I Was Told I Might Annoy You: A Poem

(This is my other “most personal poem ever.” It represents my best effort at the time to fully express what it’s like living with Autism, and all the other psychological foibles I’ve developed through my life experiences.)

I was told I might annoy you
By Cullen McCurdy

I begin
confusing you. I’ve talked myself down
a winding of darker corridors,
and metaphor’s failing.
Everyone:
how to explain my reality
when you won’t believe it’s real–or mine?
Algebra hurts me worse than dying.
When we were soapless for a week,
I scalded my hands to purge the germs after wiping,
a little ritual to sanitize my self.
I drive these uneven knuckles into the unyielding concrete
entombing our basement. In the East it’s called Iron Fist training:
in Michigan I guess we call it “You hate your hands, man?”
It’s my anatomy: traumatized bone takes microfractures, broken
bones heal stronger. Does a spirit? Read again and tell me.
I’m fragmented enough
to rebuild myself three times over. You’d have a cardboard cut-out
I snipped of vivid.
For half of six years, (more if you count
the time I spent trying to sleep)
I stole my own thunder and forgot how to feel something besides tired,
and gave my energy to people who took it
like a Smithsonian special in place of the Superbowl.
I never thought my Aspie tumult was a problem
on Earth where Lionfish are a delicacy, and there’s no venom
in my mind, just obsession. I have to know that the Jagdtiger’s Pak 80
slung a 62 pound shell at 950 m/s the way you need to know
there’s purpose in life (what’s mine? I just told you!)
I strove to stifle it when they asked
if I could give them less
but the infinite electric ripple in my grey matter:
that motion is me, it’s Newton’s First Law,
(maybe there’s a universe where it’s not, but that’s none of the ones I live in)
and I’m asking you: please stop
those outside forces.

5 thoughts on “I Was Told I Might Annoy You: A Poem

    1. Thank you! Believe it or not, I tried to keep the complexity down, but this is a complicated topic and I tend to favor high style anyway. I’ve made peace with the fact that my style can be a bit dense at times. It’s how I grapple with these things.

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      1. It is but that is pricely what worked for me. If you are going to be complex, do it well. In a way that keeps the emotion and message intact. If the complexity is too bloated it gets in the way of everything else. But you have done it well.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel exhausted every time I’m around people for more than five minutes. Physically tired as well from horrible insomnia. For me, noise and crowds are the outside forces. The song explains Asperger in a way aspies can relay to and perhaps neurotypicals can understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found it relatable! I figured ASD might be one of those things people will more easily accept in poetry, but time will tell how effective this is for people off the Spectrum.

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