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Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson
Published: Mon Oct 25 2021
Leads

The humidity, the heat,
the contourless smell,

the sharpness of the ur-eyes,
loudly braying, distorted and
wrong

The nose holes
open and close
in lightgrainy night games

Heavy steam,
garlands, tentacles,

skeletons in line
vertebrae after vertebrae
the conductive thread
of an invisible life-form
Light loops
in a cipher
of pixels

And the horn’s membrane
a milkgreen lens
not a thin skin
that nobody can touch
Do we have lungs
or gills

The zeitgeist doesn’t fit
in the gills of time

It doesn’t help to have
a fixed target
Not even Cambrium
works as bone glue

 

Aase Berg has published twelve books of poetry and prose. The most recent to appear in English are Hackers (Black Ocean, 2017) and Dark Matter (Black Ocean, 2013), both translated by Johannes Göransson. Berg has received, among other honors, the NC Kaserpreis (Germany) and Aftonbladet’s annual book prize. The poems in AGNI 94 are from her next collection, Aase’s Death, still forthcoming in her native Sweden. (updated 10/2021)

Johannes Göransson is the author of ten books—including Summer (Tarpaulin Sky Press, due 2022) and The New Quarantine (Inside the Castle, due 2023)—and the translator of poetry collections by Ann Jäderlund, Helena Boberg, Kim Yideum, and Eva Kristina Olsson, most recently Olsson’s The Angelgreen Sacrament (Black Square Editions, 2021). He is associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and, together with Joyelle McSweeney, edits Action Books. (updated 10/2021)
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