Humans of the Earth look up at the night sky for star, planet and Moon light. We know what it means to stare into the darkness and not know what we are searching for. We know the feeling of language failing us as we try to describe the untold mysteries of the heavens. We study the sky and wish “the mad mad meteorite | the universe a fragment | of cheek | the afterlife set free.”
Jamais Vu — gently traces the “never seen” bardos, the afterlife, with lyrical compositions, fragments that form midline and travel into the space of oblivion. This lyric sings the secret of poetry and dreams a space that spends time with a lineage of poets/poetics (re)connecting us to love. Olga Broumas and T Begley’s “mots de feu” (words of fire) open our minds and hearts to hallucinate inside a dreamscape painting. We step inside an open window and transport from the page to a blue forest glimpse, a sea, a “paper bruise,” marveling at turquoise waters waving across grey sky.
Ancient and (music)noteworthy mystics appear throughout this pureland reminding us of ancestral roots’ voice, of its seekers, seers, mourners and singers. As we sail through the “hour of revelation” we discover a “sonar alphabet” and “two language reservoirs.” (What does your alphabet sing like?) Broumas and Begley ask us to engage in deep play, allowing us to seek the oracle in nature, revealing the imaginary. One reservoir holds a “hurricane of sound” while the other contains “bits of god black ribbon | hundreds unseen and outspread on the sand.” We stand on the shore and feel the tide’s call, its pull so alluring, we only sink deeper into shore becoming ocean.
The collaboration carefully articulates what is unknown. Broumas and Begley's practice of titration gives us a momentary glimpse of what we do not know and reveals the ghost: “...darkness gathers | this small corner of silence...” We enter unrealized space through their anatomy of poetics — placing awareness on the breath, we rest before we take another step further through.
Jamais Vu coos us to our true “invisible homeless island” and asks us to consider “when you go.” Broumas and Begley’s craft gives us permission to seek never forever home, to visit space and “change the shapes of the world,” to let go of “mother’s chi” and walk away from the fire with the advice of the sages: “take any writing instrument that comes to hand.”
This text originally served as the introduction to Olga Broumas & T Begley's Jamais Vu
April Joseph is an artist from East L.A., California, who creates mixed media performance art by employing movement and music to mourning songs. April’s collaborative approach to (counter) poetics illustrate a call and response of the multi-verse/voice. April’s sound poetics is a practice of synchronizing or reconnecting to the earthbody. Her performance art is informed by her study of ancestral trauma, musical composition, Contemplative Dance Practice and working at a mortuary in Oregon.
April earned her MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University and a BA in Literatures of the World from the University of California, San Diego. April’s chapbooks include Excerpts from: Rose Body Fell and First Call Home. Her work has appeared in Gesture, Galatea Resurrects, Bombay Gin and The Lune.