Featured Poem

Identity

His identity was always wandering, and though it
was as a lackadaisical dandy that we knew him first,
the old bottles filled with new wine:
then he was an actor, then half a poet,
later on a mechanic, in a motorcycle gang,
though only a minor cog in its design,
then a businessman, then with a (thinning) ponytail again,
appearing in constantly changing shapes.
But when drunk he very precisely with his knife
would carve into his arm his beloved’s name,
so that repeatedly, over two decades, it came
dripping onto the table, always the same,
the living letters a blood-red flame
welling from themselves, from the scar of her name.

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About the translation:
Poet:
Håkan Sandell
Translator:
Bill Coyle
Original language:
Swedish
Issue:
2014 Number 2 - Twisted Angels

About the author

Original poet

Håkan Sandell

Håkan Sandell was born in 1962 in Malmö, Sweden. He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, the most recent being 201...

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Translator

Bill Coyle

Bill Coyle's poems and translations have appeared in journals including the Hudson Review, PN Review and Poetry. His first boo...

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