Puisto käveli pois tein siitä muistiinpanoja
kuin joku muu olisi hyräillyt kappaletta
joka on tuttu mutta katkeaa kesken.
Nuo nostivat käsiinsä laudan kuin kadunpätkän.
Nuo olivat harmaita sisältä ja ulkoa.
Satoi ylhäältä, sydämeni oli liuennut takkini sisään.
Koruja myyvä nainen ajatteli jotakin loiston keskellä.
The park walked away
I made notes on it
as if someone had been humming a familiar tune
and broken off in the middle.
They picked up a plank that looked like part of the street.
They were grey inside and out.
It was raining, my heart had dissolved inside my coat.
A woman selling jewellery thought of something, surrounded by shine.
Translated by Sanna Karlström with Zoë Skoulding
I twisted my ankle in Berlin and it meant that I couldn’t go to Ljubljana.
I fell down metro stairs in Berlin so I had to fly back to Helsinki.
I was standing like a stork at the airport,
thinking of my sister who just had a baby.
I called my mother who said that my father is feeling much better.
I told my sister about my accident, she said it meant that I have a problem with feeling joy.I said she was right.
My boyfriend said that it meant that I would stay.
He was right too.
My ex-boyfriend said oh my poor darling.
My boyfriend said it was unacceptable.
I said it was OK.
I went to the doctor, he said: Don’t go.
My sister told me that sometimes she feels that doctors know as much as her newborn baby does.
I didn’t know what she meant.
But then she said that she thought that her baby was a genius,
and I said I was sorry that I couldn’t come to see them yet.
She asked me why.
I said because I cannot walk with one foot.
She said: Oh.
She said: Maybe you should just try to find balance in your life.
I said there’s a thought.
Denying a poem
It was a bad day. Only the weather was good: the air was clear and cold, there was lots of new snow. I was stressed and angry, I was trying to find a flat to rent and everything seemed to go wrong. I had written my directions on a piece of paper, I was not so sure if I could read my handwriting, and I am very good at getting lost, especially in Vuosaari where I was staying at the time; all the houses look the same to me.
I took the walk with Eino who is a poet too. We were a bit sceptical about this poetic walk because I was so tense, constantly swearing, and far from being responsive in any way. First we went to the sea-side, and of course the sea was beautiful, as always, and this was one of the first days in February when there were really sunlight.
On almost every step we ran into things one could see as ”poetic”, and when a swan slowly swam to me, and stared some time right into my eyes, I said I’d rather kick the swan than write about it. But I did not kick the swan. I rented a flat and put the swan in my poem.
Here is the first version of the poem in Finnish:
Lumen maalaama kalustamaton ranta
olen seisonut tikkailla kuin pyrkiäkseni ylös
jaloistaan kömpelö joutsen
asettuu vatsalleen maisemaan
osoittaakseen että ranta on muuten tyhjä
Esine kerrallaan laitettu pois ettei menisi rikki
paperiin kääritty suru ei ole juurikaan tarpeellista
meren tehtävä on huuhdella, minun irrottaa kattolamppu
ja kannatella valoa ettei sitten ole pimeä
kun naksauttaa silmät auki unia näkemättä
tajuaa olevansa hiekasta tehty ja aurinko nousee
hitaasti talon julkisivua pitkin huoneeseen
jossa seison käsi katkaisimella .
Unfurnished beach painted by snow
I have stood on the ladder as if trying to climb it
a swan clumsy on its feet
settles itself on its belly into the view
to show that the beach is otherwise empty
Things have been put away one at a time so as not to be broken
sorrow wrapped in paper is not very necessary at all
The sea’s duty is to rinse, mine is to get the lamp off the ceiling
and support the light so it won’t be dark
when I click my eyes open not seeing any dreams
understand that I am made of sand and the sun rises
slowly up along the façade into the room
where I stand with my hand on the switch
Translated by Sanna Karlström and Zoë Skoulding