These poems written in December during my first trip to Iceland, a place I fell in love with.
The photos were taken with a Zenit camera without any computer modifications.
Four in the morning,
Linus takes us to the darkened streets
the black lie, sólsetur in icelandic.
mischief in Reykjavik
the Logreglan drives by
we check out great grafitis.
Two Straight Edge kids,
we have vegan biscuits
they’re kinda stale but they’re sweet.
Only one guy out in the streets,
Linus says he wants to sell us weed :
we laugh. We’re going dumpster diving.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and if it ain’t he goes crazy.
We’ve been driving on the icy road for an hour now
with yellow road markers as our sole companions.
Tiny villages appear below,
the houses, framed by Christmas lights
appear like kids’ drawings on the snow.
Everything’s frozen : the ground, tractors, rivers and the sounds around,
only the navy blue waves move in the fjords, where the earth drops from the road.
They swell the suface of the ocean,
they slowly head towards the shore, where the white wind blows on black rocks.
I look at the waves for a while and then : NOTHING.
A power cut on the gigantic icelandic TV screen : NOTHING.
White earth, white sky, white cliff.
The markers succeed firmly on each curve and lead us to a tunnel.
We are welcomed by the lights of an epileptic construction truck
in that tight tube punched in the rock that blinks in the morning.
The rock that looks like cardboard inside, like a ghost train set.
Its arch is mirrored infinitely…
yellow lights reel by
and the neon spine lights our way
and lights our way
and lights our way
and lights our way…
On the other side, Iceland reappears.
Like the fair eyes of our driver in the rear wiew mirror
he speaks the names of the fjord between english words :
It seems soft compared to the flow i hear in the streets
these sounds that surround my stranger’s ears
are like the hard black rocks sticking out of the snow
here and there and everywhere.
Again we glide on the white road
that distrorts in waves of white dust.
Those smoky effects and our early wake up make me daydream…
I hear cigarettes hiss in the snow tossed by the hands of beautiful girls
and handsome young men outside a club,
my steps, slow and deep, careful not to slip on the icy streets
and the lost looks of these steady characters that i admire as a rare race,
the working class houses that have no dates on their façades
only pollution marks and christmas lights
in the day that is just a glow cause the sun won’t show ;
and the hidden rows behind the harbour or the church.
The car stops.
Pale blue sky and the white Earth.
Five meters away : barbed wire and a fence ladder that invites us.
In the city of Akureyri
the youth drives round and round the blocks…
Like you don’t understand what they say,
you don’t realize it but they do,
round and round the clock
in the night that comes in the day.
They spend their money on soda pops and carrot cakes
and on gas to circle the streets of their old hometown.
They don’t race, they go slow
Like fish in a fishbowl.
They flash their headlights when they meet friends
they wave and shout when they meet friends
and round and round they’re gone again.
You’re lame if you got back lights on
and you play music on the radio just like any yougster would…
Runtur is a merry go round of bored youth in small cars,
cruising innoncence before the drinking age.
Ravens glide above like Rimbaud’s Corbeaux
black and bored.
If i was one of them, would i swoop on these fish
or just watch them go ?
Anthony Ghilas, Dijon, France