Autistic Songs

Alan Griswold


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Another of Derrida’s non-identical twins.
So many approachable works—
Like a stash of Chrysler building replicas
Fashioned from styrofoam blocks.
(And it must be admitted,
There is a certain amount of talent
Required for a portfolio like that.
And it must be admitted,
The graduate school audiences
Prefer their buildings that way.)

Of course the trouble with approachable works
Is they dare an approach,
And up close,
We see no business is ever conducted in a building like that—
No elevators rising and falling,
No boardroom dramas between dusk and dawn,
No graphite pencils ground to their messy point.
Up close,
It resembles not a building at all—
For that, one keeps a safer distance.

Far removed from campus,
The child without siblings,
The child without peers,
Dares to slice the styrofoam to ribbons,
Crushes the blocks for pellets,
Burns the plastic down to goo,
And beyond that flotsam books uncertain passage
Over fathom-rich seas.
Searle (your brethren too)—
It is of no use to craft life preservers
From the material of a philosophy professor’s chair.

Copyright © 2011 by Alan Griswold
All rights reserved.