Archive for March, 2001
Short stories from Av blygsel blev Adele fet (‘It was embarrasment that made Adele fat’, Söderström & Co., 2000)
It was embarrassment that made Adele fat. It wasn’t from hunger that her fridge-fumbling fingers began to grow nimble, but from confusion. And it was never knowing what her tongue ought to say that led her to the concrete business of the fridge. Her tongue certainly knew all about tasting. It could feel her teeth chewing even if it didn’t know how to speak. It became a better and better judge of brussels sprouts and speckled sausage. The rest was just good morning and thanks, thanks and goodbye and nice day. More…
Extracts from the novel Maan ääreen (‘To the end of the earth’, Otava, 1999)
I left Kronstadt at the end of October in the year 1868, when I was 22 years old.
The Mozart was a three-hundred-ton barque. Even on the journey to Tvedestrand in Norway I vomited yellow bile and my toes and fingers froze. We lingered in Tvedestrand for three months while the vessel was repaired in dock. To amuse myself, I drew and wrote an accurate description of the ship. That work ended up in the sea. From the harbour captain’s library I borrowed German books which dealt with geology and topology. Their reality was different from that of the law and the interpretation of its letter and spirit. When a topologist draws a map, it has to be true. Otherwise travellers will get lost, I thought childishly, as if it were possible to draw a line between true and true. More…
Poems from Jakutian aurinko (‘The Yakutian sun’; Tammi, 2000). Introduction by Kari Sallamaa
So this, then, is Tomsk,
a town, tumbling into snow.
Even its lanes rise up into the sky.
No longer fragrant the pine,
the juniper, not even the gardens.
Can’t trust the skirts,
above the rooftops,
stripes are beaten out of the carpet,
yellow and turquoise for the horizon,
under the rooftops, fingernails
rip the wallpaper,
those white frost fingernails.
So, this is Tomsk,
in its streets the Volgas zip by.
And when I get a ride, the back seat fills up in no time.
Breath steams, nylon rips. The ladies
apply lipstick, unconcerned. More…