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JUHANI AHVENJÄRVI

CLAES ANDERSSON

EVA-STINA BYGGMÄSTAR

TOMAS MIKAEL BÄCK

AGNETA ENCKELL

MARTIN ENCKELL

TUA FORSSTRÖM

PENTTI HOLAPPA

JOUNI INKALA

RIINA KATAJAVUORI

JYRKI KIISKINEN

TOMI KONTIO

JUKKA KOSKELAINEN

LEEVI LEHTO

HEIDI LIEHU

RAKEL LIEHU

LAURI OTONKOSKI

MARKKU PAASONEN

ANNUKKA PEURA

MIRKKA REKOLA

HENRIKA RINGBOM

PENTTI SAARITSA

HELENA SINERVO

EIRA STENBERG

ANNI SUMARI

ILPO TIIHONEN

SIRKKA TURKKA

MERJA VIROLAINEN

KJELL WESTÖ (ANDERS HED)

JYRKI KIISKINEN (b. 1963) worked as editor in chief in the Nuori Voima literary magazine in 1991-1994 and Books from Finland in 1995-2000. He is one of the most important literary figures of his generation. He has published five collections of poems, three novels and three children’s books. He was awarded the Eino Leino Prize in 1992, Kalevi Jäntti Prize in 1994 and Yleisradio’s (the equivalent of the BBC) Tanssiva Karhu (Dancing Bear) Prize in 2000.
WHAT LIES BEHIND THE FAMILIAR WINDSCREEN
Four a.m. 

I don’t know why I exploded into
laughter in bed, but outside
someone instantly answered, as if
suddenly grasping eternity, 

laughing without bitterness, 
at a dinner party, as 
cruelly as a certain hero
who was told to support

the ceiling, when speeches were
still being given in the parlor, when a joker
scratched his stomach and made a toast
to the host, when a woman lifted 

her hems, the whole forest laughed,
and every demon wrote history 
with his fingernail, and
then laughed it off.

All of a sudden, the clock struck four, 
and I could hear nothing but the heartbeats, 
the rush of systole and diastole, 
the tidal waves of a muddy delta,

the sleepless whimpers of birth,
and death, the streams of cell sap, 
the pulse of stars, an animal’s paws,
when it was padding along a rug, 

in quadruple time, the hour of the wolf was 
close at hand, in the plains not a thing stirred, 
a thundercloud pressed the forehead, the wind
calmed down, the grass ceased to rustle, 

sugar congealed, suddenly a lightning bolt
stopped the heart, with one strike,
with one wrench, a hand tore the 
pillowcase, the body sat up,

in bed, the mouth was screaming,
the primal beast, evolution, was howling.
He stood in front of me, straight, 
in the rearview mirror, a car approaching,
 
an immense iron fist hit the rear
of the car over and over, and 
new words were conceived, the car 
left the ground: an airplane,

Pegasus galloped against a post,
against muteness, the windshield was
cracked, it flew out in one piece,
stopped on the hood,

in the rearview mirror, the car was 
approaching again, I saw how I flew
into a green foliage, two separate 
recollections in my mind: 

so does the memory disperse time that
you can look back on the past as reality,
only barely endure it: she leaned
over to me, said something. 

At the wake, lips were moving,
behind the glass there was a
a blond boy I knew, although 
he’d already become a man.


X (in the series Maisema särkyne...

XI

XII

Brother

Four a.m.

Song

Radio

Method

Estrangement

A wish

Someone else

The hours of night

On the freedom of undressing

No one

I fall upwards


 
From Kun elän (When I live), 1999. 
Translated by Sarka Hantula.