Vagaries by Travis Chi Wing Lau

Vagaries by Travis Chi Wing Lau

So few collections can boast such thorough tending of lineage & futurity. In Vagaries, Travis Chi Wing Lau braids the intimacy of queer crip desire with the violence of its inheritance. These poems chart a new path to understanding—through homage & revelation—the multiplicity inherent in embodiment & the many ways language both fails & frees. Vagaries is a necessary & much-anticipated rearranging in the discourse on pain.

―Meg Day

The pressures and constrictions of a body and the poetic line rarely align so purely and distinctly as they do in these attentive listenings and articulations of pain and healing. Doctors rise to the level of prophets in their white coats; their hands the instruments of benediction. These poems are 'care' in the deepest sense, that of devotion and longing, an overwhelming tenderness both to and of the world. If I were a physician, I would write you a prescription for this book, its comforting words, its boundless grace.

―D. A. Powell

Queer pain and queer pleasure merge in Travis Chi Wing Lau’s gorgeous, elegiac Vagaries. Drawing vocabulary from medicine and art, these poems move swiftly and precisely as they explore “the ineluctable / tyranny” of the body” with the scrupulousness of the scholar and the deeply felt passion of the paramour. With intense diction and a careful attention to line and stanza, this poet gives voice to the breaking of language and to the ache of living, loving, and losing.

―Richie Hofmann