tough eggs

it’s frustrating

when you’re trying

to teach your offspring

to fly off

from the nest

when

they are pigeons

the size of bowling balls

with no desire

to put aerodynamics

to the test

baby book

my son had

his first kiss today

and all i could think was

this is the first time

there is no page

upon which to enter this first

into

his baby book

the autism primer: year 18

this year will be a power struggle
with your child
as you attempt to balance
their need for independence
with their complete disconnect
from reality
and total lack of understanding with regards
to acceptable behaviors
responsibility
and consequences

you will spend much of this year
being screamed at
wishing you were dead
and envying empty nesters

explaining things like
showers must be taken daily
you can’t wipe your shit on bath towels
or wipe cum on the floor

all whilst trying to instill
that being a person on the autism spectrum
doesn’t give one a free pass
to be an abusive asshole to others
or one’s environment

oh
let’s not forget the guilt
you’ve carried around
from the day of your child’s diagnosis

was it the vaccinations
something you should have eaten
or didn’t eat while you were pregnant?
did you do this to them?

why were your children condemned?

yes
that reliable old friend will still be there
to keep you warm and reeling at night
a gnawing cancer in your gut
until the day
you end

stay positive
that’s only
30 or 40 years away
friend

the spider slayer

there was little indication
i was not a part of the sunlit green
moss covered bridge

afternoon
summer creeping
along the gorge

me
perfectly still
save the rise and fall
of grateful lungs
taking deep lustful breaths
of rushing creek below

my eyes set upon the soaring
white sycamore trees
where the indigenous people
of this carved miami valley
sought refuge
after glaciers melted

musing that
200 million years
isn’t so long
in the grand scheme

when my sacred peace was disturbed
by the sounds of new things

tremors caused by seven year old feet
across creaking boards

three little boys

too varied in appearance to be brothers
accompanied by an aloof
iPhone addicted mother
walking along oblivious behind them

i turned my head slowly
to observe the play
and
wait for the poem to come

the tallest of the prepubescent trio
crouched down
scooping up a daddy long legs spider
off the trail
before running onto the bridge

he set to taunting the other two boys
with the harmless creature
then dangled it toward his still absent
phone call mother
on whom
the gesture barely registered
a turn of her head

darkness came into his eyes

his gapped teeth gave way to a wicked laugh

as he cast the spider to its end
over the side of the bridge

the other two boys were distraught
over his brutality toward the arachnid

the youngest of them looked around
for an adult to whom he could run
for solace
for sense in the matter

choosing me and my quiet
over his uninvolved chaperone

he ran desperately toward my calm
to ask
if what his companion
had so cruelly
done to the spider
had killed it

could the spider survive
that fall?
he pleaded to me
hurriedly pointing to the water
tears streaming down his face
as if i were
the one
who made such choices

in that moment
i felt the age of my bones
older than pious pebbles
praying silently
in the stream
beneath us

i knelt down
so that i could look directly into his eyes
and said

no, son
i’m sorry
it’s likely
the spider did not survive the fall

but this moment
has more to teach us
about the nature of humans
than the nature of the spider
doesn’t it?

his brown eyes grew amber and wide
with new understanding
as he turned to look at his friend

the spider slayer
triumphant

in a low voice
uttering
…yes, m’am
…it does

social media and our grand ineptitude continuously on display

The photo and caption struck me like a backhand rising from my coffee mug. Engaged in my morning comfort ritual, I wasn’t prepared for anger before 7 a.m., but there it was. After demolishing a bagel and glass of juice, I moved on to caffeine soaked emails, then facebook messages. Something at the top of the feed caught my eye, a post by a little known acquaintance. A photo of a fierce looking spider beside a baseboard with this comment beneath it: “My wimpy kid forced me to kill this in his room. A girl would have been easier.” I’m sure she meant the post to be cute and funny, but I found it to be anything but.

I don’t know this boy’s age, but I immediately felt sorry for him. He probably doesn’t see his mother’s facebook posts, I truly hope he doesn’t, but I was stricken by her public shaming of him. I think mothers sometimes forget the sway we hold over our children. I can’t stand it when I hear boys being called wimps and girls being called bossy. Think before you speak. How do those labels translate in a child’s head?

I’m no advocate for over coddling and child worship, but this quick commentary she so publicly offered as to her son’s “wimpy” nature I doubt is an isolated incident. It speaks to a greater problem. Will the boy endure a childhood of cracks and jabs based upon his human foibles? Does she call him a wimp to his face?

I don’t normally bother with commenting on the thoughtless things I see on facebook, but when I saw a mother passive aggressively bully her son on a social media site, I couldn’t remain silent. I posted this: “He’s a wimp because he’s afraid of a spider? Keep emasculating him like that and he’ll be afraid of pussy too.” Now, I know that was an overreach, but perhaps not a vast one. A childhood of emasculation will lead not only to self loathing, but loathing of the opposite sex, that could manifest in his behavior towards women for the duration of his life.

Am I making an example of this woman? Yes. Am I being unfair? Perhaps. I’ll let you decide. I’m fed up with social media and our grand ineptitude continuously on display.

Why do I need to undertake this social dissection? That’s simple…I’m trying to pinpoint a catalyst for social pathology. I’m trying to figure out where the monsters we should fear come from. No, Norman Bates isn’t real, but the writer who conceptualized him was.

in 1994

i just explained
to my 17 year old son
who kurt and courtney were
and how
somehow
in 1994
that meant everything

American Domesticity

As she opens the four pm bottle of pinot noir, her hands sinks all the harbored regret into the cork with a wine key.

Screamed to the empty afternoon,

“Could someone in this house please tell me how, I, the person who washes the fucking laundry, does not own one pair of matching socks?”

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