The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2020

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MAR 2020 Issue

5 poems from Summer

To write a poem about violence
while towers collapse is my scam
a summer scam I do it
while drinking milk of paradise
out of a rifle
but I have to get rid of it
the rifle before the party starts
the party of no
to enter undervärlden you need
a picture of yourself with a noose
with a violent leaf in your mouth
that's childhood this is
my idiot arms I’m holding a child
I’m reading the captions
I'm carrying flowers
each one represents a massacre
each infant represents mimicry
I have döttrar inside
the abbatoir I miss them
men jag är inte längre rädd
in my mirror reflections I drink
the milk of a thousand bulllets
I massacre language
my wife says you're anti-orpheus
she also says she is writing
ransom notes for my liberation
come and get me I'm home
I'm exterminating home I'm eating
the seeds of summer
I’m reading captions drinking koolaid
it's hard to write it's hard to dance
with a baby’s breath

I live under the threat
of tusenskönor everywhere I go
is growing june on stalks
you sit in your painting
the tree wants to kill me
syrenerna involve me in doomed
bodies the rabble has grown quiet
in the house where my children play
I can't hear what they are
humming I'm in the underworld
with syrenerna barnen
want me to speak with summer lips
prata med oss
med sommarläppar
I can only speak with an obscene kimono
I tell it to burn as I light my lighter
I have its carcass as my plan
it is mimicry again it floods me
med liljor as I write dikter
in the underworld the overworld
writes tyranny with its beaks
I use the kimono to set fire
to its evil tree
tusenskönor skönor skönor

Nobody will be fooled if I bring back
the Bellmer photos
or the death ride with a thousand
beautiful passports showing
my cheekbones to the carcass sun
I'm writing poetry for veterans
of foreign wars
such as the war against pöbeln
or the war against breathing
the song against not breathing
goes like this I'm trying
the song against war
goes like this I'm writing a poem
for the venom it's taking effect
I play a song about kroppen
it goes like this it's teeming
I'm shooting a rifle
inside a tunnel this is the inside
song about poetry
I belong to the winter palace
take me to the street
named assassination my childhood
is covered with ett tusen rosor
it is extinction
we are celebrating the end
med allt det där röda
it was softness that I hated
with all my mouth and all my tongues
I was in debt to it so I burned it
down and wrote a song
about murdering millionaires

The rabble wants to tear apart
my shitty orpheus mask
because I hate more purely
than they do when I write Poetry
for the Masses I make a million
dollars I pay it to know what
is happening to my mouth
it's not good what is happening
to my mouth is not good the seeds
taste like levothyroixine
they are pomegranate seeds
the rabble tells me what is
happening to my body
it's skulden sommaren är min
men skulden är din för du läser
I want this poem to be anti
matter but it is more beautiful
under matter under ground under
the poisoned trees the pills
are lavender and shaped
like tears I am watching the lilacs
do their thing to my matter
I'm a child of film I melt it
and play it while I sing
a song about a million dollars
to pay my debt I perfect my crime
the pills taste like liquorice
the sun tastes terrible in
the butterfly pavillion I hate
the sun and want to kill it
with klangdikten dessa klangdikter
are kill poems for my daughter
they are love poems for my
daughter my deader I need to pay
my debts for the brave new
world where I can betray you

What is the buzzing
is it flowers I feed
my daughter what is a radio
when the sound comes out
of my ugliest mouth
when my daughter is deader
when her baby’s breath
is the wrong flower
when the vascular anatomy
fails I tell the police
about innocence but rats
have gotten to the angels
and the pollen has scattered on
my face my ugliest face
and on the face of the rabble
the ugliest rabble
who are no longer people
I’m no longer people
I steal my daughter
she wears a mask a breathing
mask when I picture her
she can’t speak
when I listen to her
she speaks ett främmande
språk a mechanical rhyhtm
it’s her breathing I want
poetry to be a protest
against sommarens oskuld
against its debt the mother
debt mothers against
daughters mothers against
daughters daughters against
innocence rabble against
lilacs Giovanni against
all the garbage in the sun
Giovanni against the sun


Johannes Göransson

Johannes Göransson is the author of eight books, including Transgressive Circulation: Essays on Translation and POETRY AGAINST ALL, and the translator of several more, including Sense Violence by Helena Boberg. Together with Joyelle McSweeney he edits Action Books.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2020

All Issues