(c) Melinda Smith 2011

I prefer

In Autism Poem on August 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm
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Poetry appearing on this page was produced with the generous support of artsACT

This poem is in the voice of an autistic primary (elementary) schooler. 

The poem plays around with a common writing exercise, where you have to write a series of statements in the form of ‘I prefer x to y’. When you try writing one of these poems about yourself it is almost always BORING and unavoidably solipsistic. Try writing one from the point of view of someone else – say, an autistic child – and the result is, hopefully, more worth reading…

This poem will shortly be published in Quadrant magazine.  When it appears there it will have a different title: ‘Wish list for autistic primary schooler’ (I needed to put that information in the title because in the magazine I don’t get to write an explanatory note like I do with a blog post).

I prefer

serious illness to surprise
computers to my brother
reading number plates to Christmas morning

straight lines
submerging my ears in a warm bath to waterslides
deep fat fryers to matchbox cars

torture to haircuts
libraries to birthday parties
standing ankle-deep in ocean

tenpin bowling to climbing trees
looking at things out of the corner of my eye
Sonic the Hedgehog to family time

death to dentist visits
my mother with her glasses off
plastic wheelie bins to petting zoos

not to see my school friends outside of school
cricket statistics to Toy Story
chewing clothes-pegs to talking

rules to freedom
truth to sarcasm

to be left alone

  1. […] Wish list for autistic primary schooler (this is a link to my autism poetry blog CircleQuirk, where this poem has a slightly different title: ‘I prefer’) […]

  2. It’s a pity that the title had to change for Quadrant – I think it would become clear to anyone who knows a little about the subject of autism that this is is from an autistic child’s point of view and would just take on a different level of meaning to those who don’t. It is a masterful.

  3. Very good, very good indeed. I identify with this poem and it gives considerations on my own experience of life a new resonance.

  4. […] disorder (ASD), including the title poem, Autistic Acrostic, Brain weather, and more recently I prefer, which will soon appear in the conference program booklets for the inaugural Hong Kong ASD […]

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