Do not be afraid of your face.
Move into a beam of light
in the bar. Smile openly.
Watch his hands move
quicker than strobe lights
as he surveys the crowd with his friends.
Do not think of how hard
it might be to have a casual
conversation.– From “How to Fall for a Deaf Man”
Silence is always a powerful statement, but even more so in the hands of Raymond Luczak, who demonstrates in his third collection what it’s like to navigate between the warring languages of confusion and clarity. As a deaf gay man in the hearing world, he lends an unforgettable voice to his reality of ache and loss beyond the inadequate translation of sound.
Poems include “Instructions to Hearing Persons Desiring a Deaf Man,” “Algae,” “Mannequins,” “Waiting for You to Learn Sign Language,” “Marenisco Eyes,” and “1989.”