Aase’s work is filled with an overwhelming sense of exploration and discovery, which is always a rare experience, in any kind of text. Her prose pieces are powerful and scandalous.

We Thread Up Lizards

We are going to gather lizards. Lizards that glow red in the flood sheen. We are going to place them next to the wax girl’s body while she sleeps in a deep trance. The big iron pounds. We are going to gather lizards for the night. Adrian hates me. Adrian hates me, he hates himself against me, I feel lightning, I carry flood. The skin stone gnaws hard. We are going to pick lizards; we are going to thread lizards on a long strong poison thread. Out there song lakes wait open blue. All beautiful eyes watch us from the trees: the glass animals awaken. We are going to catch lizards: glass lizards, red pearl lizards, and place in a pattern for the night.
Now! Now! We see one of the blood corpses with a bundle of lizards in its mouth. It has happened. How can we now live? How can we live?
For we will now no longer gather lizards.


The sun bladder hangs high and red: the fever scrotum weighs heavy. The trucks roar down below, the mastiff dog gurgles and growls and tugs at its chain, and it seems like the metals of this powerful city are exploding with anxiety. The amphibians suffer burned and flayed in the hangars, and we hear their shrill throat sounds. The substances are fermenting, the throats are corroding and bubbling, things are rumbling and crumbling behind us. Adrian is carrying the blind snake patiently cautiously in the muddy palms of his hands. Out of a slit in the wool, pink flesh is glowing. But we walk dazzlingly toward the still-smoking planet that lies torn and crushed by the wall ruin at the edge of the city. In the harbor, the heavy ships sing and the steel chafes screams. The oil the magma boils slowly in the basins, the cisterns. Adrian carries the blind snake and maybe he smiles. We walk outward and he maybe smiles.

Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Goransson

Aase Berg is one of the most important young poets in Sweden right now. She’s got four books out. She’s the editor of BLM, a leading literary journal, and Vertigo, a publisher of pornographic writings, and she frequently writes articles for national newspapers and journals. She’s a founder of the surrealist group “Det Stora Saltet” (“The Great Salt”). Johannes translations of her poems have previously been published in Bitter Oleander, Conduit and Skidrow Penthouse, and they will soon be published by Octopus on the web. (From La Petite Zine)

These poems have been published online at Double Room and La Petite Zine (www.webdelsol.com)