mánudagur, júní 30, 2008


Spurningar lesnar á veggnum:
  • Leyndarmál?
  • Nýmálaður?
  • Hvar er mörgæsin?

sunnudagur, júní 29, 2008


Somehow they tip the whole city and everyone flows uphill and then over a little rise into a grassy bowl. Rivulets from everywhere. Hjólandi keyrandi labbandi. Eddies of seventeen-year-olds with green cans of Carlsberg swirling around Hlemmur and waiting to pour into the nr. 17. Innanbæjarmenn, utanbæjarmenn, foreigners, tourists, dogs.

The stage faces the hillside. The hill is full of people. They stand. Some sway. Their edges lap the fences. The music holds the flood of them up against the hill, and if the speakers did not pump out blasts of violin and voice and drum they would crash down against the stage.

But when the city tips back, flow around and out, down towards the harbor. They leave cans and papers and plastic behind. Children picked through the grass and carried the rubbish to the bins.

laugardagur, júní 28, 2008


rok og rigning
sól og blíða
himinn og jörð
haugur og heiðni
þú og ég

miðvikudagur, júní 25, 2008

í þess ljósi

It's all running together with no darkness between one day and the next. Somehow, I sleep every 16 hours or so. If I could remember my dreams I suppose I would know what day it is.

fimmtudagur, júní 19, 2008

berum orðum

They shot the second one yesterday. Now they are saying it wouldn't have survived its own rescue. It turns out that is was a she - not ísbjörn but ísbirna or ísbera, not Ófeigur but Ófeig, and at the end only feig. It is very sad.

There's a farmer up north who has dreamt of three, and so now we are waiting for a third great-footed, long-headed white ghost to pad up the beach. He says modestly that he is not especially berdreyminn, however -- not someone who has prophetic dreams with particular frequency.

The ber in berdreyminn is the bare of being uncovered. A berdreyminn maður has dreams that speak plainly and give up their meanings easily. They want to be understood. They hide nothing.

Snorri writes of Óðinn's select warriors: berserkir. Ber-sarks, ber-shirts. Snorri says they fought like animals, roaring and howling as they went into battle. He says iron did not bite on them and fire did not burn them, nearly invulnerable though they wore no armor. Thus the name. Snorri's etymology is no longer universally accepted. Berserkir looks rather like úlfheðnar - wolf coats. Imagine a man kitted out for shapeshifting.

I remain in hope that the farmer up north is proved berdreyminn after all and that his dream of bears comes true. I hope, too, that the third bear is truly ófeigur whichever etymology he prefers.

laugardagur, júní 14, 2008


  • kríugarg
  • piff
  • The wind through the metal slats of the sign on the east side of campus
  • NÚÚ-úú-ÚÚ-úú-ÚÚÚ--!
  • Other people's incoming text messages
  • The jerky hum of the rotating billboard by the pool
About that last one: A loop of illustrated plastic slides by under glass, stretched between two rollers like a closed-system window shade. There are maybe three advertisements in rotation, and as one shifts into view on the heels of another the thing whirrs and stops, whirrs and stops. It is a terribly lonely sound even on a bright summer day. I cannot put my finger on why.

föstudagur, júní 13, 2008

í fréttunum

Hvað getur maður sagt? For the first time this country inspires no rush of words, not in any language. The tongue is grown thick again, but that does not go very far to explain the strange sensation of having little to report, lítið að frétta. It may be a simple case of contagion. The locals, as always, segist ekki hafa neitt að frétta, svo sem. Það venjulega, bara. Sama gamla. The same people do the same things at the same times and nothing changes.

This is nonsense, however, as always. Parents are sick. The University is in upheaval. The economy is in spasm. Polish words now ring out over the everyday noise of the downtown. Car chases, of all things, are more frequent. All this is new and therefore potential news, but here news is fréttir not nyheter. Someone has to coax events into speech, ask and tell---frage, fretta, fritte---for anything to be news, and this is catching: You've crossed thousands of miles of surging sea, gone finally native, and segir ekkert að frétta heldur. But the natives have always been this way---það eru engar fréttir---no news of itself.

Go out to the headland to where the birds are and let them dive at your head. Maybe they will whisper something in your ear as they zoom by. Maybe you will find that you have something to say in return.

föstudagur, júní 06, 2008

vi blir fisk

Moving around out there in the dark they are giant fish, dorsal fins and tails lit from below. You are among them, not swimming but as if resting on the bottom. You are there a long time. When your own craft finally flaps up and away, banking left and right, you can see lights. Are they above or below? It is impossible to say. There: boats? No, things flying-swimming like giant phosphorescent fish. Now the plane rights itself and ships come into view in the direction that must be down--not the ships themselves but their lights made indistinct by the surface of the invisible water. Angler fish trolling. Everything nearly weightless, either because you are so, so sleepy after such a long wait or because you actually are in the heavy deep blackness of the sea.

sunnudagur, júní 01, 2008

á heiðinni

"'Sun and dark she followed him ... '"

"I know that song. It's--"

"And then 'he led her over the mountainside' ... but I don't know the next word, the name."

"Reynardine. It's Reynardine."

I wake up with a voice sore from straining for notes I cannot reach.
Hvaðan þið eruð