Archive for June, 1998
Poems From Aurinkopunos (‘Sunweave’, WSOY, 1997). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen
Evening in Manhattan
the mechanism clicks
in the past I suppose it was called
falling in love but now we’re expected to merely
note that the cogs of chance have revolved into a propitious position
chemicals catch fire for exciting actions
under the street old fire moves under the sewers
maybe an alligator
they are calm creatures but we of course aren’t
we bounce off of each other into each other
flee from earth’s death the rising motion
the forest grows into skyscrapers petrifies
into the rings of suns More…
Poems from Nousevan auringon talo (The house of the rising sun’, Tammi, 1997). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen
Closeness. License to kill. And to go on living becomes impossible. When you see a waterfowl’s eyes, if you see them in the dark, that is the right distance. Now the fire power of our forces consists of infantry arms. You are hard ammo exercises, controlled regression, kiss of a porcupine, flower from the great gardener's garden, who shall be killed nevertheless. The one who in every piss-stained jail cell tries to inch his own death forward a little. * More...
Sometimes the river that gave birth to me
Whispers in my ear. And while the harsh hand
Of day keeps at me, my river
Sounds like birds walking on the leaves,
And the waters speak to me in Finnish:
Ikävä on olla kartanolla –
I am alone and waiting in the yard…. More…
Poems From Skorpionin sydän (‘The scorpion’s heart’, WSOY, 1997). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen
Earth’s hot womb brought to a boil
the grain ripens
among your golden chaff
and sharp awns
you walk and listen
Death The Stranger here it found a place, its dark apartments glittered the dead perfumed, trembled
through the small cremation hatch
see how the coffin thunderously
in elemental fire
A short story from Meddelande (‘Messages’, Schildts, 1998)
Mother, hello! It’s me … can’t hear you very well. I rang a while ago, but maybe you were having your nap?
(Cheerfully) Yes, of course, you can take a nap whenever you like. I can always phone back.
But Mother, listen to what I’m saying now: that’s the last thing I want you to do. It’s awful if you’re just sitting there by the phone, waiting and waiting. You mustn’t do that. I can phone later when I phone, you know that. How’re things?
But that’s good. Great. And you’ve made your evening cup of tea? More…
Poems from Älä pelkää (‘Do not be afraid’, WSOY, 1997). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen
Late Friday night. Strange noises in the yard, someone
bangs on the door to the next stairway. Electricity hums.
I have just come back from the U.S. and France, from Sweden too.
On their channels, people laugh. They are having fun.
They are, nowadays, strange, young, and handsome, each and every one.
We did not have that when I was young. We limped.
We did not talk. We stammered tortuous phrases
and, while embracing, were afraid to be seen.
We did embrace. We clung to one another, expecting
to drown alone in every ninth wave.
I know my place is not here where I am. I think, I try
to construct conclusions. Someone looks over my shoulder.
Slowly the universe was born out of my mother s womb.
I am not responsible for its sudden extinction. On a Friday night.
I let them rule, the beauties and young lovers. My ticket has been written.
it is ready. I have had my shots against fear. I have my passport.
No European he who does not every morning
put on a tie. This morning, European
as I am, I looked at myself in the mirror
and noted that, incontrovertibly, more
and more every day, I resemble a
sad bulldog. Who has ever seen a bulldog smile?
We know we were born into the wrong world,
born to struggle. My bloodshot eyes tell me
I would like nothing better than to bed down m the straw
with my adversary, the bull, and ponder the stars.
Consciousness is anchored to dark matter
as are the swells to the ocean. It is a quality
of matter, darkness glittering darkness. No need for words,
the overarching multidimensional web is one seamless
thought, not verifiable by observations or signs.
As soon as light penetrates the ambiguity of being,
the fruit falls outside the bounds of paradise.
The first sense
For another moment, you are incomprehensibly close,
you are mental image, you are voice, almost scent.
Only touch is missing, the most elementary of sensations
but precisely the one with which God tested the clay
with which the worm knows itself
with which there is hurt in torture and love,
and with which I miss your retreating appearance,
your tender groin, your rough hand.
(Written after a telephone conversation.)
Translated by Anselm Hollo
Poems from Efter att ha tillbringat en natt bland hästar (‘After spending a night among horses’, Söderströms, 1997)
The snow is whirling over the roses of the inner courtyard
The snow is whirling over the roses of the inner courtyard.
Did not bring boots or scarf with me, leaf
through books, don’t know what to do with all this light!
You would not approve of the colours.
It’s too impressive, Andrei Arsenyevich, there is too
much, too much of everything!
You swapped your wings for an air balloon, a clumsy
contraption twined together from ropes and rags, I remember it well.
Earlier, I had a lot and didn’t remember. Hard
to keep to the point. Hard to keep to the point.
Hope to get back. Hope to get back to the principle
of the wings. Fact remains: the cold preserved
the rose garden last night. ‘The zone is a zone, the zone is life,
and a person may either perish or survive as
he makes his way through this life. Whether he manages it or
not depends on his sense of own worth.’* A hare
almost leapt into the vestibule here at the Foundation,
mottled against the snow; in the hare’s diary it’s October, after all.
You seem to be in quite a malignant humour,
and it is possible that none of this interests you.
On the other hand, you quite often complain yourself.
I’m writing because you are dead and because I woke up
last spring in my hotel facing the street in Benidorm to that wonderful
high twittering. One ought not to constantly say sorry, one ought
not to constantly say thank you, one ought to say thank you. Lake Mälaren like lead down there. The rest is white and red. More…