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Poetry is my life

In his weekly Autistic Lincs column, autistic author Callum Brazzo discusses National Poetry Day.

It's National Poetry Day on October 7. Just a day for poetry? Just one column for poetry? Poetry is my LIFE.

It is the outlet through which my internal struggles, successes and stories
become alive.

Autistic author Callum Brazzo (51873803)
Autistic author Callum Brazzo (51873803)

When did this happen? I can’t be sure. Why did it happen? God knows?

But poetry is here and it’s happening all around us.

Poetry, for me, is about harnessing energy from the world, conversations, observations and externalising that as written form or performance.

Almost like regurgitating experiences people that are not poetically minded might miss or simply consume without thought.

Of course, there are layers to what I’ll call the practice of being a poet.

Some poets don’t just chew the fat, they chomp it multiple times until they get something digestible for either themselves or for others to ‘digest’ or read/hear.

Some poets merely chew something over once and ‘spit’ (a commonly used word to mean ‘speak’ in hip hop) a raw form back out for the masses to enjoy or perhaps not to enjoy.

And this brings me to another element of poetry; the audience.

Does a performance poet like me exist without an audience?

Is there beauty in a poet using the written word without an audience because they are their only ‘critic?’ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but if no one is there to behold any stories being told…

My father has often said that when he has read my poetry on paper, such were the early depression days of my evolving poetical mind, he would sometimes not fully understand it until I spoke it.

The pauses. The emphasis on the words. Where syllables connect.

For me, the process of
poetry, whether internal or external, is what it’s all about.

I type a lot of random poems online nowadays but I still prefer pen and paper over technology.

Honing the tools around us such as technology to enhance the message, is something I’m all for too. But then, it can be about the execution.

As an autistic performance poet, I MAY not always give eye contact in my performances and this will then potentially ‘lose’ the audience in the moment I’m trying to create (if it’s drawing from personal experience then it may have a different effect but this is what’s down to the individual piece).

No one is less than anyone else because, for example, I can speak on a stage and others cannot.

But I do personally,
because of the roots that have grown my poet-tree, a sense of social responsibility for my voice in the ‘scene.’ I have fondly written about my past social enterprise venture Spergy (no longer exists…) but the core message behind what started it is this;

My personal journey became a collective journey.

I channelled my feelings into written word then transformed into a performance poet along the way and for me it feels like another stage in the evolution of myself as a poet.

It’s up to me to take those foods for thought and make them into meals.

The physical gestures accentuating the poetical.

The stories told of my own making and, respectfully and authentically, of others.

But like before, poetry is inside of all of us. It can be awakened.

Maybe you’re a poet…and you didn’t even know it.

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