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torstai 26. helmikuuta 2015

Couple of poems in English

When we wake up hungover in the morning
you don't want to speak
even though you know
that what you see at night
is true
that your lips are a promise of something better
a guarantee of opening doors
the certainty of medication.

Now an alcoholic's stolen sick day shines in your eyes
the caution of a cat
undetermined back pain
there are slowly descending steps in your speech.

The elevator of your lashes goes up and down
on an abandoned bench
your hair sways like a forest of pines
you sit in your yellow boots
with empty cans for company
you can't get out of the park
without collecting every one
of your discarded relationships.


*


You are a shelter at which to halt
without a timetable
to scrape shit off the bottom of your shoes
read the route from memory
how the men on your beaches lick
escape
the nameless
ring finger
scratchy dreams in a box
memories of the cries of gulls
the grimacing wallpaper
the license to be free
to pick the unknown mushrooms, too
the radio frequency at your ear
to understand forms as they are
the seductive peck of the rain
desire tattooed on humanity
to disappear
deeper than thoughts
into the gaps between buildings.


*


To grab the handle of grandma's house
inhale your nostrils full
of an eternal afternoon
the smell of coffee
the napping dresser is adorned with dried roses
the memory of a bygone anniversary
when we might have danced on the lawn
barefooted
in our childhood hut
boys shoot their slingshots
a bee purrs pure fear
of mother never returning
not tomorrow, not on Monday
but when it's all too late
the code cannot be guessed
and the radio falls silent mid-announcement
the next day the world is different
scabs on our knees
as the train jolts past like a thought
you can't get the smell of hay, dark hands
out of your head
overturned stones
drops of water fall from the branches
and form a puddle where the sun plays marbles
and no one in the yard can say
where the city ends
or where nature begins.


*


I'm afraid
of people's eyes in paintings coming to life
the sky is not the home of the clouds
the axe always gets caught on a branch
and I find myself
in a cancer ward
wearing the house gown on the balcony
my breathing gangly
suddenly understanding through tubes
that after the last measure
everyone runs out of oxygen
the janitor wakes before dawn
sweeps my cigarette butts off the street.



That others don't

To wipe the birdshit off the cottage railing
the bad thoughts from my mind
to face the pressure without alcohol
a yearning to where I can't return
to write you closer
write you forth
to make us immortal
toilet rolls whirl along the verge
and again I expect
to understand who we are
what is this burning
angry stones in our shoes
bent coins
a window, oozing with age,
that never needs to be cleaned
to see the slowly deepening grooves on my face
caresses on a neck
to be absorbed toward you
to wrap you in these words
and turn off the radio.

Little by little I'm closer
to the right idea
your lips
a look that lingers
because you see something in me
that others don't
you know how I tremble
and you're allowed to have secrets
the power to crush me
and you don't want to
wade through life
to leave anything unsaid
but to smile at ordinary things
take steps towards desire
to see that I have the potential
to be everything
that makes you whole.



After a daydream

I wake up on the cot and remember
that last night I shot my grandmother with an air rifle
I can't say if it was a nightmare
but right now I'd love to ask
for an expert opinion
light a fire and watch
how sweet smoke rises
from inside a tin box.


*


At the railway station
I smoke one more on the platform
I watch where the wind blows the cigarette smoke
and follow it.


*


The sun sets behind the bird-watcher's tower
like a cigarette falling into reeds
from the fingers of a sleeper.


Translations: Kasper Salonen

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