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A poem about an adult with dyslexia



An Idiot in the class by Justin Tuijl (2014) 

(written in a lesson of my access course after I had a secret meltdown)

I feel ok
Then the photocopies come round
I try to stay ok
Everybody is reading
I’m not, my eyes dart over the page
It’s a dirty mush
I’ll be ok
They are still reading
And scraping chairs
And coughing
And dropping pens
It’ll probably be ok if I don’t read it
I’ll be fine

I go to the toilet to get out of it
I come back. Damn they are still reading
Maybe I can tear up the paper
Or maybe pretend to read it
What are they all writing?
What are they all writing about?

I fucking sit there again like a twat
Ok I’ll try again
Reading … fucking noise … what was I reading?
Ok this bit
Oh I don’t know
Yes this bit, no, I’m not sure.
My eyes splurge on the back dot spewed mush
Oh, back to the reading, hang on
This line, what did it mean?
No idea
Maybe read it again
what line was it?
where was I?
Where could I be but here?
India, Indonesia…
no don’t think of those painful memories now
Ok I’m reading
Damn it’s not going in
I’ll re-read that bit,
What was that bit?
Somewhere in the black bits I guess

No. Stop. Everyone has finished
Too late
Too fucking late everytime
I’m not going to try again
Next time I won’t even try to read it
Best way.
Oh! Can’t stand it.
I can’t say outloud what an idiot I am
How flawed I am
I want to give it all up
Always the same. Always.

We get into groups
I haven’t read one fucking word
Ok, I don’t need to talk about it
I’ll just sit here in a shell
They are talking, no idea what about
The mush on the page has turned to mush in my head
I didn’t read it, stupid idiot
Maybe I could just leave the class.
Walk out in a big fit.

“What do you think Justin?”
“Um, well…”
Oh god I don’t know
I should just say
No I can’t
Oh thank god someone else is talking
I had nothing to say anyway
The one who asked me probably thinks I’m stupid now
Oh what does it matter
They all think I’m an idiot, everyone, the whole world
All of them

I’m angry with myself
I’m angry with the world
I feel guilty, guilty for being angry
I wait for this shit to end
bla bla bla bla
I don’t know what everyone is talking about
Maybe I could have a big paddy
Chuck things about
Throw paper in the air, scream a bit
Swear

No, I’ll just sit here
I’ll just go into my shell and be all quiet
Maybe stay in my shell all day now
Yes, hide, hide from it all

They are all writing and discussing
How do they fucking do that?
I can’t even read
I can’t even write
can’t even listen
can’t even think
There is no time
There is never enough time
What is everyone talking about now?
When is this going to end?
I feel sick
I’m clearly a complete idiot.
They all know it
No they don’t
Maybe I should just yell it out:
“I’m a fucking retard!”
No, I won’t even say a fucking word, ever.
I think to myself: I’m a self obsessed twat
I’m doing it on purpose anyway
I’m a flawed human being
I’ll say nothing from my shell.
I will say nothing from hell.

I feel angry
I feel like crying

Oh.
But what can I do?
What is the way out?

I know.
I’ll write a stupid fucking poem about it








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