Yay–I Found My Holocaust!

I wrote a poem once about the actor who played Steve on Beverly Hills 90210. He was complaining on The Tonight Show because he didn’t have a doll made in his image. Dillon had a doll. Kelly had a doll. Brandon had a doll. Yes, even, Brenda had a doll. After I shared my poem in a poetry workshop, no one said they thought I was a deep and meaningful writer.

However, later on, I wrote a poem about the holocaust –the poets in my Sarah Lawrence class were really happy with me. They said the holocaust poem had depth and meaning and made me a real poet.

No, I’m not saying that Cal being autistic is anything like being in the holocaust. However, I do believe some people think of the real events of my life as tragic. Recently, I told a man a story about Cal. With tears in his eyes, the man hugged me and said, “Oh – what you’ve had to endure!”

I want to be considered a serious poet. Do I believe my feelings about autism are stronger than how Steve felt about not having a doll? I really don’t know. Steve seemed pretty devastated. However, I believe that the 200 pound vegan poet, who checks to see if there is animal fat in the donuts, will respect me more, because now, when I write about Cal, to her, I have my own holocaust.

Even, if I say I’m much happier since Cal was diagnosed as being autistic, people still think it’s tragic – If that helps the suffering writing community welcome me more as a fellow sufferer, cool.

Thank you, Cal – Now, I have something “deep and meaningful” to write about.



5 Responses to “Yay – I found my holocaust!”

Janet Kalbhen says:

I’m curious about your comment about being happier since Cal was diagnosed. Is that because you finally knew what was going on with him and could then jump into therapy, etc.

bethy says:

I love it! This reminds me of Madison Penya for some reason–questioning established norms. And I think you are right on target! Thank you your writing helps me get things put in the right spot in my head.

I also love the doody posting!

ellen sandor says:

you continue to blow me away. thanks for always making my day.

Penya says:

hi janet,
the answer to your question is, “no.”

i’m actually happier because all the things that come with cal having autism. if you want to know why, i gave a lot of reasons in the first blog entry in this site entitled, “blow jobs and autism”.

thanks for all the comments everyone, keep ‘em coming!

Julie says:

Agree with you 100%. I think so much art lately is devoid of real humanity because people are afraid to embrace the many layers and contradictions of being human. Just because something is ‘dark’ or ‘pushes the envelope’ doesn’t mean it’s necessarily meaningful. I’ve read plenty of things that explore tragic subject matter and are far more shallow than a good 90210 episode.