tolo

 

TRANSLATED BY Julia Johanne Tolo

 

 

Tired, unquenchable, taut against a blanket of warm wool. Jitter like
heavy fire back and forth through my body, burning me dry.
All this time the tall clock keeps ticking, driving pieces of metal into unmoving arms, leaving sharp grains of marble under my eyelids.
The weight of my head against soft down, soon everything must tear. Fall soon. Streams of hot milk in my limbs, heavier than sea and mountain.

Sleep, right through a dense winter, wake up on the other side, open my eyes and walk out warm in melting snow.

60

 

Trøytt, usløkkeleg, spent ut over eit teppe av varm ull. Dirring som
tung eld fram og tilbake gjennom kroppen, brenner meg tom.
Heile tida tikkar den høge klokka, driv punkt av metall inn i urørlege
armar, legg skarpe korn av marmor på plass under augnelokka.
Vekta av hovudet mot mjuk dun, snart må alt revne. Falle snart. Det går
straumar av varm mjølk i lemmene, tyngre enn hav og fjell.

Sove, tvers gjennom ein tett vinter, vakne på den andre sida, opne augo
og gå varm ut i smeltande snø.

60

 


Paal-Helge Haugen is a Norwegian lyricist, novelist, dramatist and children’s writer. Haugen was born in Valle, Setesdal. He made his literary debut with Blad frå ein austleg hage (Leaves from an Eastern Garden) in 1965, a translation of Japanese haiku poems. It was shortly followed by På botnen av ein mørk sommar in 1967, an adaptation of Chinese poems and his first collection of original poetry. Studies in film and literature took him to the United States in 1971. From 1973-1978 he taught creative writing in Norway. Since then Haugen has worked as a freelance writer. Haugen has published eighteen volumes of poetry, including two volumes of selected poems and one of collected poems since 1967.

Julia Johanne Tolo earned her B.A. in Literature from The New School. Born in Oslo, Norway, she writes in Norwegian and English. She lives and works in New York and volunteers her time to Belladonna* and Electric Literature. Her English fiction, poetry and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in: Asymptote, Slice, 12th Street, Black and Blue Writing and other places.