Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Summer Current" by Kasper Salonen

as youth we stutter twelve & twinkling and give no heed to twilight,

respecting only the raucous love that is the neglected priesthood of idiocy,

brains unwracked as newts and devoid of everything but friendship,

our only worries shaped like icecream & the stains we deduce from grass—

there's a current that ricochets through us in summer and leaves us gasping for breath

as though at climax, or as though thrown from our own nonplussed towers,

and what better warmth than that of the sun's twirl at its nexus? actually, ask me in winter

when these birds become monsters in hiding,

when all the scorched blessed flung energies stop fighting

and cocoon into the icepick-creoles of death that murmur freezing over comatose embers,

but harbour the utter glow of lips that touch trembling under a tomb of blankets.

ask me in winter, because August is the last rampart of fruitflies & cider

& the baffled fatigue of entire days full of light.

I know that within weeks the yellow star running in place on everything that glitters

will become an ex-king tempted by a ramshackle room of thrones,

a hound dog tempted by a tether made of bones,

and the holy homes of wasps will begin to crackle their evacuation songs

like fists turning into fruit & rotting slower than any wind can shake them.

only when we find peace, we who war & warble imitate the drowning moth

that kicks and topples like a football player, but dies majestic and pitiful, silent as space—

if we burn all the observatories, who's to say the stars are anything but holes we've gnawed with our chemicals into the night? if we stopped telling stories about the currents surging through us, necks cricked from peering upwards, lightning bolts could never be the redhot skeletons of snakes and all the wormholes of naptimes would harden to bleak tunnels, filled in with peering yawns as effable as concrete. but our current still thunders on occasion

while some storms just keep on brewing— broken, wintry & musical.

Kasper Salonen is a bilingual poet living in Helsinki. He has written poetry in English from a very young age, and has published a few texts in small poetry publications. He also writes in Finnish, and is an active member of a collective called Helsinki Poetry Connection, which holds regular poetry readings and open mic nights in Helsinki and elsewhere. The collective's poetics embraces all forms of creative expression, from spoken word and rap to recited poetry and even sound- and video poetry. Salonen is also active in another association for the vitalization and support of modern poetry, called Nihil Interit.

I once spent a couple of weeks in Helsinki, a beautiful and wonderfully walkable city. It was June. The nights were white and manic, and one day it snowed, though only enough to be briefly exciting.--Kelly

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