lördag 19 december 2015

The devil's song comes with a chilly twist

  Efter lång väntan fick jag tag i de två återstående böckerna som var planerade för rubriken "Split this rock". 
  I kväll lyssnar vi till djävulens radio, vår värd är Jacob Rakovan. Han är fullständigt okänd för mig och boken "Devil's Radio" är hans debutverk. 
  Jag brukar inte varna vuxna läsare för att läsa en viss typ av texter, men jag kan säga så mycket att Rakovans texter innehåller inte många ljusglimtar.


The river is for drowning girls (first part), by Jacob Rakovan
(from The devil's radio. Portland, Oregon : Small Doggies Press, 2013.)

Every song says it's true. Hair blooms in the cold current.
The little fish rise like angels to meet them.
They go down in the dark
in the good, black mud.
They roll, white-eyed through brown water.
Arms out in benediction.
Fish-pale bellies and breasts like a basement full of mushrooms
roots and blind things.

They say there are catfish big as Volkswagens near the dam,
that divers come up and never go down again.
They say when drought drops the water low enough
the old carved stones break the surface.

... and only say that you'll be mine
and in no other's arms entwine
down beside where the waters flow
down by the banks of the Ohio

Ohio River Bridge at sunset

Here, once, they humped the earth
like new dug graves in the shape of serpents
eggs, moons, wheels and bears.
Buried bones, copper axes, obsidian hands.
The river is for drowning girls.
Every song says it's true.



  Om jag tillåter mig själv att ha en favorit bland dessa mörka dikter, får det bli följande dikt "Arcadia" - som först publicerades i Mirror Dance.
  Mirror Dance är en nättidskrift med kvartalsutgivning som har specialiserat sig inom fantasigenren för såväl fiktion, poesi som konst. Deras första utgåva publicerades 2008.

Arcadia, by Jacob Rakovan
(from The devil's radio. Portland, Oregon : Small Doggies Press, 2013.)

You queen of the flowering dark come crawling
from mud, a supplication of satellites.
Lily in the graveyard, flight of doves.
You are the skin's book
the dance of farmwives on the mountain.

I am black gravepit.
Bonepile and ash, knife edge
black goat and cockerel, blood in the furrow.
I am terror, and slaughter of lambs
The winter's teeth.

Build fires of old doors, unloved books
Unsent letters, linen closet of ghosts.
Let her come pale out of dark.
Her bones, her flowers, green tendrils twist from cold mud.
Flowering bulbs, swollen and strange, a wolf's purse.

A man, standing on a mountaintop in the right light
throws his shadow on the clouds, a Colossus.

Crown him, wrap him in hides
Still I know him, let them dance back to back
In the dark, still I know them
Bring your book, devil, your stained turnips, your black wine

John Coulthart:

Turn the world over and burn it down
the rotted scraps of history in an atomic singularity,
a bonfire of yesterdays.

Still I know you, cold May morning sun
Lonely shepherd, scarecrow on a stick
Crown of black-winged birds.

Here is a dish of milk in the hedgerow.
Here is a twist of salt in your pocket.
Here is iron and bright silver.
a rhyme against the dark
a prayer for spring.


  Jag avslutar med en fantasifylld dikt som har en 'touch' av humor. Den har fått sin titel från Dick Clark (1929-2012), legendarisk amerikansk programledare och TV-producent.

Dick Clark, by Jacob Rakovan
(from The devil's radio. Portland, Oregon : Small Doggies Press, 2013.)

It is New Years Eve in the city of the dead
and they are playing all your favorite records
the 45s your sisters broke, your grandfather's box
of 78s that burned with the house.
The tape unspooled in your first car.

When the ball drops, it is the sun itself
going down into the wintry dark.
The dead stand crowded in the street
The cold blows ticker tape through them

He is the oldest teenager,
His teeth reflect the borrowed light
like the moon's silver
and the kids twist

He plays the unsaid apologies,
plays all the thrown away declarations of love
the burned letters, the swallowed words.
He is officiate of this rite,
and without him, the world has lost a priest
for the living, the years have stopped
rock and roll, contrary to expectation, has died.
In the city of the dead, they stay up late.

Let's twist again, like we did last summer

and you taste it in your mouth
cicadas and lemon, wild Irish rose
crackle of the radio.

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