Wednesday, 3 August 2011


by Tommi Parkko

In a city built inside a pot there is no dancing,
rise from pitch and molten lead, be a straight-backed saint.
The black steps rustle down to the shore, the ribs of the houses
melt into the river.

Old age is a habit rooted in the body, the icons bear the pure
colours of God. The black and the grey are from man, from bone.
The other colours are from flowers, shield bugs and stones
The sky is perforated by urine, the snow by Tycho Brahe’s toenail.
In a city built inside a pot there is no dancing,
do not talk to me of Mary or of virgins. Your unicorn
is the beluga whale and the relics
are tsarist bonds and Kafka. You must threaten
the relics with fire and spike to have your will.

In the synagogue's attic are the remains of a creature, and pigeons,
the city’s dream beneath the tourist map.
You will soon call the castle home, it is the backbone of everything.

translated from Finnish by David McDuff

[From Pelikaani, Savukeidas, Turku, 2011]

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