New Poem in the July/August 2017 issue of Poetry Magazine

I've got new work in the July/August 2017 issue of Poetry Magazine. 

I'm grateful to Don Share, Lindsay Garbutt, and the other editors and staff at the magazine. Additionally, I'm grateful to be in the Asian American Poetry issue curated by Timothy Yu, Tarfia Faizulah, and Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis. 

The poem, "Autism Screening Questionnaire: Speech and Language Delay" was written this year but had been something I had been meaning to write since 2010 when our oldest son was first diagnosed as someone on the spectrum. One thing that's important to note is that if it seems like I'm representing someone who is neurodiverse, then the poem fails. The poem is, indeed, about failure. Failure of the line of inquiry that these questionnaires provide. Failure or the self-perceived failure of the speaker as a parent. Failure of language. The point-of-view is from someone who is neurotypical and who is inscribing the conversation with normative ideals and thus experiencing language failure. 

The poem is incomplete because it isn't in dialogue and the speaker's son doesn't get their own say. It's important to know that the failure/flaw of the poem is that it fixes a moment in time without granting the process of the individual who is talked about to imbue the conversation with their own rich experience. I want to put that out here now--the poem like many art objects is flawed, but it has opened many rich conversations with neurodiverse readers. So thank you for that. 

newsOliver de la Paz