Maybe, in Poetry… Reflections on My Autistic Pride Poetry

TW: Abuse, murder, electric shock mention, links to things on “quiet hands”

I successfully read my poems, “Writing out Infinity: Autistic Pride” and (tw: ableism, violence, murder mentions) “Power Structures” at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event on Saturday, September 27.

 I received an email later telling me that my poems had touched their heart. It made the fear of standing up in front of people with that microphone, staring at the papers in my hands, trying to put conviction in my voice because I am the authority standing up there on the stage and I know being Autistic is not shameful and I know all the things that have been done to us, worth it. 

I wasn’t sure they would understand what I meant by neurodiversity or by infinity, or or the description of stims. I wasn’t sure people would understand what I meant by people being afraid to move their hands, or people being afraid to be Autistic in a world that sympathizes with our abusers and murderers, and the innumerable counts of abuse done to us through electric shock and aversive therapies and forced normalization and telling people they can’t move their hands and they cut our vocal cords because we scream too much. 

Maybe, in poetry, the graphic or specific details don’t need to always be there. Maybe, in poetry, the conviction with which you say it will tell them it’s true, will tell them they should look into it, will tell them to presume competence and believe me and tell them that we are not suffering burdens 

–and that we can love ourselves just as much as any non-disabled person. 

 

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