#ReadAtlantic #2SLGBTQIA+ VOICES Staff Pick: Chantelle Picks I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me?
I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me?
I leap between these moments / as if I’m crossing a river (“Mirror”)
Memories compressed / and focused in my body and yours (“Arachnophobia”)
A beautiful, lyrical poetry collection with Reality Bites and Nintendo references? I’m sold. The poems in my staff pick, I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me? by Nolan Natasha, leap between moments in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, unfolding memories of firsts, of connections and missed connections, of small, momentous conversations and encounters—moments of love, joy, fear, grief, acceptance, identity and all the ways they are woven together.
These poems explore hearing and being heard and equally understanding and being understood. In some there is a contemplation of language, like the poem “Queer,” where the word
argues with its own construction, / restless and glistening and grimy, / takes issues with the sentences of this poem
In others, there are moments of beauty that stop us in our tracks, when the light conveys a specific feeling more than words could:
I don’t remember what I said, / only the way the light fell on your collarbone (“Sighting”)
There’s also a nostalgia evoked through opening up these memories – for old movies, shows, music, games—scattered throughout which make this collection such fun to read. There’s an exquisite balancing of light and heavy, of small specifics like candy bar wrappers with the enormity of an absence:
I miss you / the way one misses a country. All the minutiae of a place. The designs of the candy bar / wrappers. The texture of the jokes. The shape / of the sidewalk stones.
The poem that I keep returning to is “Arachnophobia” – it is everything described here and more and rather than quote from it I will just say that you should buy the book (available at your local bookstore or from Invisible Publishing) and experience it as part of the collection.