Archive for December, 1996
Poems by Arto Melleri. Introduction by Maris Gothóni
The airship Italia
Farewell, darlings, General Nobile's sailing in his airship to a glittering death... whoever knows the journey's end as he sets out is there already, wafted on his wing-stubs; farewell, doubters smiles on your lips like the imprints of horse-bits: 'he'll never get there this way' 'get there' – as if 'there' were some place; in one day you can only manage a day's journey, it's more realistic, far more, to get the measure of Perdition; farewell, darlings, I'm off with him, his scrivener, I'm stretching over the verge of tears towards boundless laughter, the dignified business of tarring and feathering, I'm making notes: this is a dream, a single night's eternity, a sound mind's storming of the Bastille; farewell, you who always know better what should be done than the doers, and how, you don't do, you know, you put your hat on a shelf called History, General Nobile's flying over the craters of history northwards, northwards, and the sun's scoopful of molten tin is about to splash in the cold ocean, and the moon's a ball of camphor-soaked cotton wool wiping the smoking sky, farewell, darlings, there, flashing ahead, are the crystal shores of Ultima Thule
From Ilmalaiva Italia (‘Airship Italia’, 1980) More…
Poems from Homecoming (translated by David McDuff, published by Carcanet Press, 1993)
It was hopeless trying to keep the window on the yard side clean
Perhaps it was an advantage not to see clearly,
roofs and chimneys, indeed, even the sky became friendly
seen from this renunciation. When it rained
the water formed streets of narrow drops, almost silver-coloured.
I considered them closely.
What use I should have for them I did not know.
Extracts from the novel Virkamatka (‘Business travel’, Otava, 1996). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen
I spent a couple of weeks alone at home that summer. My brother was at camp and my father on a business trip. Bored one rainy day, I opened up their last game on the computer. They had been going on about it for weeks.
I began from the beginning, A splendid start: texts backed by imaginative visions, Then darkness. In the middle of it a gold-coloured, glimmering dot. Nothing else. I waited for a long time. Nothing else, I waited. Nothing. Then I pressed the computer’s space-bar. The dot exploded and the explosion filled the entire screen. From its centre swarmed familiar patterns, Diagrams of atomic nuclei, electrons, radiation. More…