Sybil of Voices: An Ode to Tara Strong

tara-strong-caricature
A caricature of Tara Strong with Timmy Turner, Bubbles, Raven, Twilight Sparkle, Truffles, Plum, Daizy, and Ilana patterned in the background. Courtesy: Unknown Artist

Jewish blonde vixen.
A scintillating woman of a thousand voices–
Male and female,
Young and old–
All ready to play at her command.

Bubbles, age five–
Sweet and innocent by day,
A hardcore superheroine by night.
Friendly to all of Earth’s creatures,
From the biggest elephant to the smallest newt.

Timmy, age ten–
His wishes are always
At his fairies’ command.
But when they go awry,
He reverses them back to normal.

Raven, age sixteen–
Dark by nature,
Psychic by power.
She keeps her emotions in check,
Lest she incur her father’s demonic influence on herself.

Harley, age twenty-seven–
Beautifully collected once upon a time,
Driven to insanity by the Joker.
Yet, she’s madly in love with the clown
And his dirty tricks.

Truffles, age unknown–
Named after the sweetest of all chocolates,
She actually possesses a sour attitude.
Pretty ironic for a fairy,
Married to a non-fairy chef.

Sweet and sour,
Childish and mature,
Calm and insane–
Tara Strong is the master of all these voices.
She and her personalities speak for all of my life.

Dawn of a New Age

Dawn of a New Age

Night has fallen on my old life,
And the sun has risen for a new day.
Will I make the change to achieve greatness,
Or will I remain stationary and miss that chance?

The page of my life’s story has turned,
Yet, somehow, I feel the same.
Do I look forward to create a bright future,
Or do I continue to live in the past?

The answer to the first question becomes very clear,
As I look up at the heavenly blue sky.
God wants me to be as great as I’m destined to be,
So He says, “Go forth and live your dreams with love.”

The wind bellows the second answer,
Shaking the flowers beside me as it blows.
God wants me to have great people and rewarding adventures,
So He says, “Your friends love you, so go and be with them.”

My Eyes Are Hazel, NOT Black

My Eyes Are Hazel, NOT Black

The following poem is a response to Steve Shapin’s controversial New Yorker article Seeing the Spectrum, in which he wrote this damning, fallacious sentence about autistic people like myself: “It’s a searing experience to have a child who doesn’t talk, who doesn’t want to be touched, who self-harms, who demands a regularity and an order that parents can’t supply, whose eyes are not windows to their souls but black mirrors.”

 

Look into my eyes for one second, please.
What do you see?
Is it a wide open field of green grass,
And beautiful flowers at every turn?
Or do you see an agent of the devil,
Waiting to take an innocent person to burn?

Look into my eyes for one minute, please.
What color do they look like in reflected light?
Are they hazel–brown and green,
Like the great big oak tree?
Or do you see them as black,
As the vampire’s cape flowing free?

Since you won’t answer me,
And you have a maddening frown,
Because you think I’m not normal,
I’ll tell you here and now,
In a way that I see most formal,
My eyes are hazel, NOT black.

Hazel eyes are befitting of an angel,
Who is a kind soul to every living creature,
And beloved by all who meet and know her.
Black eyes solely belong to the devil,
A vile being who scorns the whole world,
And destroys lives in ways most evil.

I may be different, but my soul is rare and beautiful.
I have a heart that allows me to smile and cry,
And that’s how my friends and family see me as an equal.
You don’t see my kind as beautiful people,
So I believe you don’t have a soul worthy of heaven,
And your eyes are as black as a starless night.

The Siphoned Heart

Originally written February 13, 2015

 

My first love was five years my senior,

Yet he and I were exactly alike.

Autistic—Asperger’s, mind you—with

Big hearts of gold; encyclopedic

Knowledge of video games, animation,

History, and politics; and a wish for world peace.

But the love we had for each other

Was beautiful. I loved him

Just as much as he loved me.

One summer night, all that changed when

He told me, with a sullen look on his face,

That our romance had to come to an end. I believe he

Never meant that because—and please

Don’t write me off as crazy—a Heartless

Stole the heart that loved me and

Replaced it the heart that wanted

Nothing to do with me romantically

At all.

To this very day,

My mind has been racing

With thoughts of running the world over,

Keyblade in hand, to find the dark villain

Responsible for stealing the heart

Of a man who loved me so dearly, and

Take it back. Only when I return the

Golden heart to my man will

He love me again, because his heart

Belongs to me, not the romance-hating

Devil that is our society.

Father and Daughter at the Beach

Originally written January 26, 2015

 

In the fall of 1999, I sat with my father,

on a beach chair on a Floridian sunny day.

My swimming cap was as pink as a rose, my smile so

innocent, although some of my teeth looked like they

got knocked out by a ball in an arcade game.

The sun should’ve revealed my brown eyes a little more,

but it felt too hot for them, so the umbrella shade

protected them. I had a curly strand of hair

peeking in my view, but if you look closely,

it almost looked like the tail of a mouse.

Sunglasses obscured my father’s eyes,

making him look a little bit like Stevie Wonder.

But if you look at his coarse black hair, you could

see that he bore a striking resemblance to Nicolas Cage.

On his left arm is a tattoo of the sun and the moon,

with the sun shining brighter than all the stars.

A summer breeze blew through us as we bear-hugged each other

for warmth, the wind carrying a coconut fragrance.

The palm trees behind us and the seagulls squawking overhead

completed the picture of tropical paradise.

From America, with L’amour

Paris, mon ami, I heard that you were hurt.
I heard those bastards tried to take away your beloved treasure–
Your art, your music, your champagne.
Instead, they purloined the lives of your people–
People who defended the precious jewels that you gracefully shared with them.
My heart aches por toi.

Paris, mon ami, I can hear you crying.
I can hear your people wailing for the lives of their loved ones–
People who were enjoying the beauty of your creations whilst drinking your champagne.
Those who are still walking today will continue to revel in your beauty–
But it won’t be the same without the people they shared those moments with.
My heart aches por toi.

Paris, mon ami, I am standing by your side.
Years ago you helped me when my people were in trouble–
When they were taken by those same bastards who took yours now.
You shared many things with me, and comforted me through my darkest times.
Now it’s my turn to bring comfort to you in your darkest hours.
My heart aches por toi.

With L’amour,
America

I’m Autistic, Deal With It

I have a sense of humor, really–
Just not when my brain registers certain jokes as serious.
Neurotypical older brother asks me,
“Don’t you have a test to study for?”
It’s summer vacation, and I’m not the kind of person who takes summer classes.
So I shout, “NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!”
“You get every joke on Family Guy, but why can’t you understand mine?” he asks.
Instead of telling him my analyzes jokes differently I say,
“I’m autistic, deal with it.”

I’m a nice person most of the time, really–
Just not when I’m in unfamiliar situations.
Neurotypical mother asks for the following favor:
“Can you set the language on my Bluetooth back to English?”
She’s not great with technology, and she set it to German by accident.
So I say in an angry tone, “I’ve never had that problem, so I can’t do it.”
“Why do you have to get so frustrated when I give you a new task?” Mom asks.
Instead of telling her I can learn how to fix things with interest I say,
“I’m autistic, deal with it.”

I always keep my composure, really–
Just not when I get excited about something.
Neurotypical Twitter user announces:
“New main Pokémon game to be released in November!”
I take gaming news like this with a grain of salt until I find a trailer on YouTube.
So I squeal with delight and flap my arms at the sight of the real deal.
“Why do you flap your arms and squeal like a baby at times like this?” Mom asks.
Instead of telling her that arm-flapping and squealing are forms of stimming I say,
“I’m autistic, deal with it.”

I’m into sophisticated things, really–
Just not when it comes to certain forms of pop culture.
Neurotypical brother tells me, as I watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,
“That show is for babies.”
Correction: the My Little Pony TV shows and films from 1986-2006 are for babies.
So I argue, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is for people of all ages.”
“Why the hell do you even like cartoons like this?” he asks.
Instead of telling him such cartoons are my default interests I say,
“I’m autistic, deal with it.”

Just because I can’t take certain jokes doesn’t mean I have no sense of humor.
When I get upset in unfamiliar situations, don’t tell me I’m impatient.
If I stim by flapping my arms and squealing excitedly, I’ll calm down eventually.
I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, so don’t change the channel.
All these things are a part of who I am,
And I wouldn’t change myself for anyone.
So if you ask why I act and behave in a certain way at a certain time and place,
I have these five words to say:
“I’m autistic, deal with it.”

To Love, or Not to Love?

To love, or not to love—that is the question:
Whether it is nobler for my heart to suffer
The bullets of the uncertain future of my relationship with the man I love,
Or to armor myself against the storm of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To love, to part—
No more—and by part we say to end
The heartache, and the thousand complications
We lovers are forced to endure at the hands of
Our damned society. To love, to part;
To love—perchance to stay. Yes, that’s the issue;
For what’s the point of staying with my man
If he’s at a crossroads, trying to choose whether
To love me like the romantic lover he is,
Or to love me like I’m his little sister
For the sake of making a living without such a distraction as me.
It seems the Devil made my beloved lose his way,
Making him erase me from his mind and his heart.
If that is true, then why couldn’t he just stay dead
After Christ, my Lord and Savior, defeated him?
It’s because Satan wants to make
The life of love a living hell,
To build a wall between me and my beloved,
And to keep us separated forevermore.
I wish to fight the Beast in the name of Jesus Christ,
So that I can win back my right to stay with the man I love
And so that he’ll never come between us ever again.
My beloved means the whole world to me,
And I really want to stay with him for all eternity.