Super excited about this #WriterCrushWednesday featured poet! Unlike most of the writers featured I did not meet this poet via Instagram’s thriving Writing Community.
I can’t really say how I learned of his work. I’m guessing the occasional “scroll, skip, skip, scroll” method of discovery served me well the moment I landed in his world here on WordPress.
Surely this is not a teenager writing with this much depth, I thought. Mesmerized by his gift, I instantly became a fan. Devereaux Frazier is a genius. Yep. A genius. After all that’s how I chose to rationalize the indelible impression he had made.
Scroll, click, click, scroll.
Um wait there’s more? More than a genius? Oh. A genius who had recently learned that he was autistic.
I Have Aspergers, And I Hate Myself Most Of The Time
So, where did we leave off
My eyes always drift
to the edges of the room
which is probably why everything
always seems to end so soon
Oops, I guess I forgot to say
that I have Aspergers
so I really don’t understand your way
I’m on the autism spectrum
and I hate myself most of the time
I hate having no intuition
and struggling around my peers
While others are deep in conversation
I sit in a corner, trapped by lumbering fears
I hate not looking into your eyes
and as you wonder what’s wrong with me
I wonder why
I hate being the last to speak, the last to be heard
because I hate the crowd, and stray from the herd
to the edges of the fields to think
I hate being so obscene in the wake of surprise
awakening a manic rage
and other times, I cry
But over it all
I hate how helpless I feel
being so unable to control my emotions
and my motions
drive people away
I hear what you say
but don’t hear what you mean
I hear what you say
but is it what it seems
What is a birthday suit
Why did he can a human being
I seem stupid and clueless
helpless and hopeless
weak and weary
and at times I’m all of those
at the same time
Devereaux challenges me as a writer all while invoking motivation to be a better human at the same time. He teaches me and I find myself learning in a space that feels safe and non intrusive for both of us. There are poets and then there are anomalies who embody poetry. Devereaux Frazier is the latter.
Share a little about yourself:
Guess I can start off by saying I’m Devereaux Frazier. I’m 18 and a student at the Community College of Baltimore County. Just finished my first semester there, actually. I’ve been writing since I was 13, and while major publication has evaded me (for now), I’ve filled the time being published by Teen Ink magazine, Literary Arts Review, and SpillWords while being a member of Blood Into Ink and a guest barista at Go Dog Go Cafe, two exemplary literary collectives. At the forefront of my writing presence is my own blog, An Aspergian’s Chemical Romance. I stared writing for it two years ago with the intention of just having a place to write and talk about my life on the autism spectrum. What it’s become is a place where I dive deeper into my condition, really challenging the “why’s” of my actions rather than stating (rather boringly I think, though no disrespect to those who do) my symptoms and how my life fits around them. I never wanted to be another WordPress diary. My poetry is less about the aspergers itself, and more about recognizing the beauty that it creates. People seldom understand me, and so rather than giving them boring anecdotes and medical diagnoses, I turn to poetry to paint pictures of my existence.
e shares one of her favorite pieces…
The ABC’s of me
Autistic, because where else to begin
Broken from the people who discouraged me
Cunning developed from outwitting them
Dark lines brooding in irritated waters
Eventually becoming open to your company
Forever hating and loving it
Gone before you ever said goodbye
Headed to the outside of your inside
Incorrect politically because I like action
Juxtaposed is male strength
Kissed with emotion fragility
Lined inside a boy turned man still child
Made to write, man of words never enough
Not only written or spoken, but merely dreamt
Outstretched hands for a woman’s grasp
Perfectly aware of their unawares to my truth
Questioning why I just don’t tell them
Resting assured that they already know
Still afraid of what the future has for me
Testing my boundaries every day
Understanding growth is ugly and beautiful
Voicing my concerns with maturity
Warring to find the source of my strength
Xylophones were hated in youth
Zenith not nearly reached
How/when did you discover your voice as a writer and what inspires you to write?
I think it was about 5 years ago, at a Stevenson University creative writing camp. I’d never seriously considered a writing career beforehand, but when I came there and the subsequent year in 2014 I was shocked to discover not just how much I loved it, but how good I really was. (Or at least felt. I could post some of my old poems. Yuck. I really hate thinking about those) I think most things inspire me to write. I’m pretty observant, so I notice a lot of things, but rather than actual objects, I think emotions inspire me most. I like writing from regret and possibility.
Had you planned to ever share your story of living with Asperger’s or were you encouraged to do so?
I never planned to share my story. I mean, as a writer I knew it would eventually become a focal point, but when I started writing people started asking questions.
What makes your heart smile?
What makes my heart smile? This is such a beautiful question…Life. You never know when your time is up…my mom and sister. My mom is best person I know. She’s everything really, and I wouldn’t know what to do without her. My sister is much of the same, albeit younger and with less wisdom but sharing the same desire and passion for truth and right carried out. Juana is an incredible boss and somebody I can trust. Mary and I share a great passion for football, and we still share barbs about how good (or bad) Andy Reid actually is. Shoutout to my bro Ryan too. He got me into airsoft. Feedback from my writing. And anything written by Kindra Austin.
How has your transition to college life been?
College life…hm. I’m not actually “involved” much in it. I’m kinda like go there, do my assignments, go home. I’ll integrate more overtime, but as of now I’m just trying to get a feel for professors and becoming comfortable with coursework.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Year from today? Published. Paperback book. Doing book signings and author meet and greets. Going to New York. Going on live TV for interviews. Just telling the world a perspective that enough haven’t heard. Straight A’s. A girlfriend would also be great 😂😂😂.
The Magic, The Misery
Of falling someone
Never meant to be
Forever you wonder
Why the universe hates you
All I’m asking for is one
Just one chance being loved
By somebody special
One to write me and you
In the bark of our long-lived tree
And in the kisses blown
Upon warm summer breeze
Seeing everyone else with somebody
Reminds me how I’m nobody
And knowing I won’t ever
Even though I try
Is the worst part of all
What do you want your legacy to be?
My legacy? A male from my family who really stood out from the crowd. Redeemed some of the things that have plagued our family. Finally made enough to let my mom stop working. Let the world know what life with Aspergers and autism is really like.
Thank you for joining us here at http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com and stopping by the #WriterCrushWednesday series Devereaux!!
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