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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
Brother 

“Out of a bed frame and a mattress 
we built a stagecoach, 

a letter of inheritance was sped 
from coast to coast, from ocean

to ocean, through reddish
boulders that concealed 

an alien race always prowling after us,
toward the distant horizon

and its infinity, from which 
our blue uniforms protected us, 

until you found the Indian’s 
buried words, they separated 

us, stole our common language.
How did you become Solemn 

Cloud, why did you start hating
the cavalry as soon as you heard 

it coming. You could barely remember,
how we operated on dolls’ 

appendices, removed tumors 
with scissors, stitched the wounds

with mother’s yarn, and then 
tore them open, half out of 

orthodox love, 
half out of medical 

curiosity, being heretics,
we gave birth to children, 

Cesarean style, dressed them up
as heroes, gave the dolls a manicure,

cut their hair always without 
permission, taught them

 mathematics and natural science, 
and without pity, we pierced the heroes

that rose against law and order, 
although we secretly did the same,

as soon as we were left alone, 
in the setting of a pious play, two

poor knights were marching in step, 
they knew how to make a fortune,

how to steal from the rich and 
and tax the poor, we invented 

a language no one will ever 
learn, in that language all boundaries

are invisible and fluctuate,
or stay fixed when necessary, together 

we created a space where eyebrows,
positions, and overcoats can

debate with an accuracy of a gram, 
add clauses to contracts in fine print, 

make additional conditions, back up the other
and cheat him at the same time, call off

commitments, chain contracts. 
An adult saw only two little

Barbarians needing to be taught how to use 
a fork, when the judges were ceremoniously 

weighing slices of cake and bloody 
hearts on the scales of justice. 

But suddenly the common language died, 
the whole continent became deserted

in one year, although I kept building 
factories, roads and cities: 

when I glanced at you, all I saw was
a furrowed crust of land, and a people 

that moved away from its surface, water 
flowed away from the map, reflected the empty 

pipes, shrubs and fast clouds,
that hid a nomadic tribe of 

dead animals. You never explained
how you became an alien race. 

There were no words in the language, and we 
didn’t have anything else.”


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.