“Road Work Ahead”– More Beautiful Poetry from Ray Luczak


Luczak, Raymond. “Road Work Ahead”, Sibling Rivalry,  2011.

More Beautiful Poetry from Ray Luczak

Amos Lassen


Raymond Luczak is an amazing poet and his writing often brings tears to my eyes because of the sheer beauty of his style. He also manages to write about what is important to all of us. In “Road Work Ahead”, his fourth collection of poetry, Luczak writes about his life after a fifteen year relationship ended. All of you who have been in long term relationships know that when the end comes, there is as much psychological as physical baggage and many times it is like starting life all over again. We wonder if love will ever stop by again and the pain is severe at times. But we must continue living and dealing with life at a time when pain is just seconds away.

As Luczak makes his way in the world, he seeks closure and he travels the world looking for it. Because he cannot hear, he uses the other senses to tell us how he feels and deals and he does with words that are sublime. His sensitivity rules his poetry and he keeps his heart open with the hope that all is not gone. He can be immediate and he can be distant but what I think he wants is for us to share his journey and protect him from being alone. I am sure that his knowing that we are reading his words gives him comfort. When he desires something, so do we and when he is happy, we share his feelings.

I found that parts of his poems stayed with me after I closed the covers of his book and I wanted to call out to him and tell him that I am listening to everything he says while knowing that he cannot hear me.

You would expect a good deal of sadness when someone writes of an ended relationship but that is not what you find here. Instead, Luczak opens himself to us and invites us in—not to wallow in sadness but to hear what he has to say. The experiences that he writes about are not his alone; we have all been there and felt what he feels. It is the universality of his words that make his poetry so special.

When we consider that Ray Luczak is deaf, his poetry becomes more special and the fact that he has been deaf since very young makes his work all the more amazing. He cannot compare what he writes to what we hear and knowing that we hear what he can’t imposes a special challenge. The noise we hear every day would be a symphony for him yet even without his hearing, our hearing picks up on every word he writes. His strength as a man with a disability makes his poetry all the more special and for me, all the more beautiful and meaningful.

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