J.B. Stone


i was not your “neurotypical” kid
atypical was more along those lines

i used to
re-imagine all of the taunting
all of the laughs from those looking in—

I was their sad clown crying out,

I could hear noises a bit louder than everyone else in the room,

even though I would try to be at a two
when I am told to bring it down from a fifteen
i turn the knobs on my personality meter the opposite way
and bring it up to a twenty
because I would have public breakdowns
where my quiet ramblings
would descend into intense screaming sessions

i am still not your “neurotypical” man
i am still the atypical, 
i still feel awkward in conversations
when I know I shouldn't
my spectrum is always changing its labels, 
i still over-think everything,
i still say sorry way too much,
even though I have blossomed into this social butterfly
            my wings still crack and break apart
when I try to fly too high,
i still provoke awkward facial expressions
and eye rolling signals,

dating to me is like a social kamikaze,
            as I plunge myself out
only to watch life blow up in my face
but do you want to know something?
My brain is beautiful,
it's not bound by a spectrum
behind its imperfections
is talent and ambition,
those with autism should be respected and loved
for being themselves
         not abandoned and loathed
for being different
i do not have a disease,
it’s called a mental challenge
and I leap over and conquer it every day
i am not your statistic
and I will not let this define my whole
just a fraction of my being,
it's still something I take pride in, 
no one is normal,
One day, we all will die

and I plan to live the rest of mine
being me, because
over a poet, 
over a storyteller, 
over a wordsmith,
over a son, 
a grandson
a brother, 
a friend, a lover,
the best I can be in this lifetime...
is me

J.B. Stone is an emerging poet/fiction writer from Brooklyn, now residing in Buffalo. Stone’s work is featured and/or forthcoming in The Occulum, In Between Hangovers, Steel Bellow, and Riggwelter Press. He also will soon be coming out with his short fiction mystery noir entitled Serve the Servants, slated for release in May 2018.