Given that I’ve lived in Sweden since 2011, now is probably as good a time as any to acknowledge this fact by creating a Swedish version of my biography.
In addition, given that my chapbook Övergången (2011) contains 10 poems in English and Swedish, I’ve created new posts for the Swedish translations, all of which are listed on the På svenska page.
Thanks once again to Linda Bönström and Boel Schenlaer for providing the translations back in 2011.
I’ve also created a post for my poem ‘Fem kronor’, which is so far the only poem I’ve managed to write in Swedish all on my own, and which originally appeared in my digital chapbook Fem Kronor (2013).
In other Swedish-related news, I’ve recently re-started working on Åsa Strålande in Tantolunden, a novel-in-progress set in Stockholm. While my language skills are definitely basic, I’ve decided to persevere with the original idea of writing the majority of the dialogue in Swedish.
Hmm, time to re-enrol in SFI?
years since the gap first appeared between
the teeth of a little girl picking raspberries
from her mother's hand by the poisoned stream
a toxic tale of porcelain has traced its tiny
fingers round the lines on contour maps (& their
bedroom walls they stick our portraits & sit up
for haircuts while you look for lice (quivering
blue & the stream's ghastly handwriting etching
metallic notes each time it rains the flow oh-so
milky-white like a daughter's teeth it's nothing
or a politician's grin there's nothing to be done
we can't vote (can't even see the lead lies prone
at the bottom of the gulf between where we end
& everybody else's first-world problems begin
Despite the tranquil setting, Farstaviken is one of the most polluted bays in Sweden, thanks to the pollution caused by runoff from the (now closed) porcelain factory.
Residents of the area have been engaging in some community activism to halt the runoff but, so far, to no avail.
It’s all very depressing.
I ride or walk past the harbour in Gustavsberg every day. Depending on the season, the view is either electrifying or mediocre.
Guess which one this is?
I like to call it ‘Thaw’s Hammer’.
One of the strange but perhaps obvious beauties of the new social media confabulation is that platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be used by people across different timezones and locations in order to get together and share their thoughts on a particular issue. Like Eurovision.
In my case, I’ve occasionally dabbled in the weird world of the Facebook comment party, in which friends comment on a particular status update in order to produce a kind of rolling-thunder live-comment stream on a specific event.
One of my personal highlights was a live comment party I hosted during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, which received an astonishing 880 comments over the sheer agony of its two- (or was it four-) hour length.
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