sunnudagur, nóvember 29, 2009


Standing there (and a little later, lying on our bellies to peer over) it became clear that Niflheimr, that realm of mists, is not below us but north (as are many other strange places), and that sometimes it may creep a little southward, even in daylight.

mánudagur, nóvember 23, 2009


fimmtudagur, nóvember 19, 2009


The heavy door of the inevitable swings on it, the anything but unforeseen event, and all afterwards arcs towards you, nothing in its way able to offer resistance. That is the way it is.


I'm talking on the phone when it gutters finally out, but that's alright. I saw it go.

þriðjudagur, nóvember 17, 2009


I hadn't meant to be awake, but I was. This to no avail, though: no sky for the dingy clouds.

I always thought of the Perseids as mine. We'd lie on the blanket on the sand and stare up, hopeful. It was August and cold from ocean wind. (Daytime was hot, nevertheless, and full of scrub forest blueberries.) Sometimes we saw a few streaks and flashes, moving pinpricks. I remember being impatient and chilly and grumbling internally that I seemed never to have been looking in the right direction, always hearing the Oh! a split second too late. But sometimes even I saw them, zooming wing-shod near the zenith.

The Leonids have been yours for years now. There were clouds here and the gray-mauve light of the downtown besides. Perhaps I was merely looking in the wrong direction and too late. On Suðurnes they saw it three days ago, so bright they thought it must be something much greater than a falling star.


People furrow their brows and correct me, but it is a good word and not unattested (ekki ódæmt) in the old language. I see no reason not to use it. Fádæmt is fair enough, and eindæmt. I have seen it rendered as unexampled, which is perfect. It, too, is not a word that strikes the English speaker's ear without announcing its own archaism. What to do with such words? Give them up (at least in public) to sound more like the living natives or enjoy their contours but sound hopelessly twee? Tveir kostir og hvorki góður.

sunnudagur, nóvember 15, 2009


Raw red lentils in a green-glazed bowl. This is one of the transient pleasures of mouse-proofing the ground-floor cabinets. Everything that might, even through crinkly plastic, attract the attention of the little nibblers must be re-stored in tooth-defying glass. Beans, grain, flour, raisins, linguini. Everything sifted out of its original packaging (all the boxes flattened and stacked and slid into one of the brown grocery bags that originally bore them home) and put into jam jars, pickle jars, mustard jars, tomato sauce jars. Red lentils now in the bowl, now pouring them into the former habitation of long-gone sauerkraut. Put them by the chickpeas, barley, black beans, orzo. Shut the doors. Imagine the mice returning after midnight to find a museum of food, all the exhibits safe behind glass.

mánudagur, nóvember 09, 2009

tristes arctiques

They say we've moved on from his ideas (which we I am not sure, but people keep implying to me that it should include me), but I still find that meanings arise most in the interstices, the gaps between pairs of things we thought we knew.

I heard his voice on the radio a year ago while I clattered the tools of culture against each other in the kitchen and brought my savage raw potatoes to a boil on the stove: He was saying something about no longer being so fond of the world. Perhaps the next one will provide fresh (yet delicately prepared) food for new thoughts.
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