Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Smooth talk

By Tommi Parkko

The land is a harbour struck by flowing water, struck by sun,
under clouds, where it rains, where an everyday thought hangs like a ship.

The land is an invoice that is seen, approved and kept.

The land does not exist. It is a story told by a fraudulent
explorer. It is the stretched scale of maps, a thirsty currency.

The houses stand in their rubber boots until they sink in the water.


I will receive all this if I do not hope or fear.

A city made of clay, steel and glass. All
this I can give, it is given to me and I will give it to whom I want.

The city is ready, the rain does not spray in its streets.
Behind the tree no murderer, rapist or robber waits. Each
well is covered by an iron lid, a lock.

And the city shines in the darkness, and no one understands this.


Water flows in the aural canals, the blood vessels, the ventricle
in the stomach, the sinuses, the petroleum springs, the well. In the darkness
all the subtleties of light.

I have unlocked the lid and built a body of flowing water.

The city builds a pipeline, a sewer,
a reservoir, an intake, a water tower and sells bottled water.
The rain permeates the city, in the well, the source, the river, the sea floods the streets.

When the moon is on its back one should mend boots, repair the roof,
be prepared for flooding, buy life-jackets,
make the dikes and embankments watertight.

What masters the water masters the world.

From Tommi Parkko: Sileäksi puhuttu [Smooth Talk]. Tammi 2004.

translated from Finnish by David McDuff

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