On my way from the Cable Factory to Meilahti, I’m biking between the cemetary and the sea.
Those deceased over there, a huge stone wall keeping us apart.
It is midnight.
For some reason I have to turn around. Something strange is bothering me.
I turn to Hietaniemi street and back to the blocks of flats.
There’s no one here. It is too silent. I may have been drinking too much. My ears are broken. 126-133 dB of a tender feeling.
I tried to play like a firewhirl. Not successfully, anyway.
I cannot hear. I can see, although, with a little sway everywhere.
No one here.
By chance, I had been reading stories by Ray Bradbury the same day,
Pillar of Fire, for instance.
I stop in the crossing by Mechelin street and look towards
the gas station Esso.
Still no one there.
I lose my breath, I think I am William Lantry.
I cannot see the stars, otherwise I’d calculate what year it is.
I suppose it is 1999.
I turn back to Hietaniemi. My fantasy must have played a trick with me.
My breath flows again, I turn in the crossing, where Arkadia street meets the two other ones.
I throw a glance towards the Crematory. I lose control of my bike.
There is a black car in front of the open doors, and figures in black robes bearing oblong black boxes.
This is all I can see before the street rises up in front of me,
when falling I hit my head on something.
Flames are rising from the Crematory twin towers,
not one pillar of fire, but two of them, and black smoke.
It is 00.06 o’clock, a little past,
And I have lost my consciousness.
I’m woken up by a strange smell, someone bending over me.
Black robe, hood over head. Quite a pale face.
“Et in Arcadia ego…” Even the voice is like from a grave.
The last thought, I suppose:
A spelling mistake, misinterpretation, that’s what this whole life has been.
It is perhaps a bit too early, Mr. Captain, to mention about this,
but I have to do my duty. Can you hear me? Open your eyes. Good.
The plates won’t stay on the table any longer. If we’d like to make porridge, we wouldn’t need to stir the pot.
The porridge would stir by itself anti-clockwise.
Anyway, we don’t need to make porridge, because we are not hungry, because we feel sick, and the plates won’t even stay on the table.
Besides, the flakes for porridge were flushed away by the sea long ago. Please, try at least to hear me, Mr. Captain.
And look at me. I’m walking on the wall.
When I was a little boy, I used to have fun by torturing small insects.
Now I think, this must be a punishment for that.
Just imagine the little ants,
or whatever small animals you could think of,
flooded in a water tub, me stirring the water.
I made a storm, a maelstrom, and I looked at how they drowned, or did they?
Is it possible that they even reached the Gulf of Bothnia,
along some secret route?
Mr. Captain, I have always been convinced, that too much reading is no good. And you did read that sinister book.
I was torturing insects, you were reading a book.
Aberdeen was the harbour of departure.
Dear Mr. Captain, can you see that sea monster,
with the devilish text on its side?
Just like imagine a black man to be the President of the United States.
Even I was not supposed to have anything more to look forward to in my life.
Extra fat gathered around my belly.
The younger men seemed to have more power, better equipment.
Those suckers were even more intelligent, by the way.
But I had a computer, too. Was able to do something with it.
To send e-mails and contact people.
I sent out advertisements.
Then, just by chance, I noticed a girl flashing in a picture.
I lost my brain right away.
No one ever answered my advertisement.
So why imagine a black man as the President of the United States?
Because with a beer belly like this, and so on, you simply not even think about girls like that. Like that one in the picture, I mean.
Just as it was perhaps not even possible – well for SOME time ago –
In the US to imagine a black man to be the President.
I left for Swedeland.
Ginatricot, you know.
I am married to that girl now,
and a black man is the President of the United States.
Your face is in shade, your eyes looking to a desolate land.
Just a little turn of your head, and a beam of light touches your nose.
I’m getting doubtful about this planet. What is it?
What is this life.
To live in a never-ending sunset, never-ending end,
just hoping for mercy.
Still, a monument of wisdom is laying in front of me,
arms and legs stretching softly, half asleep,
endless time for dreaming, for something
that is just to come,
like the sun.
Your face is now in the sun.
I see just a harsh cliff, from the top of which
we have to throw ourselves
into the never-ending oblivion.
The specific blue, starless, almost black, on the verge of sunset.
We had proceeded until here.
The petrol tank of Impala almost empty.
The scent of clean laundry in a cardboard box in the trunk.
Running away had been easy itself, laboriously easy.
The clean laundry smelt like the front of the thrashing house,
when we were young.
Running away from an open asylum is easy.
Understanding a human being is said to be easy.
No one can understand love,
or how extreme actions will stand for love.
We have clean clothes.
We remember the sound of the threshing machine, we remember the colour,
black as the Bible cover, although the machine was yellow,
we remember father urging and fussing,
the dirty men behind the feeding table.
We remember the smell of the straw.
This is what we have: Chevy Impala,
clean clothes, and each other.
We have the highway,
We’ll be driving, when we get some more petrol.
Into the blue.
Moments of Turbulence
We met under particular circumstances.
I had never been in an aircraft before,
because of my deep suspicion against vehicles
that are not under my own control. .
The aircraft was crowded, too crowded.
You were sitting beside me, by chance.
The aircraft got into turbulence.
above the Andes, the view was breathtaking.
We felt like the aircraft would fall down underneath us,
and the falling down was long, too long.
We were weightless.
You were sitting beside me.
People shouted, the captain’s voice was broken by the word turbulence.
Accidentally, I turned my eyes.
The whirls of you blond hair were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
The falling down was too long.
We parted in particular circumstances.
No one died,
not a single word was exchanged between us.
But I was never healed from it.
My life drowned in the turbulence.
You wrote beautiful words to me,
sounding brightly in the morning sun, in autumn.
When the winds arouse, they grabbed the masts,
dried up the dew,
flew high above as ancient prayers,
took shape as a cry on the lips of stony totems.
Maybe, we were different,
halves of one shadow on the orbits of moons and stars.
When the words met in the middle of the fog,
those phases of light, those dark, soft, bright spots
made a miracle: as if absorbing all in one,
the memory, the future,
the finite, still infinite.
After this fulfillment
everything will remain as it was.
The caretaker´s wife will stay on her balcony
In Topelius street.
The icy slope will melt, at the most.
I will live more, I promise.
If anyone can understand this, it’s you:
once having started the battle, we cannot turn around.
We have to toil until sunset, into the trembling nights.
The lamps are swinging over the terrace.
They are our stars, the sky is black.
Why did Lotta build this absurd house?
Thousand homes, thousand desperate fates,
once everything is exposed.
When you cannot lose any more.
When you cannot win any more.
Only a million bricks in the wall, corridors, inhabited fates.
We step down towards the red shine.
An old drain leads from the slope under Töölö quarters.
If anyone can understand this, it’s you:
Lotta built her house on top of a drain.
The lamps are swinging in front of the windows in Fortuna.
They are our stars, the sky is black.
Come here, look down.
You could hardly dream of such vertiginous heights before.
Now you are standing here
and a sea of fog is waving below.
What may be hidden under the surface?
Would you like to know?
The world can turn in a strange position.
The equilibriums can be shaken,
the horizontal and the vertical lines can be bent
The control over regions is temporary.
Come here now. Look at the waves of fog.
Do you want to begin sounding those abysses?
Just one step, and all is yours!
And just to stimulate your curiosity:
will you meet yourself down there?
Or are you the abyss yourself,
opening your eyes down by the hill?
When we walk
a boulder turns inside me.
The blue horizon of the lake has gone into the gloom,
just some gas lights far behind the water
in the shadow of the hill,
on the stony shore.
The landing stage rocks under our feet,
a silent sound, a silent swing of water,
The gees glide soundlessly behind the cape,
like ghosts of love
shaded by dark waves.
We walk down a steep slope of hill
then we walk up another one,
we leave this dark basin,
with its water, black as oil
with its muddy shores.
We are welcomed by the old land,
that we cannot leave, we cannot leave each other.
Stay in the dark struggling with fatigue.
This theatre is a ship.
The captain’s bridge an enigma.
What are we, all of us,
and where are we going?
Through the window you see the earth,
the air and the sea.
The Old Believers are fighting in and against your soul. How many ways there are to betray?
There are so many ways just to live, and that is not a betrayal.
Maybe, one single makes a group,
the other one, maybe a single.
Outward enemies exist, as well as the inward ones.
Finally, the landing troops arrive.
The theatre, the ship, the captains’s bridge are sleepy.
Men and women, hand seeking hand.
The golden beams of night
fall gently over the Hietalahti Dock.
The crew leaves the ship, finding their way to the nearby pubs.
Friends will be executed.
Continents will be conquered.
The ship is waiting.
The engines will be started when the crew is sober.
Chord of a Circle
The shield of frozen earth,
steps tolling on the turf cover.
I feel the smooth touch of rustling twigs,
I hear it with my feet,
with the leather of my boots as a microphone.
The darkening sky,
my eyes sweeping from a bright spot to another one.
Immeasureable distances are too easily passed.
My eye makes the trip,
the retinae like deserts.
Recently, I realized:
I’m walking in a circle.
What a shocking notice in a fog.
The South has turned to the North.
You have to change strategy.
You cannot deny your mistakes,
not ignore your traces,
your staggering steps,
your old sleeping berths and campfires.
A new direction, new points fixed.
I wander across the circle,
through the desert of myself
from edge to edge of my eye.