Wednesday, April 7, 2010

do u speak goldfish? (box)

there is a box. and try as you might
to fit him in, parts keep sticking out
keeping you from closing the lid. he
fidgets, dancing foot 2 foot, refusing
2 look you N the eye, annoying you,
as you raise your voice, to be heard
he stutters, words cascading out his
mouth in jumbled masses, rocks w/
sharp edges, then escalating, yelling,
swearing, out right refusing 2 move
to your wishes. there is a box, & he
does not fit it, spilling out more like
puzzle pieces yet to be put 2gether.

do you speak goldfish? he asks, his
cheeks sucking in as he puckers his
lips & they watch him through the
glass. he barks like a rabid dog at a
mountain lion, creating awkward
moments, as he does often. clumsy,
he answers i dunno when U ask him.
@ times he doesn't listen, but do U?
it's called autism. and he is your son.
U can get angry @ him or love him,
push him into a box that doesn't fit
him or learn to speak goldfish and
watch him swim...

there is a box
and he doesn't fit
but that doesn't make him
any less beautiful a gift.

this is a theme thursday post.


for thursdays poet rally, i nominate jp.

122 comments:

5thsister said...

As a mother of someone on the spectrum...thank you!

Unknown Mami said...

I used to teach theater games to kids and one of the kids had autism. He was sitting in front of a really big red cube and he looked at me and asked, "What am I doing?" I said, "I don't know." He said, "I'm thinking outside the box." Indeed.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Truly wonderful, Brian. Had no idea where you were taking me on this, although by now I have learned to expect nothing short of a masterful resolution from your writings ... and certainly got one here.

It takes thinking and feeling out of the box to see beautiful gifts there where others turn away in fear and incomprehension.

Katherine said...

My eldest son is also on the spectrum. He has Aspergers... he's very intelligent, amazingly artistic young man, has a job, drives & a girlfriend. He definitely has his very own, individually designed mold.
I think that even doctors, teachers etc whom are educated about autism don't really understand it.
They still try, so very hard, to fit them into the one size fits all box & it just doesn't work.
For someone high functioning like my son, this just ads to their confusion & suffering. They are unique, beautiful individuals!
Thanks Brian!

lakeviewer said...

What a beautiful perspective! Thank you. Hope we all learn a few more languages to communicate with.

Maggie May said...

My eldest grandson is on the spectrum.
Best to love them.......

Nuts in May

Brian Miller said...

i spent the day with this young friend at the zoo yesterday. he is amazing...and he will wear you out, but leave you with a smile.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Oh. Speechless. Beautiful.

Tom said...

amazing journey you took us on here...we all know someone who lives outside of the establishment box, some of us are charged with their survival, and it must be exhausting...oh it is, i've seen it first hand.

JeffScape said...

Hints of Finding Nemo, albeit on a more serious note.

And I love the visual arrangement. So simple, but so hard to think of!

Box on!

Alan Burnett said...

Excellent Theme Thursday post : full of all the imagination, the emotion, and the sheer humanity that we have all come to expect from you.

Cloudia said...

Nice one.



Aloha from Waikiki! Do look in tomorrow for something special


Comfort Spiral

Julie said...

When I started reading your post, Brian, I found the texting annoying, but as I continued the journey with you that paled into insignificance as I felt you pulling all the strings together.

Bravo!

slommler said...

Well said and so needed! Beautiful!!
Hugs
SueAnn

She Writes said...

I liked this one a lot! Maybe one of my faves of yours! LOVED it.

he stutters, words cascading out his
mouth in jumbled masses, rocks w/
sharp edges, then escalating, yelling,
swearing, out right refusing 2 move
to your wishes. there is a box, & he
does not fit it, spilling out more like
puzzle pieces yet to be put 2gether.

Sigh... Nice!

kkrige said...

You make one stop and look at themselves through new eyes. A wonderful gift Brian. Thank you

william said...

very good prologue mate, was really interesting to read, I dont post my thursday poem till thursday lol,,,:)

Genny said...

Glad you stopped by so I could stop by here and discover your blog. Thanks!

Verily I go. said...

I DO want to speak goldfish!

TechnoBabe said...

He is a child, and he is indeed a gift. We could all learn something fun and new if we spent an afternoon with him. It doesn't have to be the
other way around. We aren't always the teachers.

PattiKen said...

Right on, Brian! What a lot of people fail to recognize is the intelligence there. (I mean, how many people speak goldfish?)

I have met several adults and children with some form of autism, and I have been awestruck by the unusual perception and understanding that comes with living outside the box.

Lovely job.

dusty said...

Nice Brian!!!

My oldest daughter has downs syndrome. She is very high functioning but the little weasel has a very twisted sense of humor.

she never complies (until you are at your wits end and seriously are about to loose your shit)

then almost as if magically she fully complies, easily preforming any task perfectly that she seconds ago fooled you into thinking she could not no matter how hard she tried or just plain did not understand.

when people try to put her in a box, rest assured, she will be grinning as you loose your sanity.

You'd have to meet her and observe her to fully understand.

excellent post Brian

Subby said...

I've known them...helped them...

Betsy should read this :)

Alice Audrey said...

There is a box. She could fit in, if she wanted to. You point. She goes. The look she gives you, as if you are killing her soul, making her climb into this box and you wonder, is it worth it?

Skye said...

Wow Brian, that is absolutely spectacular!

The Turning Point said...

"there is a box
and she doesn't fit
but that doesn't make her
any less beautiful a gift."

Beautiful lines for
my beautiful daughter
a fifty-five year old
special child.

thank you

Jim

Kaylen said...

Oh, this is so beautiful!!
I love this so much, one of your greatest!!

Titanium said...

Brian, this just jumps out and grabs my heart. So perfectly well-said.

Lisa said...

Bravo! I have several autistic/Asperger's students. They most definitely do not fit into the mainstream box of education. But if you take the time to learn "gold fish", these students are some of the most delightful students. I think my nephew has Asperger's as well. He is one of my most favorite people in the world. Not an easy child, but I ADORE him. Thank you for this :)

Jingle said...

A perfect poem for a perfect poet,
you genuinely take my breath away...
I like the ending as well,
magnificent post!

Everyday Goddess said...

that is so beautiful! speaking and swimming with your goldfish friend would be a fantastic journey.

Wings said...

Very nice, indeed.

Cop Mama said...

Swim, dear boy, swim!

Beautiful

Joanna Jenkins said...

You captured autism perfectly.... Loving him is the ONLY way to go.
Cheers,
jj

Hilary said...

What a great post.

Dianne said...

beautiful!
I've never been a fan of boxes and fitting into them

thank you for your visit, your comment made me smile

Tracy said...

That was beautiful! I have a friend with an autistic child. They can be one of the most challenging yet beautiful children you will ever meet. All I can say is thank God that not everyone fits in a box! Happy TT.

Felicitas said...

Absolutely! All of us need to stop fitting into boxes. These children are simply showing us the way.

LOVE this, Brian!!!

An Open Heart said...

Gorgeous. I have recently had the opportunity to work with an autistic young boy....he is sooo beautiful. And your writing was perfectly descriptive of what I understand of autism.

S

cinner said...

Brian this is truly a lovely post. We can learn from everyone we meet, that is for sure. Very powerful voice you share. thank you.

Maha said...

you are such an amazing person. your writings are always so pure and touch our hearts by how they draw in our minds a lot of things that we may forget. thanks for reminding me again..

kseverny said...

you've done a great job with this one

natalee said...

loved this..you are sooo talented

Ms. Gibson said...

Brian,
You have really come a LONG way with your Writer's Voice. I so love your craft.
Thanks for visiting my new blog. I miss my old blog, but I'm glad to be back into blogging once again!

June said...

I really enjoy the writing on your blog. What a wonderful metaphor to tackle this topic of autism.

Little Ms Blogger said...

observing kids really makes you look at life differently.

Christina said...

What an insightful look at the life of those living this way, Brian.
Very lovely.

Bernie said...

autism can be so hard and horrible for the patient as well as the families but it also can be a blessing bringing families closer together. Thank you for sharing this Brian.......:-) Hugs

Deb said...

So many of us are squares pegs trying to fit into round holes. This might be one of my favorites of all of your work but I am waiting, impatiently, for your book to come out and then I can read each and every piece before I vote on my favorite. I have a space cleared out on my bookshelf.

mairmusic said...

I've been reading your work for 3 weeks now and each entry is in a different box, as it were- your brain appears so interesting.

Betsy said...

Well now, you KNOW I love this one...times three! :)

Betsy said...

haha, Subby...yes, I'm here!

LadyCat said...

Yes, let him swim...his joy is in the swimming.

Bridgette said...

I to had no idea where this was going. I was pleasantly surprised. I have worked with autistic children in my teaching field. Very touching story!

Jill said...

My work is largely with adults with autism...pure joy for me.

This piece is VERY special Brian.

The Retired One said...

Loved this one Brian...
none of us should have to fit in a box, should we?

THE BEATY said...

Love this story. By the way thanks for the award

Eva Gallant said...

Wow, I didn't see tht one coming! Beautiful!

eugene said...

man,,, you are just like me,married to a wonderful woman and having two lovely boys,,,,,,

will be back again

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I've had an autistic student each year the last three years and an autistic TA last year as well. I would hate someone to try and fit in one of them into a wrong "box."

Magpie said...

I have two autistic nephews...they are as different as day and night. Just like all my other nieces and nephews. They all came in their own unique and perfect box. Very kind and thoughtful words, Brian.

Prayer Girl said...

This is such a beautiful and touching post. No one should ever have to be pushed into or try to force themselves into a box containing their life. It is deadening.

PG

tattytiara said...

I know a lot of people who would really appreciate your perspective on a very personal level.

AngelMay said...

It's just the wrong box, that's all. :) Lovely, Brian.

Ronda Laveen said...

Did you know that it's national autism month? Perfect offering.

Tgoette said...

This was just beautiful, Brian. Very moving indeed. I don't know how to say it in goldfish, but in English I'll tell you "wonderful job!"

LadyFi said...

Inspiring... we should see people for who they are instead of trying to get square pegs into round boxes...

anthonynorth said...

Your treatment of this was perfect. Excellently done.

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Brian your work and YOU are getting better and better!
Really truly enjoyed this!

hugs
shakira

Protege said...

What I admire in you is the range of your perspectives and the way you can change the subjects from one day to another. Focusing both on the light and the heave aspect of life. It is a joy to read your work every day and to follow your mindset.;)
xo
Zuzana

Baino said...

Good grief man look at your comments! You're a legend in your own lunchtime. This is rather nice, not because of the txtspk but because you've captured the 'feeling' of autism completely. I have a friend with two Autistic children and yep they're waaaaay outside the box but weirdly make more sense than able kids sometimes. Good to see you diversifying your style a bit too! "Smiles" hahaha!

ilovepink1078 said...

I'm glad you really keep on making poem. Keep it up!

tony said...

Well ,of course, at one time, a very big box for Autism did exist ( i worked in one during my teens) |That Was A Terrible Box (with bars& whitecoats & such).It was terrible for The Person.It was Terrible for others. Thankful we have shredded that
Box & given fresh air instead.Much Better For All Concerned.
Great Post Brian.

jojoxox said...

amazing writing. :)

suryagni said...

dear brian,
this is just divine. I have mixed with special children (i think they are tiny angels) so i can understand every thing you are saying.
with lots of affection,

suryagni said...

dear brian,

I just could not stop myself from scribbling down this small thank you note and post it on your blog.
Please accept it from :
http://mydomainpvt.wordpress.com/awards/you-make-my-blog-smile/

With lots of affection,
sharmishtha

otin said...

Everyone has worth and a purpose. It is great to see this expressed in the way that you did!

secret agent woman said...

I can't imagine, as a mother, choosing any option but loving and cherishing any child of mine.

dustus said...

Thanks for this one. Heartbreaking for children & parents coping with autism.

the walking man said...

Learn to speak goldfish is the only option worth exploring

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Oh this is beautiful!!!!

Each unique person is a beautiful gift! Truly beautiful!

I saw a reflection of God in this boy who doesn't fit in any box.

Kathy said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post! How lucky he is to have you to leave him out of the box and watch him go!

Tiramisue said...

Beautiful writing, Brian.

All adults should look at their children that way.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

brian you are a master poet and gifted polyglot skilled at multi-species speech!!

Rebecca said...

This could have been describing my oldest nephew to a 'T'..He's also on the spectrum.

We all have so much to learn to help us move out of our tidy boxes, don't we.

Beautiful post!

Dorraine said...

Awww...the twists and turns of this led smack dab to something beautiful. Although I don't have a child with autism, a friend of mine does. Hearing her stories and seeing him in action has been quite heartwarming.

ishabellemanalo said...

havent been here for a while... and i am once again refreshed by your work... :)

Mama Zen said...

This is a wonderful piece, Brian.

Matty said...

From everything I hear, children with autism do leave you with a smile.

Valerie said...

I think I should learn to speak goldfish. This was a work of art, Brian. Unusually composed and utterly realistic. I am humble.

g-man said...

glug glug gluggity glug.
glug glug gluggity glug!

evalinn said...

Nice! Unfortunately I don´t speak goldfish... ;-)

Janice said...

I am learning to speak goldfish to my autistic grandson, and I am getting pretty good at it. Thank you for this very beautiful post.

Dreamhaven said...

Wonderful take on the theme. My nephew has a form of autism that allows him to function but sometimes the lines between imagination and reality blurr. He worked very hard and managed to attain the rank of Eagle scout in the Boy Scouts, something most "normal" boys never do

Bethan said...

Hey great! Loved it doing a quick buzz around everyone today. A kid asked me once why we weren't in black and white like the telly...I thought that was quite funny!

Jingle said...

your words of wisdom will not go unnoticed, As a mother to two kids,
I have NO or ZERO punishments to them, I never grounded my kids,
punishment or scolding is not my way of raising kids or educating youngsters...I taught elementary school as TA for two years, I always loose on them, I spoil every college freshmen by encouraging, offering detailed solutions and individual attentions, ... almost everyone in my class pass very difficult calculus course unless the student does not come to class at all...

thank you for the excellence in thoughts and writing!
Happy Thursday!

Yousei Hime said...

Another wow poem. Thank you so much for sharing it. I need to remember it when dealing with my own outside-the-box boys.

I am so glad you read the Camelot poem. I made two posts that night, and I see you found them both. But because of the double posting, I fear few others will read this sestina, and I really like it the best of all. Glad I could share it with you. I too like living in my dreams.

JStar said...

Man you can write about anything :) This is great, as always

A.Decker said...

Best gifts don't fit any box. Speak Goldfish!

tori said...

This is amazing! Award worthy! Really.

Jessie said...

wow you have 99 comments on your post! and i'm not surprised, this is exceptional! i love the way you outlined your story, jumping from normal text to "texting," emphasizes the complexity of being around a child with autism. do i know this personally? no. but i feel and live it through your words.

roses and a standing ovation!!!!

Anya said...

Goldfish
;)

You are VERY creative !!!
Wonderful written
(I think its a real story .... ;)

Suldog said...

We'd all be better off with bigger boxes. Nicely written.

Nanc Twop said...

there is a box
and he doesn't fit
but that doesn't make him
any less beautiful a gift.

Loved the end!

Crazyasa said...

What a wonderful tribute!

Dot-Com said...

That is all so very true. Having worked with children who didn't fit the box, I can only agree that the best is to learn to speak "goldfish".

Barbara said...

I have a brother who we suspect has Aspergers Syndrome. You've given me a new way to try and relate to him instead of just getting irritated. He's 68 years old and when he was growing up no one had any idea what was wrong or what to do about it. Luckily he functions fairly well but struggles with life.
Thanks, Brian.

Jingle said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/it-is-all-about-you-the-jingle-limerick-award-and-more/

you are such a genius,
I enjoyed the read for 55.
Thank YOU for doing your part in making this world a better place...

Susan said...

This was a fantastic piece. Just because people don't fit in the box we perceive to be normal does not mean they are any less of a gift or gifted.

Check out this video:
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds.html

55 Flash Fiction Friday: The Realization

Theme Thursday: Box

Pat said...

Now this? This is beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Bravo!

ds said...

Brilliant. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world without boxes?

Mrsupole said...

You always have an amazing perspective of everything. I am in awe of you.

One thing for sure, is that we have watched you come out of the box in the last year. I remember when.....

God bless.

Nessa said...

This could be written for any parent and child.

tera said...

Aw...I love this. Makes me want to learn "goldfish"! :)

only a movie said...

You know I speak Goldfish - part of my job description. Wish more people would learn because it is SO much fun. The kids I have on the spectrum are my favorite sort of student. Great job, Brian.

Marla said...

Beautiful

lettuce said...

boxes and labels

speaking goldfish is the better option for sure.

Mighty M said...

Oh, amazing and so descriptive. What a great perspective!

C said...

I would love to learn to speak goldfish! :)

And if someone came in a box-- I am not so sure I would like that someone!

Especially if the box had instructions on the back!

I like it when people can't fit into the box!

And it's better when they like to speak goldfish!

:)

Peter Stone said...

Brian, I have to say that this is my favorite of all your pieces. How often do we try to squash someone different into the box of 'normality,' instead of learning to accept them as they are, and meet them there.

Anonymous said...

That poem is so wonderful hits you right in the heart.


Starla

The Poetry Palace said...

http://promisingpoetsparkinglot.blogspot.com/2011/10/participants-talent-show-week-3-on.html



letting you know that this poem is placed among participants talent show list.

Thanks a ton.

Enjoy a lovely Tuesday.