Friday, December 26, 2008

Five Finnish Poets

At the last minute, in between Christmas wrapping, I managed to finish a "review" of Anselm Hollo's Five from Finland, selected translations published in 2001 of Mirkka Rekola, Kai Nieminen, Lauri Otonkoski, Tomi Kontio and Riina Katajavuori...

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Do you remember a shop assistant

Posh - her gauntest pictures yet!

Max put his chubby foot into his mouth, he was fat and untroublesome.

Max ran and tumbled, he roared with pain.

Naomi clung to Mum's knee and peeped at Max from behind Mum's leather coat.

Naomi was a little princess. She went to ballet in a lilac tutu. She ran with her silver sceptre. It was a stick wrapped in baking foil.

Max felt something in his pants. Staring at the black and white photo of the busty stripper, his willie had gone stiff and prodding. He locked himself in the loo with the newspaper. He felt the lump. It was very strange. He liked the feeling.

Max stayed up a lot of nights, racing. He unscrewed the guy's petrol cap and stuck it on the ground behind the rear wheel where the guy would crunch it himself. Mr 9 to 5. They were fucked.

Naomi's hair was lustrous and heavy. She wore it long in plaits and bursting from combs. Out of the shower, swathed in her hair, she lolled cuddling a plush hippo and exuding adolescent perfume ranges called Fun and Party. Naomi liked Bacardi and Coke, or Absolut and Lime.

Naomi bloomed. She rolled around heavily in the drama class, her skin was clear as a magazine cover, deep-breasted she clubbed and partied, went to uni, worked in pensions, read the company intranet for opportunities overseas.

People joshed him about becoming a bit of a porker. It was true. The teenage rake now had a definite little pot belly. Outside work he went drinking, drove his mates to the multiplex to see the new Batman, had a Wii, went to BK.

Max sang People say I'm lazy, they say I ain't no good.

Naomi lay back with the children sleepily one against each shoulder and her man sculled, the boat drifted across the lake. I've never been happier than this. I'll never be happier than this.

Naomi swam, chilled out at the health spa, and hit the stepping-machine. She never really managed to take the weight off.

But I JUST HAVEn't GOT the fucking money, Max yelled. But that was nothing compared to what she yelled at him, he was overwhelmed by the torrent of words, she was crazy, she was hysterical, so like the good doctor he was he took it upon himself to smack her in the face. He cut her lip against her teeth, and later her eye went yellow and black. When he saw the terrified, terrifying look on her ugly, pitiful face then straight away he was so, so sorry. He told her again and again that he would never ever hit a woman and he never would he just wouldn't it was just so really and the days went past.

Naomi began to lose weight. Her hair lost weight too. No longer would it fill a clasp, the clasp just hang sideways and snagged, so she had it cut shorter and dyed it.

Max could pass for forty, if his crow's feet and the stiff walking motion didn't give him away. He increasingly liked standing still, gravely and ironically. In front of the camera he hid his discomfort with indifference, and hid the indifference with a lightly raised and ironical brow.

MHMMP, grunted Naomi, breaking the thread. Mum had taught her to sew. Now she was interested in it again. She made bags, patchwork quilts, leather pocket-linings. She could turn her hand to anything. She had a lively, thin, bony face now. Her nose and ears went on growing and became more characterful, but her ankles were delicate and her joints were a trouble all winter.

Max noticed the buildings that he had always ignored: museums, galleries, churches. He enjoyed reading a book to brush up on his knowledge of the British Empire.

Naomi made new friends. They did not know anything about the old days, but they found her funny. They came for an hour to clean and get ready her meal, and they left bits in the bitcatcher. In the morning another one came to get her up. She had a buzzer too.

I've got a cold so I mustn't visit him, and I can't even call him because he can't speak.

ungeoooow mrrrllll mrrrrrlllll misterasdhfas Max teiodo fegorifco aeioae aeio ahhh ahhhhhhhhh fiff feife llll ing pllllll lingx pllllsd plllls dsfdfdflllll pllll plll plx pl

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the author in spain

... increasingly unaffordable holiday destination. The notebook is in that backpack.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Ride like the wind

      Tom Tucker he was a bad man,
      He escaped from the Moss County Gaol.
      He stole a grey mare, and he hit the road hard
      With a posse of men on his trail.

      He came to the Montana mountains
      And it was the cold time of the year.
      "If there I do go, they will turn and ride home
      And a cowboy can just disappear."

            Ride, ride, ride like the wind!
            When it carves little roads in the snow
            Ride, ride
                  Gee up honey kick your heels
            All the way home

      Tom came to Barclay's farmstead
      And Barclay's young daughter lay sick.
      "If I don't get some medicines up to the farm
      I will bury my little girl quick.

      But it's 40 long miles into town there and back
      And every step drifting in snow.
      My good men said no, so I'm asking a bad one"
      And Tom says to Barclay: "I'll go."

            Ride, ride, ride like the wind!
            When it carves little roads in the snow
            Ride, ride
                  Gee up honey kick your heels
            All the way home

      Well 40 long miles into town there and back
      Tom Tucker's grey mare galloped free.
      As he stood at the pass and looked down on the farm
      He could see that they had company.

      As his mare leapt the fence the first bullet struck Tom
      And the second one laid him to rest.
      But Barclay's young daughter grew strong in the spring,
      From the medicines found in his vest.

            Ride, ride, ride like the wind!
            When it carves little roads in the snow
            Ride, ride
                  Gee up honey kick your heels
            All the way home

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