Four poems by the Finnish poet from Avaruusruusuja (Space Roses, 2014), translated from the Finnish by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah, supported by Finnish Literature Exchange, as part of World Poetry/Prose Portfolio [WPP], curated by Sudeep Sen
The chiral diamonds of your gaze, the opened grief-books of your gaze.
They roam the house, as in a dream
that aims to bare the carnassial teeth of fear
inviting a close look, into a chamber of the heart
not known to anatomy. Just as you have to run after a girl
when a pink hoodie vanishes into the forest and the girl
has whipped open the fine fan of her defiance.
The autumn jetties of your gaze, its smidgen-pennants, charcoal-glimmery,
how they flap already, as before a farewell-moment.
I’m on a journey towards deepening, I’m on a journey
between the axes x, y and z, in space;
before long we come across a cloud of electrons.
We have to advance with tongue out, for enormous powers
Me and a black spleen, a magic
square and a rhombohedron.
Me and a compass. The wall of existence
at which I throw these ruminations as if
the surface of the water ripples, underneath lies what’s under the
under glints, under gusts, that’s where I’m going, maybe there
I’ll find the chiral diamonds of your gaze?
How can music have cured anyone’s melancholies?
These popular versions of music that wallow deep in emotions,
as if love were an Artesian well.
Listen to a pop song and the last shred of your peace of soul dissipates,
happiness is a lost cause, deeds and aims are wiped out,
all has been wiped out with a rotting cloth,
disproportionate yearning and anguish are all that remain
perhaps love is really an Artesian well, and that’s its problem:
water is drawn from such depth that it has radon, poison.
We are on the brink of mighty forces and on our way lower and lower
into the depth
I heard about her death when a certain woman, when a certain
unkempt trollop, who looked like a community-care case,
came to tug at my sleeve in one of the cafés in the town centre.
My latte was about to slip down the wrong way, and it did; I coughed for a few minutes.
They’d been the best of friends, which from the trollops’s point
signified a huge burden of guilt, and I began to suspect
that she would have liked to shunt her load
on to my shoulders, mine of all people’s; I was ideal for that sort of thing,
my gentle spaniel eyes were like a well
into which you could drop anything. I repeat: anything.
Because of my sheer sensitivity, I shook myself free and began striding towards the station,
which was not a good solution because there, Roma beggars
began clutching at my sleeves, one then the other.
Why is it that the Roma are always discriminated against, wherever they are
they are always discriminated against without much thought.
Because of this fact, I didn’t have the heart to brush them off
instead setting off in a mysterious retinue for the container area of the harbour,
where they had erected their filthy camps.
I phoned my girl and her voice remained
for a long time in the cochlea of my ear.
Don’t ever forget a child’s voice,
which holds silken cuffs and a lace bodice,
a collar of costliest velvet,
bootees of icing sugar and nonpareils,
when it meanders along a path beside a blossoming rowan tree
you hear mud, too, and grass struggling out of thawed waters,
the past winter’s delicate
whiffs of piss and poo.
Look and listen, carefully, and
if you recall as you still recall
it at night when she sleeps
daisybells guarding her rest,
follow its star as you follow
a dream that knows you the deepest.
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