Archive for December, 2004
Extracts from the novel I väntan på en jordbävning (‘Waiting for an earthquake’, Söderströms, 2004). Introduction by Petter Lindberg
Nonna Rozenberg lived quite near the special school where I was a boarder, in a block nine stories high with a bas-relief to the right of the door. This bas-relief featured a fairy-tale figure – the Firebird or the Bird Sirin.
I often saw Nonna stepping out of a tram carrying a large brown case. She moved carefully, as if afraid of falling.
She played the cello, and resembled that bulky, melodious instrument herself. Women’s figures are often compared to guitars. But Nonna’s appearance never hinted at parties at home with parents away or singsongs around the camp-fire.
She was no beauty. Her slow, precociously mature body was neither graceful nor girlishly delicate. If I’d met her later, when I was working at a gym, I’d have said she was overweight and lacking in self-discipline. More…
Extracts from the novel Kiinalainen puutarha (‘The Chinese garden’, Otava, 2004). Introduction by Anna-Leena Nissilä
Near Kök Rabat, on the caravan route between Kashgar and Yarkand.
It is growing dark. Let the others go on ahead. Let us wait here awhile. Perhaps the pain will go over. We’ll get through.
You always obey. And listen. Your ears proudly, handsomely pricked.
Steady, I said, there in the garden. No reaction. Everyone was moving. Pure comedy. And something else.
An illusion, two girls. Then gone.
How to explain.
Before that. I had a conversation with Macartney, the British chargé d’affaires…
Pain…. It burns, now it burns again. Let us wait now, Philip. Steady, steady now. More…
Poems from Taivaan mittakaava (‘The scale of the sky’, Otava, 2004)
Behind your back the city’s changing,
across the sky a crane’s swinging
A tie splits the architect’s white shirt,
his paired limbs and individual organs,
two lanes, left and right.
You and I are precisely planned.
Even now we’re on a ruler’s edge. More…
Extracts from the novel Runoilijan talossa (‘In the house of the poet’, Tammi, 2004)
Images of love
The double door to the patio is tightly swollen into the framework, so tight I’m chary of using force to prize it open. The windows might break. The lower part remains stuck, as if screwed to a carpenter’s bench, while the upper part gapes – leans out as if longing to liberate itself from its lintel. That’s an image of love: one part longs to be free, the other part holds on fast. I get a toolbox from the cleaning cupboard and try to hammer a chisel into the space between the bottom edge and the threshold. I succeed, but the chisel marks the door, defacing it. That’s an image of love too. More…