Tuesday, 25 May 2010


by Ursula Andkjær Olsen

One could form the
suspicion that I
was simply looking for an

excuse to get

One could form the
idea that I had
chosen you to
play this

But it was
probably a
trap. That idea was a
part of

the plan. I am
still not alone.

Nothing suggests
it. This is unforgivable naivety.

I can
clearly hear you talking about
the unacceptable behavior
of the care staff.

Your incompetence in
the field of thinking has shown itself

to be your
strength. In situations where it
cannot possibly be predicted.

I ought really to
remove your headaches
surely and

quickly. I ought
probably to cut out

my tongue.


Now that I
am sitting

The windows are totally

opaque. I don’t
know whether I should view this as a
sign of your

As an attempt to
spare me the sight of the world’s
oh so familiar


For a sofa it was
actually something almost

One could have hoped that
it was an expression of
the situation’s

stability. But I am
not certain

any longer.

A sofa cannot
really be

that much of a
basis.There are
remnants of food underneath
the cushions once you
start to
look around. And the coffee is

corrupt. I
clearly hear the words
food control.

I can hear the word
guarantee but it is a

glass clear
lie. You can
howl and scream.

You can shut me
up and blow into me. It will
not help.

Now I sit
here with the sofa pricking
under me. The fact
is that I am not lying

The fact is that I
thought it was a

Right until I
saw it.

And what can one learn from
that. The only thing that saves me

is my almost scary
adaptability. My great
talent for

avoiding any kind of
hardness any
pricking basis with a
flexibility that almost recalls

that of capitalism. A
quite intolerable

A feminine side

of my personality that ought to be
eradicated immediately if
wasn’t because it soothed

the bedsore.


Now that I
am sitting

It is nearly as
bad as my earlier

mobility. It is
unbearable but it is
the image I am
created in.

It’s absurd this eternal notion
of putting down
roots. Here on
the sofa wherever it is
it is

not a
pretty sight. It is the
flesh I am
made of running
after me.

While I suddenly
cannot move

hanging out of my

It is an
age-old tragedy.

An age-old tragedy

between the peasant and
I want to cut my roots.


But this is
not the sea

What am I doing

I thought it was
the sea. Right until I
saw it.

Had it not been for
the obvious ugliness of the

I might possibly have
sat on a

But now this is
out of the question.

It is nevertheless
how I

I will get no

If I reached
all the way to
the windows.

Then I would probably
how dirty they

And I would
still not be able
to get a

view of the

If you had
seen me leave
something. You would

be in no
doubt. It is
not good

And if you had
heard me arrive.

I must
try to look it in
the eyes. It

does not remotely
concern you All I am
saying here. It is a form of

one-way communication that is
not easy
to mistake.


If I had
hoped for a
quiet life.

Then I
have come to the
wrong place.

I am still not

This is neither

the truth nor
the sea.

It doesn’t even

of fish. It wasn’t
the real sea.

I withdraw my
longings. It was
not that sea they were
to swim in.

I haul my
ashore and

there they stay.

translated from Danish by David McDuff

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