Äidille, runo englanniksi / Poem to my Mother

Mother never taught me to be a good girl
So I faced the world with my fists up
Dirt under my fingernails
Teeth ground together so hard they could chip
Hair tangled by the same winds
that spun me around
when I was nothing but a tomboy
with scabbed knees

Mother taught me to stand my ground
In front of brutal words and savage acts
Every time I was kicked or beaten
Every time I was pushed on my knees
And when the winds changed
to blow me on my back
I got up teeth ground together so hard
they could chip
until I lost count and forgot how to fall

Mother taught me to stand my ground
when there was no ground to stand on
No more hope left, no more winds
I became a force of nature
A spark that could burn everything around me crisp and crackling

Mother gave me her thoughts, her spirit
Her heart to wear on my sleeve unprotected
No armor to cover it
No box to hide it
No lock to vault it
Pulsing like an open wound
Helpless, hopeless
like an uncontrollable force

Mother never taught me to bite my tongue
And between my hard ground teeth
I spat a four letter word
The gilded curse that echoes in the winds
over the city, across the ocean, through the fog
Able to save me or destroy me

Ystävänpäivästoori englanniksi / I Only Have Eyes for You – Valentine’s Day Story in English

Lyhyesti Suomeksi: En ole kovinkaan romanttinen sielu, joten tässä omaan tyyliini sopiva ystävänpäivätarina, tällä kertaa ainoastaan englanniksi, sillä ”I only have eyes for you” -fraasi toimii vähän huonosti Suomeksi. Tarina oli alun perin kyseisen lausahduksen ympärille rakennettu harjoitus.

Preface: I am not a very romantic person. So here is a Valentine’s Day story more suitable for me. Originally it was a prompt from a phrase “I only have eyes for you”.

Why the hell I had gone out with him? Sure he was good-looking and charming but also arrogant and old-fashioned in so many ways. And on top of that he was a wizard – maybe the most powerful one in Europe. We had dinner in a fancy restaurant and walk in the park. Nothing extreme, just ordinary and pleasant. He took my hand and gazed into my eyes. “You know I only have eyes for you”, he said. I guess I wouldn’t have smiled so wide if I had known what he was talking about. One year later, after the peculiar wedding ceremony and some bizarre wows, I was still indignant of his collection. Jars after jars full of salty liquid and eyeballs of all the magical creatures he had captured on his journeys. “The eyes are the mirror of their souls”, he said, and put me in charge of dusting the jars. And every time I looked at those glooming eyeballs I had to do a little soul mirroring myself and ask the question: Why the hell I had gone out with him?

My head is a Jukebox – short story in English

Voit lukea novellin suomeksi täältä.

(I wrote this short story a long time ago in Finnish but felt like trying to translate in English too. I always use music when I write, so I guess this story was originally born from there.)

No, this does not mean I’m gone crazy.

Stop prattling. Tell about us!

Quiet please, we agreed that I will tell the story. Sorry about that. This is sometimes a bit hard. You will understand after I have explained some backgrounds of this story. I am just an ordinary guy, bachelor of arts. I have a stupid underpaid job that kills all my creativity and just enough friends to prove that I’m not a hermit. I wear jeans and sweaters, I go to a cheap barber shop to cut my hair and I do change socks and boxers every day. I got a mustache.

This explains a lot, especially the mustache.

Do not care about them, they tend to be a handful sometimes. You know how rock stars are. But let’s get back to the story. Once upon a time I met a girl and fell in love. She was a dancer, and she wanted everything to be like a movie. You know the type. When we went on a date everything was supposed to happen in certain ways, like following the script. When we had sex she wanted the lighting to be perfect. As we walked down the street, she wanted to create the right atmosphere. There had to be drama, comedy, and romance.

I do not like movies. We broke up. She thought I was boring, too ordinary.

You actually were boring at that time.

I was depressed, even though it didn’t make any sense. I really don’t like movies.

But you like music.

But I like the music. My taste in music is very eclectic, but I still dare to claim that no good music has been made since the 80s. The early 90s disco pop I can still understand but everything made after that is just a pathetic shit or reminds me of flavorless strawberry chewing gum.

I used to buy records, but then I became an art student and I had to take tons of student loan. So I sold all my records. I got a good prize from some of the vinyl but CDs I had to sell cheap. Nowadays it doesn’t piss me out that bad anymore.

Sometimes I thought about the girl (who lived in the movies which I didn’t like) and wondered if she was happy. Did she walk in the riverbank slowly and pensive like there was a camera following her? Did she sit on the corner table of a café and pan sharply through the people who had become the supernumeraries in her scene. I really wanted to know how to be that happy.

Then you found us!

Do not go ahead. So, I was in a situation where I no longer had my records, but I still was in debt. I wasn’t happy and I still thought about the girl, the one who loved the movies. I was anxious and took a walk on the riverside, trying to imagine cameras and lamps and a director who asked me to be more relaxed, less worried, little bit ruminative. It made me even more anxious. And then I heard the song. After a beautiful intro, Ann Wilson’s gorgeous voice began to tell the story about loneliness.

I looked around, but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. People walked by with lifted jacket collars and tensed expressions on their faces. No one else seemed to hear the song, but in my ears, it just got louder and louder. When the chorus filled my head I felt a tremendous liberating passion inside me. My footsteps found their way to the rhythm of the song, the lyrics made me feel the moment in a brand new way. It was me and the music. My music. I still didn’t like movies but now everything became an endless playlist.

In the morning when I wake up, the music gives me a hint of what the day will be like. AC/DC’s T.N.T. is all about fighter spirit. Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley often says that day is getting worse, and if I hear Kaseva I know it’s not worth getting up from the bed at all. The music I do my work with includes Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and sometimes even something classical. In a grocery store, I tend to shop with some light Finnish schlagers. The boring convenience food tastes much better when it is enjoyed with songs from Rauli Badding. If I ever find a woman (who loves music more than movies) I want to make love to her inspired by Madonna’s Like a Virgin and later with the passion of Bryan Adams’ Heaven.

My whole life is built with a steady flood of music. Just like if there would be a radio or jukebox inside of me, but without the annoying commercials or hosts. News I can watch from TV if I need to know what is going on with the world. But mainly I live from the music and the music lives in me.

But that’s not all. Tell them what happened then. Tell them about us.

All right, all right. Then my internal playlist became a bit more than just background music. I met them all. They came to visit, so to say. Ozzy Osbourne’s articulation is sometimes impossible to follow, but otherwise, they are pretty good guys. Quite relaxed. They hang out with me on nights and keep me company at work and when I’m jogging. They sleep with me, travel with me. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but I really do like music.

We have fun times together, we must admit.

I started to jog because the Survivor required me to do so. When I get sick Chrissie Hynde takes care of me. On a date, I’m a perfect gentleman, thanks to Marie and Per. In social situations, I act cool, because Sambora and Santana got my back. When I drive Michael Jackson is usually there with me, but deeper conversations I like to have with Sting or Bono.

You no longer need a woman who likes movies. And you are not lonely anymore.

I do not want anything anymore, that’s right. I know studies that show how music makes good to a person. Keeps brain activity virulent. Makes you stronger. Makes you happy. When people have music, they don’t need anything else.

But this doesn’t mean I’m gone crazy. It just means that I have started to live.