"Sideways, lurching almost, I leaned into the psalms of Salutations..."

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BobSward's Writer's Friendship Series


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Issue9: The Missing Body

Issue8: The Lily

Issue7: Passages

Issue6: No More Tears

A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Quan Barry

Cal Bedient

Joshua Bell

Nadia Colburn

Carolina Ebeid

Odysseas Elytis

Nathalie Handal

Connie Hershey

Timothy Liu

Drago Stambuk

Franz Wright

Odysseas Elytis
translated from the Greek by Olga Broumas

Diary of an Unseen April

Thursday 2c

I put my books on the shelves and in the corner
a sad Angelica

The portion of beauty allotted me is gone,
I spent it


So this is how I want the coming winter
to find me

Without flame
With tattered trousers

Stirring blank pages

As if leading the deafening
orchestra of the unclarioned


Friday 3

Slant, spanning eyes, lips, scents, as if
from early ripened sky of womanly sweetness
and deadly drink

Sideways, lurching almost, I leaned into the psalms
of Salutations and the chill
of open gardens

Prepared for the worst

Tuesday 7

I found a small church all running waters
and hung it on the wall—its candlesticks
are clay and look like my fingers writing.

By the gleam of its windows I can tell if an angel's
passed—and often I sit afternoons outside
on the sill and hang on like the geraniums

through storms.

Tuesday 7b

I saw her from afar coming straight at me.
She wore cloth shoes and walked lightly, all black and white.
Even the dog behind her was half-plunged in the black.

Truth, I grew old waiting.

And it is late to understand that as she walked
the void deepened, that we will never meet.

Friday 10

The wind kept blowing and it kept getting
dark and the distant voice kept reaching my
ears "a whole life . . ." "a whole life . . ."

On the facing wall, tree shadows made movies.


Translator's Bio Note Olga Broumas is originally from Hermoupolis, Greece and moved to the United States at the age of 18. She is the author of six books of poetry, three collaborations and four books of Odysseas Elytis translations. She has won many grants and awards for her work, including the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1977, the National Endowment of the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her selected poetry volume, Rave Poems 1975-1999 was published by Copper Canyon Press. She currently lives in Brewster, Massachusetts, and teaches at Brandeis University.