I prefer


Poetry appearing on this page was produced with the generous support of artsACT

Another draft poem. This one plays around with a common writing exercise, where you have to write a series of statements in the form of ‘I prefer x to y’. When you try writing one of these poems about yourself it is almost always BORING and unavoidably solipsistic. Try writing one from the point of view of someone else – say, an autistic child – and the result is, hopefully, more worth reading…

I prefer

serious illness to surprises
computers to my brother
reading number plates to Christmas morning

straight lines
submerging my ears in a warm bath to waterslides
deep fat fryers to matchbox cars

torture to haircuts
libraries to birthday parties
standing ankle-deep in ocean

tenpin bowling to climbing trees
looking at things out of the corner of my eye
Sonic the Hedgehog to family time

death to dentist visits
my mother with her glasses off
plastic wheelie bins to petting zoos

not to see my school friends outside of school
cricket statistics to Toy Story
chewing clothes-pegs to talking

rules to freedom
truth to sarcasm

to be left alone

(c) Melinda Smith 2011

7 thoughts on “I prefer

  1. Melinda. This poem is near perfect. My suggestion would be that some lines could be shorter. e.g.

    leave out the words:

    ‘walking around car parks’
    ‘going down’

    love it


  2. How powerful. My preferred reading material is autobiographical or biographical. Getting inside someone else’s head to get their perspective on things. What an insight. Are these preferences how one really honestly feels? [I can so relate to the dentist one – it made me smile.]
    Keep writing and educating us.

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