Archive for September, 2006
Extracts from the novel Gud (‘God’, Schildts, 2006)
Side by side, wolves and antelopes graze on the juicy grass.
A deer playfully chases a lion through the bushes.
‘Can you do this?’
Adam crosses his arms in front of his chest and folds his hands back to front so that the right hand is on the left and the left hand is on the right. With his hands folded he twists them downwards and holds them out. Now they point to Eve, still folded, and still with the right hand on the left.
Eve tries. She succeeds, and laughs with delight.
A gentle breeze is blowing from the east, just strongly enough for the couple not to be troubled by the heat, but not so they would feel the need for clothes to keep them warm. More…
Poems from Valkoiseksi maalattu musta laatikko (‘A black box painted white’, WSOY, 2006). Introduction by Pertti Lassila
Good morning, murmuring universe,
dim tortuous thingamybob
with your moving and unmoving parts,
which every day need
new instructions for use
even though the previous ones
were not all that clear, because the article itself
is perpetually modifying its rules of behaviour.
There are threats that our details are being checked,
exhortations to be good, to wait,
wait and believe,
to stay outside at night
in abstract space
till the next numerical series. More…
Short prose from En god Havanna. Besläktad (‘A good Havana. Kith and kin’, Söderströms, 2006). Introduction by Bror Rönnholm
My alter ego has relatives who have bad teeth and the names of Greek gods. They live in ramshackle houses in suburbs which the taxi drivers can’t find, dangerous ex-no man’s lands in a rapid metastasis into concrete. They are wild and threatened with extinction, they are Finland-Swedish working class. Disorganised, of course they’re disorganised, my alter ego’s relatives never organise themselves. They don’t form part of any community other than their own. They go to sea and they breed, they buy shuteye dolls in whore ports and return home in grand style, always at night, always one surprising night when no one is expecting them. The women raise a cry of joy, the children go leaping barefoot, and the dog, which is called Zeus-Håkan, is quite beside himself. There’s a party. There’s no school that day. At twilight the women travel to their jobs in key factories and warehouses. When they come home the party continues and in the outside toilet there are new pictures of new places. My alter ego’s relatives have dyed hair and prominent busts in tight-fitting silver nylon jumpers. They pay for my alter ego’s father’s education so he can become middle class. They are proud of him. When we go to visit them they dress up. They clap their hands and the nail varnish peels as they loudly, just a shade too loudly, shout OH, oh splendid, such fine guests! My alter ego’s father is grateful and confused. He has long ago paid it back, paid the money back, and now what’s left is only what cannot be repaid.
With the passage of the years my alter ego’s working-class relatives are disappearing from my alter ego’s life. I miss them. More…