Nights and days

On September 23 ten years had passed since the Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak and his colleagues at the Eritrean newspaper Seitit was imprisoned by the Afwerki regime. Today he is being held at the notorious “death camp” Eira Eiro outside of Asmara. The Isaak case has received enormous attention far beyond Sweden. We've asked two well-known Swedish poets, Ida Börjel and Lars Mikael Raattamaa, to write a poem in solidarity to Isaak. Poetry recognizes no borders at all.First out is Lars Mikael Raattamaa. 

September 23 2011 Lars Mikael Raattamaa

Located at a road crossing. There is a house in each one of the four corners where the roads meet. In the corner of each house is a place – store, restaurant, dance parlor, workshop, pillar foundation – as open against the roads as possible. All windows and doors are open. Shutters and sliding doors are pulled aside and folded away. All curtains and tarpaulins are rolled up or tied to the sides. Where the house is on pillars, the ground facing the road has been cleared. In each house there is a reader. If there are more than four readers they are standing in one group or more, in one corner or more. A; B; C; D. If any corner where the roads meet lack a house or another building the reader or readers stand on the ground. Where no roads meet, the readers stand in the crossing of two rivers, two railroads or two ropeways. The readers each read one of the words in the lines of four, however no crossed out words. Sometimes they read in time, sometimes out of time. Intonation, pitch, timbre and intensity vary throughout the reading. In the lines with only one word, or with more than four words, the readers read the words in unison, with differing or similar voices.

 

nails   fingers   eyes   ear

freed ome

needles   cords   lamp   water

f reeedom

grater   gums   toes   nose

fereedo m

plate   spray-can   lemon   thumb

efree dom

computer   light   door   window
nails   fingers   eyes   ear

freedoe m

back   tweezers   tendons   knives

fre ee dom

salt shaker   tongs   ankle   board
needles   cords   lamp   water
grater   gums   toes   nose

fer eedom

cigarettes   fire   instep   fingers

fr eeedo m

mixer   cheek   tooth   clips

freedo me

rocks   arms   clothes   bag
plate   spray-can   lemon   thumb

freeed om

carpets   strings   palm   cheese-slicer
computer   light   door   window

fe reedom

steel   nails   forks   heel

free doe m

wall   kneecap   batteries   light-bulbs
back   tweezers   tendons   knives
salt shaker   tongs   ankle   board

f ereedom

thigh   dogs   stomach   mouth
cigarettes   fire   instep   fingers

free doem

elbow   index finger   hair   bottom

fre eed om

drills   spoons   bottle   syringes
mixer   cheek   tooth   clips

freedo em

fabric   chins   flag   safety pin

fr ee edom

wheels   ropes   big toe   ankle bones
rocks   arms   clothes   bag
carpets   strings   palm   cheese-slicer

freeed om

cloth   music   foreheads   shoulder
steel   nails   forks   heel
wall   kneecap   batteries   light-bulbs
thigh   dogs   stomach   mouth

fe reedo m

shin   rib   breast   nipple
elbow   index finger   hair   bottom

free dome

radio   belt   girdle   hip
drills   spoons   bottle   syringes
fabric   chins   flag   safety pin

free dom e

knuckle   braids   eyelid   fork
wheels   ropes   big toe   ankle bones
cloth   music   foreheads   shoulder

freedo me

table   soil   walls   glass
shin   rib   breast   nipple

f ereedom

chair   dicks   coffee   hot plate
radio   belt   girdle   hip

fer eedom

navels   knee pit   cheek   knitting needles

freeed om

cabinet   dish  liquor   tongues
knuckle   braids   eyelid   fork

fr ee edom

mirrors   pen   necks   carver
table   soil   walls   glass

ef reedo m

eyebrow   ice   tub   shower

fr eedeom

fist   skull   faucet   pots
chair   dicks   coffee   hot plate

freed ome

noses   anus   skin   tongs
navels   knee pit   cheek   knitting needles
cabinet   dish   liquor   tongues

freeedo m

padlock   cardboard   calves   pump
mirrors   pen   necks   carver
eyebrow   ice   tub   shower

free dom e

hangers   hook   pots   groin
fist   skull   faucet   pots
noses   anus   skin   tongs
padlock   cardboard   calves   pump

freed eom

toilets   butter-knife   thermometer   throat
hangers   hook   pots   groin
toilets   butter-knife   thermometer   throat

free edom

armpit   skin fold   cunt   collar bone
armpit   skin fold   cunt   collar bone

f reedome

cups   scissors   pupils   saucer

free edom

tinplates   candle   elbow   head
cups   scissors    pupils   saucer

feree omd

strainer   palate   fingertips   little toe

f reee dom

mill   press   oil   pans
tinplates   candle   elbow   head
strainer   palate   fingertips   little toe

fre eed om

lid   phone   testicles   tape
mill   press   oil   pans
lid   phone   testicles   tape
earlobe   little finger   cheekbone   leg

free doem

earlobe   little finger   cheekbone   leg
bowl   teapots   rolling pin   shoehorn
hole punch   foot soles   shoulders   arch

fereed om

bowl   teapots   rolling pin   shoehorn

freedo em

hole punch   foot soles   shoulders   arch
pitcher   flashlights   lips   eyebrows

fe reedom

pitcher   flashlights   lips   eyebrows
feet   jaws   straw   cling wrap
cork   funnel   dough hook   ladles

freeed om

feet   jaws   straw   cling wrap

fr ee doem

cork   funnel   dough hook   ladles
barrels   sack   craniums   corner of the eye

freedo em

barrels   sack   craniums   corner of the eye

freed ome

f reeedom   fereedo m   efree dom   freedoe m

free ed om fer eedom fr eeedo m freedom e freeed om fe reedom free edo m f ereedom free doem fre eed om freedo em fr ee edom freeed om fe reedo m free dome free dom e freedo me f ereedom fer eedom freeed om fr ee edom ef reedo m fr eeedom freed ome freeedo m free dom e freed eom free edo m f reedome free edom feree omd f reee dom fre eed om free doem fereed om freedo em fe reed

(Translation Caroline Åberg)