Poems of bog, lake and troll: all of it

Recap: I’ve just finished traversing Finland, Sweden and Estonia, writing a poem a day.  Blog post for day one of the trip can be found here.

Writing from: Belligham, Washington, Cascadia (aka home)
Poems written in: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvija.

Poems of bog, lake and troll: all of it

(archive: Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20/21, 22/23, 24, 25/26, 27, 28, 29, 30,31)


Cities that are mountains that are the scattered bones
Of faeries
Of ice that is cloud.

I’ve never seen a current not puckered
by the sun not injected with a clock
the size of a mite, gnawing, gnawing
at you until you realize you still don’t know
where the hel you’re going to sleep tonight.


1.5 hours of shut eye, 12 in the air, 3 counties, 3 hours in the streets of Helsinki–we look like hobos not tourists, 15 minutes of Borat, 30 of AVATAR, 10% of a zombie apocalypse, a few hundred pieces of the world’s crunchiest cereal, 2 apples 1 banana, a taste of buffalo jerky, 2 things I can’t remember, hugs, farewells, 2 security checks, 6 hours of sleep, ? attempted hours of sleep, 1 bar of Luna (not the 14 year old cat) and 2 hostels later I have found a bed.


To make grape beer:
Just uproot the whole damn vine
Stuff it in a reindeer stomach
Let it rot awhile
Puncture stomach
Add carbonated water


You can come home to a place you’ve never been.

the man who pulled the trigger
that killed the robot’s brain
that he has a home, too. That he
when his heart touches his lovers lips.


[currently on-submission]


Her hair is the copper of pennies
his head is shaved.
Coins drop and shiver against the old wood.
The hotel has no reception
just a bar.

Ember light
the sort that makes her look like a bloodstained Freja
the sort that makes him nervous.

Eighty two euros, he says.  And it comes with breakfast.
(stay please)

Three soft folded prisms is all she has.
I don’t have enough, she says.

She opens the door, moonsilver drenches her.
The door closes, he picks up the coins.

If only ribcages didn’t exist, she could keep
warm.  She wishes she could crawl inside
nestle against his lungs.

The bus doesn’t leave till morning, but she has no key
no money.

She lies down under the trees, with the beer cans and dead leaves
while he polishes his coins, wondering if they’re keys.


[currently on-submission]


Stockholm is it’s own kind of hell:
MCDONALDS hunts down four year olds
them bitter apples
brands their bellies with the molten arches.


Sacred are the pancakes
I will never eat
the alpine strawberry yogurt I did eat that only cost 6.90 kronar
mosquito-less tents
and perfect circles of moss.


I have nothing to say other than chocolate tastes really good in the rain and that
Sweden has its own thunderbirds
the color of crushed pigeons and frost.


80s obsessed
red yarn dreds
cycle hordes
dirty blonde metalhead with a shopping bag
(plaid the same color as snow, cherry stains and fish eyes)
holding hands
black and white tights by Escher
cheap food


Lake trolls are similar to kappa, but with eyes along their spines
which they use to see as they glide beneath the water.  They have eyes for aureoles
eyes on their kneecaps and even their skin can detect the kicking legs
of swimmers
The falling bodies of drowners
Lake trolls like especially to pull out the large artery in the thigh and suck it
into their snag-toothed mouths like fresh lakeweed
smacked between their wormlips.


[currently on-submission]


I could survive a cruise maybe one week, before jumping ship.
Suspended in ocean I would learn to dance.
A drunk Swede would interrupt the sway
trading bubbles of dialogue with anemones and arctic char
then post it all in youtube the next day.


10:00 – 2 showers 12 hours.
(when backpacking in Europe, take advantage of shower heads)

10:20 – twenty plastic cups and an empty bottle

1:20 – smoked salmon dumplings

3:20 – majestic beer? No, majestic bear. (49 euros)

3:50 – Siim encounter i

5:00 – Siim encounter ii
(the smell of an Italian woman after 6 months of asafetida and cow piss.

Late night in Tartu – like the Crebain, hundreds of Estonian crowthings interlock their wings to make night.

CNN in Estonia

The Tea Party on masturbation


Horse with a hide of stars
balks before the bridge
but I cross every bridge, no matter
how I want to go home.

You can’t go home when your planet’s gone.




She ate the petals off the rose you gave her
at the dungeon
Stalin was in a turret, on his back
eyes melting as mercurial replacements just pulled from the fire
pressed into his sockets.

The joker had a sunset face
a white matted mane
a compass that never pointed the same direction


Barrels of soolakurk, pickles
blonde-haired heads ready for transplantation
sauerkraut a kegger of bog
jawbones, tongues full of burrowing larvae.


Tradition says to make the nest from witchhair, mud
reindeer piss.
Seal it in troll stench and honey, amber, then ice
and place it on a green hill in Ireland.


5 hours of terror
she can’t breathe in the tent
water worms up between her lashes
they look for you they can’t find you
where where where
besafe besafe besafe
the encampment has been carved of stars
white dwarves and dead ones

Then he’s there, head hanging
strings cut can’t hold himself up.

This is what eating thieves does to you.

22 part 2

A piper smoking a pipe
blue tattoos under his toenails
green ones writhe on his eyelids.
His lover has a blonde mane of porcupine
quills spilling down from his skull.


[currently on-submission]


Her home had walls of greying firewood, inside
she named her television sister
her microwave mother
her computer lover.
The graveyard outside was obviously ghost.


You can’t control yourself with smoked herring.
Instead, pin your tongue to the roof of your mouth
with a fork
your fingers to the table with the claws of the majestic bear.


The Guide has this to say about Mexican pizza made by Turkish Kurds:
(Almost) spicy.


Our spines are fused now
and you
say I don’t want to.
You can’t go back, not with daggers in your mouth
you can’t
spit them out.


War cries and sunset stained skin
I dream of home


The hostel was chrome-scaled with a dying grin
Cheshire and head-splitting
hearts and spades carved in its teeth.



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