mánudagur, júlí 30, 2007


I am rinsing shampoo from my hair when suddenly I am filled with affection for the encrusted minerals on the hot water pipes and for the nascent stalagmites I saw that morning on the pavements under the row house eaves.

sunnudagur, júlí 29, 2007


Years ago, I was sure I saw fish in the shallowest part of the Tjörn, not even the Tjörn proper but the pool over the City Hall garage. They looked like trout or at any rate laxaætt. Now I know that they weren't there, that there have never been fish there, but I am still not sure that I didn't see them.

miðvikudagur, júlí 25, 2007


These fellows are from Kiev. I like their striped hose. They are very stylish.

þriðjudagur, júlí 24, 2007


There it is, by the side of the brook. It's been a long time since she has seen it, here or anywhere. It's he, actually. He used to be here almost every day, cropping the grass. The water would reflect the sunlight onto his belly, dappling it even more. It is happening now. She watches him.

She used to cluck to him and ease her way in his direction with her hand outstretched. Sometimes he would ignore her. Sometimes he would lever his neck towards her and investigate the palm of her hand with his mouth. She was always keenly aware of his great, flat teeth just behind the moist white fuzz on his black lips. He never bit. Sometimes he spooked -- at what, she was never sure -- splashed away over the stream and vanished for days.

Today it is hot. The sunlight buzzes. A cloud of gnats expands and contracts in the air between them. He flicks his tail. She doesn't move at all. Slowly, then, she begins towards him through the grass. He picks up his head suddenly, and she thinks he is about to bolt. He only stands with his ears pointing at her. A few steps more, and she can put her hand on the side of his neck. He tosses his mane and bumps her arm with the side of his head. She runs her hand along him as she steps past, and then she skips, grabs the base of his mane, swings herself up, and holds on as he leaps away, hooves splashing.

mánudagur, júlí 23, 2007


I had always through that the northernmost ocean was mare septentrionale as the seventh of seven seas. I am incorrect. The seven are the oxen hitched to the stars that mark the north. The Arctic Ocean belongs to the Great Bear, but mare septentionale is the ocean of the seven oxen that pull the Starry Plough.

Gefjon drew Sjælland out of Sweden with four oxen. It takes three more to pull the earth around the axle of heaven.

laugardagur, júlí 21, 2007


The bungee crane was sometimes parked out in front of the Cathedral on late weekend nights. I haven't thought about it in years. The streets swarmed with thin blonde girls, already tall, on enormous black platform shoes. Their jeans were tight and cut hem-frayingly long. The boys wore gel in their hair.

The crane was not for bungee jumping. You were not meant to leap out, fall into the pull of the elastic, and bounce back to your point of departure (or near enough). Instead you stood awkwardly with your drunk friends looking on and laughing while the bungee operator put the harness around your legs and waist. You mimed discomfort with a sexual suggestion that wasn't there.

The operator clipped you to a cable that anchored you to the ground; he clipped you to the end of the bungee that hung from the crane. He tightened the buckles and tested the straps, signaled the man in the cab, and the arm of the crane rose steadily tac tac tac tac tac. Lit from below against the dull black, it looks paranormal. Everything taught and stretched, your friends hunched forward slightly, spenning. He pulled a cord and you were whisked upward, raptured, taken bodily into heaven like Elijah or the Virgin, up into the dark above the rooflines, the bronze statue, the shrieking sixteen-year-olds, the hotdog wagon.

Afterward you all got softis in cones. It was not your idea, and the sweet, cold, white cream could not match the stark taste of the cool air over the cathedral.

fimmtudagur, júlí 19, 2007

annars manns

Hér vorum við og hér fórum við. Everyone's North is different, but everyone's North is also the same.

miðvikudagur, júlí 18, 2007


Einhvern stað verða krákur að sofa. Crows must sleep somewhere. In the dark you cannot see them. When dawn comes they will be so raucous that there will be no need to see them. Right now they are invisible, hundreds of them, hunched over the branches of the pines and dreaming crow dreams of bits of paper and fish heads.

mánudagur, júlí 16, 2007


There must have been eighty of them barking. One of them saw me crossing the compound -- their compound -- and said Ooo ooo ooo. I looked back at him and said Ooo ooo ooo. Next he barked at me, but only after giving me a very strange look.

laugardagur, júlí 14, 2007

hrafn og örn

A guest in someone else's beloved North, I am welcomed by ravens and eagles, familiar people and unfamiliar mountains. Glaciers did not scour this land as smooth, and they pierce the eternal clouds like teeth. It is green with rain. The stones are quieter here: they do not chant old poetry but instead whisper of gold and jade.

föstudagur, júlí 13, 2007


The rain sounds and the waves slap. Diesel fume from the grinding screw drives our noisy, shallow-draft hull. Meantime, only the breath of that great, black body beside us can be heard. It blows vapor, draws air with a rush: a titan's bellows. It rises to the surface and slips back below, slick and silent, draught like a ghost, tail like a wing a parting salute.

þriðjudagur, júlí 03, 2007


I heard once that when the Allies bombed Dresden they overshot.

Bombing runs are dangerous also for the bombers. They are shot at from the ground. Inevitably, the sallies get shorter and shorter as the pilots turn sooner and sooner, and the de facto target drifts off its mark. The phenomenon is called creep-back. I'm not sure whether it's meant to be hyphenated.

The way to account for creep-back and assure that the majority of the bombs in fact hit the intended target is to set the official drop location further away from the bombers' point of departure. Apparently, there is some sort of algorithm for calculating the ideal location.

The tragedy at Dresden (a tragedy at Dresden) was that the Allies underestimated the discipline and courage of their pilots. They started out in the far suburbs of the city, and the bombing proceeded back to the city with with terrible slowness.

sunnudagur, júlí 01, 2007


Huge moon. It comes in the windows, first this one and then another. The dim outlines of everything are cast on the floor, creeping about their axes, sweeping moonwise not sunwise. One of the shadows making its circuit is spindly-legged and four-footed. I'll hear its toenails clicking all night.
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