Spotlight: Deaf Rich Boy ‘79 / Earmold / Voice from the Sea
Deaf Rich Boy ‘79
i would one day be the son of that rich man
with a monocle found in the game of monopoly
id own the entire town beyond pamida
i wouldnt think twice about buying
a pair of expensive designer jeans at the down under shop
at stern & field on aurora & suffolk
all the kids in my class would ask meekly to see
my latest handheld electronic game
the kind that you couldnt find anywhere
the kind that kids would know everything about
the kind that theyd grow antennae just to ferret them out
theyd turn into insects with shiny shellbacks
gleaming with bands of gold strapped across
as they murmured & compared between themselves
their dull scores blinking tiny sticks of red light
theyd huddle together & forget about everything
id wear the latest nike sneakers from jcpenneys
the kind none of the kids could afford
theyd stare & gawk me of all people
when theyd thought me poor
what with eight siblings & a dog packed
into a house of only four bedrooms
my family werent rich
everybody knew that
but on that first day of school id say nothing
as i hung my denim trucker jacket on my hook
in the hallway theyd see the name furstenberg
stitched on the back pocket of my new jeans
id be wearing a blondie tshirt to show off the fact
that i went to minneapolis to see
the sultry debbie harry sing heart of glass
for once the hearing aid cords winding up to my ears
would look cool as if i were always listening
to something cool that theyd never hear
always straining to hear the next hot band
id hear them way before they appeared
on american bandstand some saturday afternoon
theyd wish to be deaf like me
always listening to the future
these kids in class would whisper about me
never mocking me but always with awe
How I fell in love
happily married to
Voice from the Sea
My voice is a mystery of mangled consonants.
They are slimy stones breaking
the river of vowels.
They turn into hard
pimples that never go away.
Go ahead and stone me.
One day this polluted ocean of sickly compliments
will be cleansed. Only then can I
the breakwater of hearing aids,
lined with the larynx’s algae.
Spare me the chemical of lye.
Dolphins will accompany me to the end of my days,
bathing me in languages
I will never know.
I will cast my first stone. I await
the first splash of water.
My hands are still unbruised.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of twenty-two books, including Flannelwood (Red Hen Press) and Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman (Squares & Rebels). He lives in Minneapolis, MN, and online at raymondluczak.com.