pity
Just willingness to share
How witty
You can be
Expecting me
To respond in kind
Truly interested in my mind
No worry about words shallow
Like one so callow
Both our hearts aligned…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens
IMAGE: flamingos in swamp palm tree

NO-WAKE ZONE

 

Red-right-returning
Channel markers
Red and green
Confusion sets in
For someone like me
Who has a reversed compass
In the brain
My life, then
Has been a slow movement
Fearful of attracting attention
The making of a wake
Sloshing the water
Best to obey
Don’t make waves, they say
But by the time it is okay
To speed up and get someplace
The tide is out
The boat is low
Knee-high
Tow with a rope
All is pull and push
Always that much more
Difficult
By land or water
By air or even fiery balloon
Easy does it
Shuffle-shuffle
Never make a wake…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)