Anja Høvik Strømsted, “Darth Vader-eskalasjonen” (The Darth Vader escalation), poetry, 2012, Oslo
“The Darth Vader Escalation” is an experimental poetry book where classical literature and popular culture meet in fresh fusion. The title figure Darth Vader carries many times and many myths and the poems connect this times game and movie world with old myths. While earlier literary journeys often went into the earth, they here goes into cyberspace, in the game world and in new shapes. The texts seem to have been born in our sampling, recycling time. They open up for the arbitrary, creates a room where the language can fall as it falls. The letters and words are stumbling and leans on each other and enables uncontrolled transformations and metamorphoses.
“Anja Høvik Strømsted’s best poems create joy and expectations. … Høvik Strømsted writes strikingly convincingly original – also when she doesn’t succeed. We are dealing with a debutante who attacks the language with frisky energy, and who both has old and modern learning as ballast when she tempts to write her way over the obstacles. … it is in the words best meaning dangerous texts we meet, they lug, gets blunt senses to wake up. And then we can’t ask much more of a debutante.” Knut Ødegaard, Vårt Land
The Wild Swine
will you come and see the wild swine. i’ve caught the fat chunky swine that lurked around. the swine killed piglets for weeks. it lurked around in the nights. it lurked around and stole piglets while everybody went to church. i don’t go to church. i looked the wild swine in the eyes and caught the wild swine with a rope. will you come and see the wild swine in the eyes. the wild swine is called jiko. it’s hard to shoot a named swine. jiko killed piglets. that’s the mistake he made. i’ll pull the rifle. put the cheek on the stock. i’ll take aim. will you see the wild swine nobody’s going to miss.
will you come and see brown locked behind bars. i’ve caught the beast brown. i looked him in the eyes and caught him with a rope. i pulled him through the mud. the same dirt. the same big mouth. will you see brown. will you see the fat beast. i’ve hated brown. will you see brown locked behind bars.
in prison they throw the food bowl at joost, dry bread. will you help joost. joost was drunk and swayed the shotgun. now he’ll rot in jail. people say it’s the best for the kids. but i’ll set joost free. i’ll set him free when everyone’s in church. nobody’s going to miss him. everybody will hate me. will you come and hate me. everybody think i’ll rot in jail. but i’ll sway the shotgun. will you come and hate me when i sway the shotgun.
will you come and steel piglets for uma when everyone’s in church. will you give uma gifts. will you come and get uma her legacies back when everyone’s in church. will you come and have dinner with uma. will you come and have dinner with me. will you help me bury jiko. will you come dig a grave. i stand in soil up to my knees. will you come and get gin and chickens. i’ve stolen piglets for joost in broad daylight. that’s the mistake i made. because i don’t know when everyone’s in church. will you come and put me behind bars. will you steel piglets.
i’ll take mosa. i’ll catch mosa. i’ll throw a rope around the fat pot. mosa has dirt in her big mouth. that’s the fault with mosa. i’m not afraid of mosa. i’ll catch her and look her in the eyes. mosa has dirt in her big mouth. that’s how i recognize a wild swine. mosa has dirt under her fingernails. sleeps with her eyes wide open. mosa never learn. will you come and take mosa. i’ll drive mosa away with the truck. i’ll force her out of town. mosa forced lulu out of town. mosa has dirt in her mouth. will you come and take mosa.