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Tommy Randell Mar 2018
My life used to make perfect sense
My wife said No! and I knew what she meant
Funny now how things seem different
My deafness makes her less vociferant ...
Oooo she will get her revenge for this one! Hahahahahaaa
glassea Jul 2017
say cowboy.
say hot dog.
say ice cream.
say baseball.
see, the step into the sound booth is an awkward height,
about 6 inches off the ground,
and i find myself raised on a pedestal,
sealed in for you to inspect,
watching you and an audiologist
through a glass window,
watching you decide my future
as you face away from me
so i cannot read your lips
and you cannot see me shouting stop.

say airplane,
say sidewalk,
say you might hear static in your right ear
but i know i will only hear a tone,
an electronic beep going on and on and on

say conducive hearing loss say sensoneurial damage say surgery say it might be permanent this time,
like it hasn't been permanent for the last ten years,
say there's a new technique say we can fix this,
say negative impact on social life, say poor classroom performance,
say we just want what's best for you,
say try hearing aids try CIs try cued speech,
say you need to be fixed.

it's been a decade since i first entered that sound booth,
noises not echoing off these walls that take a little more from me with every test.
it's been a decade since my hearing slipped away and
i am done mourning it but i don't think you are.

persistence is a valuable trait but stop trying,
stop putting me under with an x on my right cheek so the surgeons know how to lay me out on the operating table,
stop refusing to turn on the captions because i need the practice,
stop talking to me without tapping me first,
stop screaming at me when i mishear.

i am done mourning my hearing and i don't know if i ever grieved in the first place but you are still stuck in the stage of denial,
hoping against hope for some ******* miracle.
i don't want a miracle, i don't want anything god can give me because i am not lacking, i am whole, i already am the miracle you were looking for and i don't need to be fixed.

but you don’t believe that, do you?

so the audiologist can open the heavy soundproof door but i am still trapped inside this box,
the walls swallowing my words as you decide my future for me because
no one wants to listen to those who cannot hear.

say stop sign,
say hairbrush,
say push the button when you hear the beep
and i hold it down with my thumb,
gripping the clicker like the handle of a gun
until you tell me to let go.
but i hear deserts stretching away from me,
flat sci-fi dreamscapes where there is only one sound and i can hear it too.

say tinnitus,
say psychosomatic because you don't believe that i might hear infinity where you tell me i shouldn't.
say hole in the eardrum say the surgery might have accelerated the deterioration,
say we can try again but
i gave up ten years ago and i think you should too,
and i'm here in this sound booth screaming for you to stop
but you will not look at me,
will not even attempt communication.

no one wants to listen
to those who cannot hear.
this is meant to be spoken word.
Elizabeth Foley Jun 2017
It's not easy to be me
That's a generalization true for most
We all have our battles.
But I'm so jealous
So jealous of the way you all move on
Because when I see the pain
When I see the hurt
When I see the purity of a baby's foot
My cracked heart of stone
Can't help but beat again.
With every beat those pieces crash
Until a fire erupts inside of me
And I can't help but
Fight for the children playing on the slide
Giggling and screeching
So blissfully unaware of the
World they were born into...
For while they laugh and play
I know someone is out there
While the screams of a new born
Ring out into the world
The crushing silence of loss
Envelopes all the noise-
Silent screams erupt
From those who have no voice
While the rest of the world
Finds glory in their deafness
Not me.
I hear it all.
Every scream, every laugh, every word
Like a supersonic torture chamber
Until I'm paralyzed
I'd try to shut it out
But if not me then whom?
Someone has to hear.
Someone has to act.
I wouldn't trade this for the world
Because while my heart bleeds
And though my soul is crushed
At least I know I feel
At least they know that
Someone else feels the hurt
They can't hide anymore.
Someone hears them scream
But who hears me?
spysgrandson May 2016
frogs "croaking"
in front of me, in the reeds
crickets "chirping"
behind me, in the brush
countless coyotes "yelping"
from across the lake
bass, carp surfacing
under a yellow moon
unaware its shimmering shaft’s
a magnet to my eye  
and more lullaby to me,
who can yet see spectral waves
but lost cherished vibrations--like birdsong,
winsome whispers--eons ago
glassea Feb 2016
here’s kind of a funny story.

they knew i had hearing loss when i was eight. what followed was doctors and operations and more doctors and the funny thing is that they still don’t know why i can’t hear out of my right ear. what’s not quite as funny is how i treated it. how i thought that this was something to be ashamed of and hidden, how i thought that it was weak, somehow, to not be able to hear.

it’s hard in class, sometimes. if we’ve got some kind of discussion going and people all over the room are talking and i’ve got to turn my head, whipping around from person to person, trying to get my left ear pointed in their direction. i never make it every time so it’s always a cut, disjointed thing, the tail end of a sentence that i don’t have the context for. sometimes there’s background noise and that makes it worse. loud air conditioning or people whispering and i can’t focus, can’t hear, even when it’s just the teacher talking and i’ve gotten my left ear set up in their direction. i’d love to tell them to shut up but i’m pretty sure they think i’m aloof because sometimes when they talk to me i don’t hear them.

asking teachers for closed captions is hard. going up to them and pretty much telling them hey, i can’t hear, change your class for me, is something i don’t think i’ll ever be good at. and sometimes they don’t know what i’m talking about. sometimes they ask the class to fix it and oh god that’s embarrassing because i know it’s nothing to be ashamed of but i still am. ashamed, that is.

there are these old movies from the eighties that we watch in history class. they don’t have captions. the ones about china are my favorite because it’s like, that’s me. that’s who i could’ve been. and the movies, they’ve got these interview segments. people speaking in Chinese, their first language, and us listening. they turn down the volume on the Chinese and lay over it English translations of whatever it is they’re saying and maybe for other people that’s a good thing but for me it’s not. for me it means that the Chinese that i don’t really know but can guess at fades into this muddle of sound, English and Chinese and cheesy background music all mushed together in something that i can’t hear.

i still don’t know what they say on the school announcements and i’m done caring.

sometimes i’m sitting in the audience of the auditorium and i don’t really know what’s going on. school assemblies are the worst. rapping and fuzzy mikes and so much background noise that even if i wanted to hear the stage i wouldn’t be able to. all i can do is cover my left ear and try to ignore the faded feedback from the right. because it’s not rude if you’re not covering both ears, right?

(i can’t stand not knowing so it’s better to cut that off at the beginning. to make sure i know that i won’t be able to hear them with three-fourths of my hearing gone. it’s less disappointing, that way.)

i can hear the people i need to. it takes a while but if i know someone’s voice well enough, if i care enough to learn it, it’s easier to understand, even if i only catch an intonation of a syllable instead of a word. and they know. they know i can’t hear so they walk on my left side and i love them for it. if someone won’t walk on my left side when i ask them to i know that i won’t learn their voice.

someone tell me why it’s the twenty-first century and people still think “deaf and dumb” is a definition instead of an outdated relic. someone tell me why it’s the twenty-first century and audism runs rampant through people who would rather label us than know us. someone tell me why it’s the twenty-first century and there are still people who think deafness is an illness. that my hearing is something that should be cured. that it’s stupid, ridiculous, to be proud of a “defect.”

someone tell me why my ASL teacher didn’t stop to ask the class if someone had trouble hearing. wait, no, you don’t need to tell me. i know why. it’s because you assume hearing until you’re wrong and that’s so strange to me, because i haven’t been hearing in years and it’s not like i’m trying that hard to hide it. you’d think that someone who knows ASL would realize if one of her students had no idea what was going on.

the first thing someone asks me when they learn i’ve got hearing loss is whether i read lips. i don’t read lips. take away the sound and have me stare at a silent video and i’m helpless. but i can supplement. i can take what i’ve heard and match it up with the movement of the lips, the throat. is that an R? yeah, it is. did they say elephant? yeah, they did.

it took me a long time to tell myself that this was okay. that not all communication is verbal and how, exactly, is this an exception? maybe people think i’m strange for staring at their mouths when they speak but if they don’t know why it’s not really their business to know.

someone tell me why it took my whole life to realize that i don’t care whether i can hear or not as long as i understand the world around me.

that’s why math is my favorite class, i think. no lectures or explanations necessary. just me and the numbers and mathematical notation.

math is a class that i don’t need to hear in. and i’m most comfortable with the silence.
this is long and pretty much nonsensical but poetic more than anything else.

i'm not d/Deaf/HoH, fyi. just hearing impaired. but i know a bit about Deaf culture and pride and it's awesome.

...hopefully i didn't offend anyone? this is personal. i'm not trying to force my emotions and misconceptions on anyone.
SøułSurvivør Jan 2016




(C) 1/3/2016
My dad will be 91 in February.

He's almost completely deaf
and losing touch with reality.
He is a music lover but
cannot hear it




S R Mats Mar 2015
When Dona died
The spring grasses yellowed,
Our cheeks ashen.  Her hair became a little redder
In our minds.  The boy and the man strained

Under the constraints
Of communication.  What was the sign
For "everything will be alright"?  "Fine,"
Yes, you should say, "Fine."  That is better.

Better than just, "okay".
Mel Mar 2015
I just wish that I could be understood. Just because I can't hear, people automatically write me off as a human being, someone less than them, someone that could never be an equal, dumb, flawed, broken. because of something entirely out of my control, I can't be included. As much as I try to control things, I can't control this. Things are one sided, I make the effort to communicate but others don't want to take the challenge, waste their time or don't even want to bother. Perhaps they are afraid. I become afraid too when I encounter this time and time again. This recurrent cycle almost makes me lose my identity and want to give up hope. I don't give up though I grow weary. I count my losses of what could have been and forge on. It makes me sad to see a possible flourishing friendship, of what could be, only to have it dashed or doomed from the start. It's very difficult to be left out, to experience only a fraction of the world and I know what I'm missing out on. Should I mourn it or try to keep swimming in the abyss of it all? I struggle to find another way, a loophole or have a tiny glimpse of a world I know I can never fully be a part of. On the outside looking in. I will always give people a chance, a chance to prove me wrong and a chance to be a friend. I can see, I can feel, I can sympathize and I bleed. I can laugh, I can cry, I can love. Often times though, I'm seldom ever given a small chance just because I can't hear. That really hurts me because then what do I do?
Gigi Tiji Feb 2015
I am 'cause of what I'm not
and I want love, y'know, a bit of
everything and nothing at all
and, well, I want myself back.

I want to want myself.
I want to be myself.
I want to connect.
I want to LISTEN, but
why do I have to be so ******* deaf?

I'm in the backseat now,
behind the wheel, but I can't
hear where we're going

Could you turn it down?
I don't think they heard me.
Nice clouds, pretty trees,
I like the gradient of the sky.

Up and up the elevator and
I'm so tired of your words falling
shattered on my ear drums
as they translate into
polyrhythmic fuckery
and I'm left struck dumb
and scrambling for the downbeat

buzzing lights and whirring wires
humming fans and the squealing
of brakes from 16 floors down

sirens blind my mind's eye and
down on the streets I'm losing your words
like a fat pig chasing an anarchist
black mask, no idea
out of breath

Gah! Whisper in my ear, please.
I just want to climb all the hills and
valleys of your words and swim in
every nuance of their inflection

I just want to be a gift
Present, and able to
unwrap your song
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