Archive for September, 1998
A short story from Pakkasyön odottaja (‘Waiting for a frosty night’, WSOY, 1997). Introduction by Jukka Petäjä
The round steel teapot is new. Father brought it back from Birmingham, where he went on a visit with the others from the concrete factory. In the shop, the teapot was wrapped in rustling, soft tissue paper. Pirjo was given the honour of opening the package. The pot has been used for brewing tea ever since.
At school, her sister Karoliina is proud of the fact that at home they drink only tea; they are different from other people, different in a good way, one to be proud of. They have a real teapot. Sometimes, during breaktime, a morsel of the excellence of Karoliina Kamppinen falls Pirjo’s way. ‘Yes, let’s include her, she’s Karoliina’s sister, after all.’ More…
Poems from Boxtrot (WSOY, 1998)
So far nine lives only, and all mine, like my head in my hands. My first was curled up at the foot of a fir tree in the autumn forest just at day-dawn in nighttime's raindrops. The resin's still in my fingernails. My second was the scent of split wood by the shed, and the circular-saw blade's horrific disc. The gruel, track shoes too large, and President Kekkonen, ink spreading across my notebook, and the clank of the railway under my dreams. Mayday's red flags, the neighbour's daughter naked, and dead pigeons lying on the gravel. My third life was the discovery of anger, blind rage turning and turning me in its leather bag, wearing the edges of my day down. Sitting at our schooldesks being forced towards a goal that can't be named. Seeing how they start drinking, drinking into their eyes that black impotent rebellion. I'm on the point of drowning, someone's traversing the Atlantic in a reed boat. And if I did die, it wouldn't matter who sneered. The stars in the sky are watching us in horror.
An extract from the novel Diva. En uppväxts egna alfabet med Docklaboratorium (en bonusberättelse ur framtiden) (‘Diva. An alphabet of your own for growing up with Doll Laboratory [a bonus story from the future]’, Söderströms, 1998)
I am Diva and everything I say is true. Close your eyes, dream about the most beautiful thing of all. Open your eyes again. See me. Girl-woman. Diva-Lucia. Thirteen, nearly fourteen. Baby Wonder. The one they thought did not exist.
(an eternal day, love is born)
Daniel and I. In the autumn we go out to a cottage in the forest. We go walking for a whole extra day. We walk and walk, and it is an autumn day which is implacable. The lingonberries glow in the sun as if on a garish work of art by an impressionist seeing the world for a moment in a sickly way, sweat running inside boots, and squelch squelch on dry crackling ground, so it feels as if the whole forest would be shattered under your boot-clad feet. Great black boots, certainly two sizes too large so as to allow for a proper squelch. Or to allow something. A dry dry autumn, Daniel admits metres ahead of me. And that the elk-flies can’t have had time to get here from across the eastern border beyond which, as far as I know, they exist; it will take years before they manage to get here, Daniel explains. I squelch on, however much those creepy-crawlies are undeniably creeping over my body under my hot tracksuit, in my hair and scalp. Daniel knows about the forest and nature. Daniel knows about everything. And he laughs again because of those flies, and later, he laughs at night, for they don’t stop crawling then either, in the sleeping-bag which in a special way attaches me to Daniel because the zip has stuck and has to be nibbled apart by my teeth, for by then Daniel is asleep, and I have to get out and spew, for I have eaten the wrong things in the wrong order, as so often, all at once, I mean. So Daniel does not believe me. We walk on. More…