miðvikudagur, apríl 25, 2007


I remember she hated beets. No, she didn't hate anything, not even earthworms when they suddenly appeared in the scape of her gardening trowel. But she didn't like beets. She would usher them to the edge of the salad plate with the tines of her fork. She said they were too sweet.

Oddly, I've grown to like them. I eat them with raw onions and mustard dressing, but I don't suppose that I'm fooling anybody.

þriðjudagur, apríl 24, 2007


Thunder is coming. The forerunner of rain -- the vardøger, fylgja, fetch -- has already entered without knocking. Vapor of rain. It's wafted in like someone else's soul abroad in the world (ML 4000; E721.1). It's a good smell. It is a challenge to the frantic early-summer scents that trail cacophonous chattering in their wakes. Perhaps they are good and bad angels.

mánudagur, apríl 23, 2007


She looks for him there anyway.

fimmtudagur, apríl 19, 2007

þrjú lög

Þrjú lög í tilefni stórbrunans í miðbæ Reykjavíkur:
Horfðu á Mánann
Eldur í öskunni leynist
Ó borg, mín borg
Ég var akkúrat að hlusta á Hauk Morthens og hugsa tilbaka til borgar fortíðarinnar, sveitar fortíðarinnar, gamla Íslands sem ég fékk aldrei kynnast á annan hátt en í bókum og söngtextum, en sem ég sakna eins og maður saknar afa síns sem dó áður en maður var fæddur.

þriðjudagur, apríl 17, 2007


I didn't hear the shots from here. They were too far away, and I was upstairs and behind a door. But when I walked outside I heard the echoes.

sunnudagur, apríl 15, 2007


Who are you? You've gone around the other side of the gray trunk, but not before I got a look at you. Bright eyes. Trim black beak. Herringbone jacket. Smart red cap. Melanerpes carolinus, yes! How nice to see you here too.

laugardagur, apríl 14, 2007


In Old Norse legal texts, a law that obtains everywhere is valid even "as far North as a Finn stands on a ski."

And there, things are:

dáppe here by me
dieppe there, over by you
duoppe over there
doppe way over there

The o gets longer and longer and the place gets further and further away. Doooooooooppe.

fimmtudagur, apríl 12, 2007

a warning may be needed



þriðjudagur, apríl 10, 2007


Just now I try to think of some Norse cognate for narrow. Strand is strönd of course. All strands in my North are narrow, but I find no narrow there. Can that be?

It seems so. West Germanic and nothing else: *narwaz. And "of unknown origin" yet. Did this word just wash up one day on one side or another of what I've just learned were called the narrow seas? Would the Dutch be nauwstrand? I've made that up, and I hate it when other people botch that kind of thing. And could there ever be a narrow Netherlandish strand? It seems unlikely in that low land.

All this because I am tired, because for a moment I cannot recall where I am.

mánudagur, apríl 09, 2007


Tonight will not lie flat. It must be pounded and felted, waulked and fulled if it is to be any use at all. I understand that this is women's work; the men should be chased from the room if they dare to look in at all.

sunnudagur, apríl 08, 2007

AT 1676 b

Told by Anna van de Weij in Joure, Frisland in 1892:

Er was eens een jongen die bij zijn makkers als zeer driest bekend stond. Allerlei waagstukken had hij reeds voor hen uitgevoerd. Zijn grootste daad zou echter zijn, als hij te middernacht, een spijker op een kerkhofspaaltje durfde slaan. Ook dat durfde hij. 's Nachts om 12 uur gaat hij gewapend met een hamer naar het kerkhof. Het moet gezegd worden, op dat uur, alleen op den doodenakker te gaan, 't werd hem wel wat bang om 't hart. Met zenuwachtige haast slaat hij een spijker in het paaltje, en keert zich terstond om om het op een loopen te zetten, maar o wee, hij kan niet, hij meent dat hij door een doode vastgehouden wordt en valt van schrik dood neer. Hij had een slip van zijn jas mee vastgespijkerd.
nr. CBOEK102

What a treasure trove is to be found in the Nederlandse Volksverhalenbank. I stumbled over it by accident, read into the wee hours, and was sure to mark my place before leaving.

föstudagur, apríl 06, 2007

góðan daginn

Hello! Hello. The tiny lick of air between the end of your muzzle and my hand is humid, and I can feel on my skin how velvety your lips and chin are even though you do not quite touch me.

fimmtudagur, apríl 05, 2007


At night she lies on her back to wait for sleep. She rests the knobs of her thumb joints beside the points of her hips and lets the backs of her arms sink against the bed. The cords of her neck slacken; her legs fall gently open. Her breath deepens and slows.

When sleep comes he comes up from the foot of the bed. He pauses a moment to look at her face before he slides up over her and lowers his weight onto her body.

þriðjudagur, apríl 03, 2007


It is not spring lightning. It is only radio masts flashing a-rhythmically.

mánudagur, apríl 02, 2007


til og með
af og frá
með og án
við og við
með og á móti
af og til
norður og niður
út og suður
Hvaðan þið eruð