Writing Place 2020

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Not Token, Nor Soft-Spoken

By Daley Rangi

i read of a young girl, murdered by her mother

this girl had autism, and not the first, yet another

to be killed in desperation, denying aspiration

of a better existence, and the piece de resistance

they mourned not for the girl, but for the mum who strangled

it must have been ‘so hard’ to deal with a mind you see as ‘mangled’

it feels adverse dictum, to not cry for the victim

as someone with autism, this causes a great schism

but there ain’t no aneurism in exploring ableism

so, in fifty lines or less, god i hope

we’ll unpack and progress, at least that’s the scope

concurring conceptions of autistic disorder

a tall order indeed, in fact, i’m right on the border

of just annoying the shit out of you with cadence and verse

but i should lay out the facts first, the benign and perverse

with my neurodiversity, see, i’m obsessed with the rhyme

to make sense of adversity, the boundaries we climb

as i freshen this reading session with my poetic procession

not quite my profession, i do offer concession

will hearing the depth of my trauma, make you warmer,

indeed, a reformer, to read this text and imagine the performer

spit out the stings from the wasps that may swarm her

or him, or they, would you pay to hear the words of

this insidious informer of deformed things

this rock orchestra of truth where i’m playing the strings

hello, it’s me, one of those fabled disabled, labelled and stabled

you’ve enabled the stereotype, and tabled the hype

so maybe you think me an autistic sadistic with a mystical mind

or a savant genius ingeniously saving lives, may i remind you

it’s hard to have a brain thicker than an archive

when you’re a bundle of anxiety just tryna survive

you assume that i’m all miserable if visibly risible

when I’m really just pissed at y’all ignoring the invisible

i’m not the one sharpening the bread knife

cutting off the crusts, manifesting the divisible

on a whim, like a sim you shove us into care

boy a good chunk of the time it’s just abuse, so beware

its grim, to plug us into your black and white matrix

try your best to find a fix, chip this round block into square

try as you might, you shan’t repair what ain’t broken

i ain’t your token nor soft-spoken

i’m running out of lines to recite sublime rhyme

may have missed the point, thesis gone awry

the message in is flux, so perhaps the new crux of my two-minute rant

is saying we can, instead of you saying we can’t

don’t assume, just ask, it ain’t a hard task

if we lift up the mask, and our love we exchange

so i reckon we arrange to go and make some change

you’ve read my art, now go and do your part.


About Daley Rangi

Daley Rangi is an eclectic multidisciplinary artist generating unpredictable and uncomfortable works through an intersectional lens. Evading categorisation, and invading the status quo, their energies are focused on speaking truth to power and encouraging social change


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