On Not Understanding Greek

I’m in the deep woods.
I’m in the thicket
of deep listening
where understanding
my decadence
and re-living it
are two different things.

I finally carve my name
in the bark
of an oak tree.

Is this a nickname?
Is this a truth
disguised in hieroglyphs?
Is this a vision clouded in blue?
Was the knife first
sharpened in the fire?
I cannot know exactly
what it means,
standing underneath
the leafy brilliance
of language

sounding out the words
that will blacken out
my eardrums.

I can only listen.



theisCatherine Theis is a poet who writes plays. Her play MEDEA is forthcoming from Plays Inverse Press (2017). Theis’ interests primarily focus on the intersection between translation, poetics, and performance studies.