Patrick Graybill, a pioneer and patriarch of the modern ASL poetry movement, wrote Paradox in the 1980s, and performed it on his landmark collection Poetry in Motion on the Sign Media (SMI) DVD. Graybill is an important poet, memoirist, literary translator (from English to ASL) and an influential teacher. Since his early performances with the National Theater of the Deaf (including the revolutionary My Third Eye), Graybill has lived and taught in Rochester, NY, inspiring successive generations of ASL poets and artists.

Paradox is both strangely metaphorical and precisely direct. It is about the great sadness of the absence of basic communication, a subject common in Graybill's work, as well as in that of other ASL and English Deaf poets of his generation (like Ella Mae Lentz, Clayton Valli, Raymond Luczak, and others). In the first part of the poem, Graybill, or the narrator, describes a performance by a pianist and singer of a song with the line "Where is that man I love?" In the second part, Graybill tells us that his mother signed, but that his father did not. He asks himself, and us, "where is that man I love?"

There are at least two available recordings of this work, both are used in this Pop-Up Opera. The older recording, from the SMI DVD, is transformed in various ways and projected during the performance. The second, a videotaped performance at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College is recreated live by Monique Holt in this opera.

Below is a non-poetic translation based Dennis Cokely's interpretation performance of Patrick Graybill's performance at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, April, 6, 2011, by Larry Polansky, Tim Chamberlain, and Monique Holt.