Say what you like
Poems from Sanomattomia lehtiä and Leikitään kotia (‘Newsless newssheets’, ‘Let’s play house’, Tammi, 2004 and 2005)
Scent of morning
Say what you like about life, but life’s nothing that’s been said. The sun sets in a sepia setting where together a man and a woman walk out of the picture. At the start of the romantic’s story candles are lit, the girl stoops to hear better. Lonely stones roll from the horizon’s laughter, farewell to the continuity we love. Just for a second you could see from his face what he’d look like in twenty years.
I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but this isn’t a story and it has nothing to say. I watched a little girl trying to reach an unripe apple on an old apple tree. They used to load up unnecessarily heavy burdens. Yesterday’s birds, for example, aren’t today’s. Aspens grow in spite of their convictions, and yet there’s still something ingenious about puzzle pictures. He considered putting another coat of paint on the kitchen ceiling. Time, progress and good taste. The man breathed in her laughter. It’s what’s called love. That’s how sentences turn to stone. Light’s playing on the house’s bleached face. Two pigeons on the windowsill of space and a marble angel. The whisper came again: the secret of lasagne is nutmeg. The carpet beater was beating carpets on a steel rack. Something made a move. A stuffy moment, a man in his black swivel-chair. The heralds of spring. Imagine all that somewhere else. Smoke rose from his nostrils like steam from the sewers. It’s what’s called love. I watched a little dog scampering around a girl. A thread always stuck out from somewhere, likely to unravel the whole cloth. And I raised my hat, bent to enter it and vanished.
An hour in St Petersburg
— John Cage
A day and night long as a saint's hair all day I thought about doing this and now I've finally arrived here, with you, I'm considering going elsewhere, I'm considering a caucasian beerhall, chicken kebabs, speech released from people by the crystallised night, October's lapping on the windowsill, it's the leitmotiv of this atmosphere so dear to me in the wagnerian sense, I've put a record on Brian Eno: Music for Airports why am I telling you all this? surely I do have a reason just as trees have their reason their grain hidden from humanity tonight I want language full of happenings full of free thoughts on the advancing staves of emotion we're language-producing animals we're perfectly justified in saying this distinguishes us from the animals I pop open a bottle of unreal ale Gösser GUT BESSER GöSSER I won't say more than this about globalisation I think I feel some distant memory stirring somewhere, in the recesses of my cells? in my brainwaves? approaching the tip of my tongue I'll leave it unwritten, won't write about the woman who tonight in the vastnesses of russia will die violently, like more than a hundred people, killed by themselves or by somebody else, rashly, with a kitchen knife or empty bottle, increasingly nowadays with a gun, and deliberately the number's triple the figure in the us of america and it's 43 times that in france this is statistics they've nothing to say about human suffering a body is a body is a body is a mind, is a sorrow, is delight is an empty bottle devoid of spirit green I think of passing time that it's an abstraction but nothing real therefore but evening advances into night the pendulum of day and night swings over our life's abyss no, no I'm not going to eschew pathos its seductive dark confusing loops I'll traverse the whole register scarcely budging from my place night long, life short lights go on, electric flowers trembling blue harebells in the apartment block windows in the main evening newscast of the day: NORD OST broadcast live terrorists hostages policemen army media relatives, tearful, exclusive interviews specialists - an inexhaustible natural resource - the odd curious passer-by defying the cold night entertainment? the heavy breathing of the news anchor rises as thought bubbles into the frosty night normalno the president's face tight, keeping it straight how to describe a world that expands explosively in every direction? they caught the assassin a nice-looking fellow if the world's unpredictable and you can't say anything for certain this sentence too is useless hooray! useless art! partisan or non-partisan minutes thicken towards their end or as an old man of a hundred would say: it all happened so quickly.
21:15 21:18 21:25 21:38 21:44 21:50 21:52 21:53 21:57 22:00 22:05 22:06 22:11
Translated by Herbert Lomas
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