from Opening Music and Theme Muscle




By Olga Broumas

This has been a decade of lessening inner monologue and wide dreaming. The dreaming is akin to hypertext — each sensation opens to another, simultaneous on-goingness. Some I revisit, changed. Dreams appear to last for hours, include entire histories, abstractions describe them by daylight — the history of homosexuality along with the history of Matisse-like colors, alongside Alexandrian family trees, of which my mother is, in truth, a branch.

Younger, I wrote for release, one. Now, containment. Then, because so little I saw satisfied. Now, gratitude, the many younger, the many visible, the many dreaming aloud, in print, in voice. Adrienne Rich: I write because I trust no one to say these things for me. So, in abundant arrogance, I believed.
Don't lose your arrogance yet he said
You can do that when you're older
Lose it too young and you may
Merely replace it with vanity

                                         W.S. Merwin, on Berryman
I admire what you do, Rebecca, in The Drunken Boat. It is the shape of my interior in this decade — the roots, the histories, the hyper-links, past and present, geographies. Playing it, I am inside your dream, exquisite.

I hear lines, scribble them, find them months/years later, throw them in a folder: Scraptals. Habit is to begin from them, habit no longer sways. A huge curiosity sways. What is it? Zen-like. Its answer self-evident, hyperlinked.

Fifty is the new five. Fifty to sixty as from 5 to 15. Enormous consciousness shifts, hormonal. But with history, as when being Greek, everywhere, statues with your toes, your mother's nose, father's knuckles. The root-habit. Not hind-sight, given.

You see, as I go, phrases shorten. A decade flies. Full & filling. Alone, I know noting; if someone asks, knowledge appears, surprising, available. Alone, I know just my sensorium. Just in its many meanings. I inhabit its taxonomies, etymologies, hours can drift on the latter — gratitude for so many words originating in Greek, also given. As a child, looking at the sea, which was often, I became the sea. Now the reigns are much slacker. A lemon, a dustball, the huge and minute equivalencies of perception. Paul Éluard:
the body
is that part of the soul
perceptible by the five senses
The pear, is and is not a body. Hours drift by. I begin now to translate what I love from the English to native Greek: Kunitz, Merwin, W C Williams; take what I love to sing and sing again, in another tongue, take the tongue of the poet in my mouth on this oceanside, let it loose on the other. In Greek, transliterate is metaglotize: and in meta-phor, move the tongue, mouth to mouth. Taste it, the pear.

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Olga Broumas with Lily Olga Broumas lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her partner, Christine Hart, and their two dogs, Lily and Nouni, fully aware of the terrible (every angel is) luxury of NOT HAVING YET BEEN EATEN. Her 7 books of poetry are collected in RAVE, and her 4 volumes of translation from the Greek of Odysseas Elytis are collected in Eros, Eros, Eros, both from Copper Canyon Press. A CD of her reading from these books is available from Copper Canyon as well. She currently translates American poetry into Greek, teaches Pilates, meditates, and practices as a bodywork therapist. She teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at Brandeis University.