Sign Language for the Death of Reason tries to make sense of a post-traumatic life in poems that are mesmerising in their beauty and stark truthfulness. Sign Language is Linda Collins’s poetic response to her memoir, Loss Adjustment, about the death by suicide of her daughter, Victoria. Set in a dreamy state of irrationality and unreality, where nothing is certain and yet, hope of certainty persists, a narrator who could be Collins, and a persona who could be Victoria, explore loss and love, from the longing arising from bereavement or loss of identity, to sexual yearning, and survivor grief.
Along the way, two women evolve in their relationships, though one is dead, or is she? If the self is a construct of history, who is this spectral creature haunting the living?
My heart is calm, beats slowly. All life’s doing is done.
Birds are at eye level. How easy it would seem to fly a while with them. Then descend.
Did you imagine leaf-tipped bark arms reaching to carry you to the next world?
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