Archive for March, 2003
Stories from Konservatorns blick (‘A conservator’s gaze’, Schildts, 2002). Introduction by Fredrik Hertzberg
Unmarried and randy in a hotel foyer
The hotel foyer in Baghdad was swarming with people as anxious to advertise themselves as westerners at the opening of an art exhibition. I bumped into a man who quickly introduced himself, handed me his card and wondered whether I had an engagement that evening.
‘No,’ I said, truthfully.
‘Then kindly come home with me at nine,’ he said, with a florid gesture in the direction of my breasts.
‘No thank you,’ I answered. ‘I do have an engagement, I’ve just remembered.’ More…
Poems from Kirjoittamaton (’Unwritten’, WSOY, 2002). Introduction by Jukka Koskelainen
[Chekhov visits a French prostitute]
The room brightly lit like a library that stays open at night.
From the threshold onward, a scent of freshly cut damp grass
and resin. In the curtain swim black goldfish, gasping for air
and the carpet glows, all too red, a red carpet to hell.
The girl sits on the edge of the bed, her face
as expectant as a stuffed nightingale, stares inscrutably
at the guest, until the ice age his presence has brought
begins to melt a little around the edges. Drop by drop,
dripping. He takes his coat off, his shirt
but keeps the pince-nez on his nose. ‘Because without it,
I won’t be able to see you at all.’ The candle
smokes, hisses, even, if you listen to it up close.
On the wall next to the bed the guest’s shadow melts
into the girl’s. Then two horns appear on top of her head
and her shadow bursts into shaky laughter. Then she stops,
takes his mocking fingers into both her hands, kisses them
lightly and says, ‘Let’s do it quickly, and then you’ll just hold me quietly,
so I can tell you about my greatest dream.’
‘What is it,’ he asks, his hair entangled in hers. Now
there’s another scent in the room, the acrid odor of rails
made more intense by a hot summer’s day, and the girl
whispers: “That my two sisters and I could leave here
and go back to Paris. Home to Paris. Oh, Paris!” More…
Extracts from Einen keittiö, Eines kök (‘Eine’s kitchen’, Tammi, 2002). Introduction by Satu Koskimies
This sort of detached block of flats is as much of a living organism
as the folk dwelling in it.
For above are the brains and below are the intestines and outlets.
The upper floors were flaunting their kitchen taps, sink-tops,
lion-clawed sofas, mahogany chests and
sapphire-pendant crystal chandeliers, flashing the violet-tones of sea and