First… Then…

Poems from First Then…poems from planet autism (Ginninderra Press, 2012)

The research and writing of the book First…, Then… was supported by ArtsACT via a New Projects grant in 2011. All the poems from the book can be viewed for free here.

Buy a copy from the publisher here.

I prefer

serious illness to surprises
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

Brain weather

Think of                      hemispheres: Western, Left;
the wind-flows                  that connect them; the currents                         of sea; of electricity.

When was it that             your frontal            lobe
cauterized          itself against your        will
leaving you endless       atomised local                       storms
with no way      to blow them     -selves out?

The last words you         said before the clouds came
stutter on           your small               tongue;
settle       in like cat-and    -dog rain, the syllables
hammering down, fixing one        thought with       a dozen stabs of lightning.

The miracle is not that it                   stops, but how afterwards you can be so               calm and charming
– and puzzled that the rest of us still                                  drip and shiver from the rain.