Go Figure

Poetry class may not be the best place to learn the trade. You are surrounded by beginners and rely on a teacher who probably isn’t a Poet Laureate. How long do I have to study until they expect me to be good at writing poems?

I do enjoy my class. It’s nice and casual. You can write using whatever structure you want for that week’s submission. I was surprised my haiku counted as a full week’s work:

Be
Happy as can be
Standing alongside my friend
Learning how to hug

The best part is being able to just write. Writing is fun. Everybody should do it. The only downside is the criticism. My latest poem was censured by the class for using Old English words like thee and thy. I felt it was appropriate:

Ode to a Greeting Card
Not a day goes by that isn’t thy birthday,
Not an hour goes by without rejoicing.
I’d ask for thee to get well soon,
But I know thou art made of tough stock.

I express my love as I fold thee in my arms.
Thy words share better the feelings I cannot speak.
Sing me a verse, my muse!
For nothing rhymes with silence.
I’ll hold thee till thy last birthday,
Then find thee in the trash can.

I understand everyone is a critic. I can take it. The one thing that does get to me, though, is when they say, “I don’t get it.” It’s almost insulting to say that about someone’s work. I put a little bit of myself into everything I create. It hurts when they don’t see the point.

Ever had someone tell you they can’t figure you out? I don’t think it’s meant to be a compliment. Being overly complicated is not seen as an attractive quality in a man. People like things to be simple and easily understood. Who doesn’t want to be in the know?

This is one of the reasons people are hesitant to associate with those diagnosed with autism. Nobody gets them. Talking with someone with behavioral issues leaves you with more questions than answers. Most people give up on them like they would a jigsaw puzzle they can’t seem to solve quick enough so they can get back to their own lives.

I’ve had doctors and other interested parties interview me in the attempt to figure me out. They always leave disappointed. What do they hope to find? Does the cure for Asperger’s rest inside my brain? Do my words hold the meaning of life in-between the syllables?

I used to want people to understand me. I thought if they could just see through my eyes for a second they would discover the truth and then everything would be better. Naïve, I know.

Not everything has to have some profound meaning. A video game I played once had this to say: “Agents of the Light or children of the Dark? In reality, we’re neither; nothing special. Pondering your own existence is a waste of time.”

I’d much rather be appreciated than figured out. You don’t need to understand the grand purpose behind the Mona Lisa to know what makes that painting amazing. You don’t have to comprehend Shakespeare completely to recognize his talent. People don’t need to be figured out. They’re already good to go.

I’m just a man. There’s not much to me beyond that. I’m sorry if you expected there to be more. You’re not going to find any cosmic answers here. You won’t ever analyze Asperger’s down to its core. All you have is the individual. Focus on him and not the disorder.

I Am
I am an idea. Think of me.
I am Time. Wait for me.
I am Death. Mourn me.
a man. Forgive me.
In the end,
I am
me
.

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