Tanja Siren
"Kuu Suu Luu Moon, Mouth, Bone"


Kuu Suu Luu

Moon Mouth Bone

M o o n

Today I woke up in a bed in Coats Land on the Atlantic coast of Antarctica. It was already past 2 in the afternoon when I got out off that too-short bed. Just in time for the Moon rise. Enough time to prepare my coffee, heat the milk, squeeze the lemon, smear some honey on my bread.
I put that record on the player, the one I got from the flea market at 26th Street and Sixth Avenue, you remember. I turned it very loud. To hear it from the front of the window, where I sat down, but I cannot hear as the crisp bread clatters in my head.
I leave the apple half red, half green, on the table, half eaten. I fingertalk on the frosty window until my fingertip gets numb. I talk only to the crazy people to save some time, since hot fires burn fast here. I felt something long time ago forgotten touching me, moving me. Someone once said to me, that when being apart, talking on the phone was not to be. That it did not feel right that way. We wrote letters instead. We separated as friends, but do friends get separated? No phone, but with the telescope I can see far to the past. Still the year 2004 was quite a magician, so good that it totally disappeared.
Time to read the weather fax. Yes, I got the fax machine but no TV. Why watch nightly news about deadly days? Why ask tomorrow's questions today? The inevitable endless possibility of the new Moon is awaiting me outside. And on the table there's a sunflower, clouded over.
The wind-chill has brought the temperature down to -19.4 °C. I dress up in thick wool, I wear primal colors, red and blue like berries. Baudelaire said, “Mon coeur mis a nu”. My heart gone naked, he said. But my heart wears a winter coat with a pocket-full of resistance.
As I'm walking out I hear the cuckoo clock. It's 2:30 in the afternoon. The creaking sound the snow is making under my steps forces me to walk in a varying rhythm and everything seems to be painted with a Sennelier soft pastel blue palette. The cuckoo clock is nesting, I'm thinking. These days. Time flies like an arrow.
Among my neighbors, this one species of penguin, dressed in tuxedos, they all live here. At springtime the male brings little rocks, up to the 1700 of them, one by one in his beak, as a gift to his lady, until this meaningless courting will produce a pile of rocks on top of which she will lay two eggs. Those birds spring up like mushrooms. The biologists have never found out why these birds wouldn't simply be content with the countless piles of rocks already existing - the only thing existing - on this empty shore.
I give a jumpstart to my thoughts. I do things to collect my memories, to remember them when I think. I make so many thoughts, some may feel closer to me, some much farther away. It is as if a huge cruise ship of thoughts is sinking and some are boarding lifeboats, some are going down with the ship and some are in one lifeboat while others are in a very different one. But all my thoughts are with perfect purpose and direction, but very much going in many different directions. I pick up few of them with me as the cuckoo clock lays eggs and the time flies eat my apple. I make my thoughts.
How can the Moon be the same age as the Earth, yet still it's new every month? Like twins but only the Moon is newborn. As I watch it getting ready for the evening, it works the night shift at the side of the Earth, wearing the new fancy garments, looking more slim and slender than ever. “We've bred all our kittens white. So you can see them in the night” repeats the song in my head like a hymn. There've been days when for a few precious minutes it gets dark, the Moon wearing black, in the middle of the day as it steps directly between the Earth and the Sun, then the stars come out. The singing stops and the animals change into their pajamas. Today it's 4.5 billion years old and brand-new. I wonder, how many empty words could I fit into one sentence, before the sky fades out? And the Moon, we, who salute you, will destroy you. Hold on to your scarf when up on the roof! I walk back to the house to make an omelette.

M o u t h

That day I woke up in a bus, in an old rusty bus, and this time I wasn't alone. My answer to the one of the most frequently asked questions was; I don't know, but it looked like daytime to me, and the air, it smelled like pine and wildflowers. I had an extremely talkative monkey, who introduced himself as Fang die Tungesh, from Texas, sitting at my left side. He'd spent his last two years of high school at
New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, his senior year rooming with a fellow Texan, and now works on the 'Monkey and the Coconuts', which he said to be "probably the most worked on and least often solved" algebraic puzzle.
He also kindly informed me, among many other things, that the bus is taking us to Tres Cruces, which is the place where the last ridges of the Andes melt into the Amazon. That sounded more than suitable for what I was up to. Especially as Fang die Tungesh gave a voice to my doubts by telling me that the place was sacred for the Incas because of the optical distortions created by humidity over the Amazon.
After a two-hour ride in that bus, where two long-bearded drunkards wearing colorful toboggan hats started philosophizing on the aim of life and believed themselves to be Incas. Boy, it was almost as touching as that one time I was greeted by a baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast and got adopted by a giant century-old male tortoise. But I got to ramble on, so I asked the driver to pull over, as we were heading up on a hill road, jumped out and started to walk on the side of the road, Fang die Tungesh still on my left. As we walk there side-by-side, I asked him if he had seen my missing year. Surprisingly the monkey told me that 2004 had been his year. I looked at that monkey for the first time carefully, and indeed he really looked like a monkey who had his very own year. He seemed an honest monkey, and I believed him.
The sun was setting as we arrived to Tres Cruces. Fang die Tungesh was exhausted and suffered from an angry toe after an 8-hour bus ride from Cuzco to Paucartambo, a small village east of Cuzco, and another 5 hours by foot. I tell you, it's an adventure to get to this deserted place as there are no villages or people living here. We still managed to find this cave-like hole in the hillside and made ourselves at home. We built a campfire at the mouth of the cave to keep us warm. When looking back, I can still feel that biting wind on my body and face. Very often I feel this compelling need to write but have nothing to say. As though the beauty of this place cannot be put into words. The place was like a balcony looking down on the Amazon. From horizon to horizon, the sky was full of stars that dark, clear, moonless night filling the void of my words with their light that had traveled great distances to reach me. We watched how the band of dusty gypsy moths circled the fire. I looked to my left and saw a constellation sitting on my shoulder between us. We sat there, under night's trusty cape, me and the monkey, quiet, careful to not scare the sleeping Leo away. Gentle purring filled the valley.
When I was a little girl I used to think that naughty kittens went first to dog's heaven, where they were chased after for a short period of time before getting to the cat's heaven, which was, following the same pattern of logic, the hell for evil mice. And there were many little funerals accompanied by prayers in my childhood.
Now it's the mountains, where I go for my prayer. It was time for the sun to rise. The sky became millions of shades of purple and red, misleading our eyes from one side to the other. Humidity over the Amazon made the red bleeding sun appear to be moving, wavering in the sky like a red flag. Thus, it seemed that the sun was playing in the sky, undecided where to appear, under our astonished eyes. I mouthed the words as the monkey sang. “I say this prayer for the souls ravaged by bowing and scraping, by poker-facing, cowardice, give these hollow hearts, simple souls your mercy token – a second change. Hand out the last round off cards. This time, do we play it right? I cannot promise, but this time, I swear, that we dare to play.”

B o n e

This morning I woke up tired and melancholic. One too many cottonmouth mornings in the silence of my mother's garden. The same old cup of coffee with a horse painted inside of it, the way that it looks like it's drowning when the cup is full. And a Native American cigarette in my hand. You know, those all-naturals, last the longest. Enough room to talk to all of you, all of them. In silence, in my head the endless conversation, in my mother's garden. Listen, you might hear me. I'm there sitting on your hippocampus clapping and snapping my toes. Yearning for troubles. One too many snakes in my mouth.
Half of the life is rehearsal, Político Cubano Fidel Castro had once said, and the other half is the actual life. In my search for a small consolation, I may find myself in those words. But how long I need to live until my life starts? Or am I already alive? Living it without noticing? Or am I still on the journey towards my actual life? I don't think myself as a fatalist, or a great realist at all, even if I say, that all the same, I do know where this journey leads us all. Or do I? They say that it's not the destination but the journey that counts. Isn't that sweet? Sweet like a butterfly in a marmalade.
Seville oranges, Sugar, Water. For every 2 lb of oranges, use 5 lb of sugar and 5 (Imperial) pints of water. (USA readers may need to know that 5 Imperial pints are pretty close to 6 US pints). Metric equivalents would be 1 kg oranges, 2.5 kg sugar, and 3 l water.
Knit two, purl two. My thoughts like a cross-stitching spider crossing my mind. I still find my self wondering where the years went. During the time of the embargo the inventiveness made a birdcage out of my melancholy. At that time I had lots of that in me. It was in 2004. The birdcage busy-ness, it took a day before it was a great success. Those halcyon days! Even a bottle had a mouth those days, thus a voice, which said – Have a drink, shall we?
It is said, that the one who shares is left with the bone. My truelove has a chicken farm and he sells feather hats at the farmer's market. I have a stand of my own, where I sell birdcages and porcelain wish-bones. A forked bone in front of the breastbone in a bird consisting chiefly of the two clavicles fused at their median or lower end. In the workshop of my ceramic teacher, master Katsuno Hirokuni, in Kyoto, I cover them with porcelain with the use of a bamboo knife. Beauty comes from within. Here, try one, break your bone and make a wish! And remember, the wish is made after the bone is broken. There is no wish beforehand. So lucky I have been, that there's days when I even have to tear off my scab to be sure that my blood doesn't run blue.
There's this cat who comes and purrs at me. He says that this steady noise will actually help with healing. That the frequency of the sound made by him purring can improve the thickness of bones and the strength of muscles. Put a cat and a bunch of broken bones in the same room, the bones will heal. Well you need to be sure, that the kitty will purr, of course. Soon they will send kittens in outer space to the astronauts to keep their bones strong, and give cat-pillow treatment for migraine.
Living hand to mouth I've crossed the world looking for the world, yet the world hasn't shown itself to me, even if I've begged for it. “Can't see the forest from the trees,” my cat tells me. Even though I never was motherless, all these years away from her, I dare to say, I know how it feels. Nevertheless I've been homeless, since I got the sky above me. And I have my true love's warmth in my heart, I'm never
cold. The moon is my mirror and every day I'm a new girl. An everyday stranger.
The letters, we read them until the point we get lost. But I still don't know what the curiosity did for that cat. The Finnish belief is that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck, but that you can neutralize the bad luck by spitting over your left shoulder every time this happens. I don't spit though, my saliva is a too-precious liqueur. And the world, nowhere to be found, comes around, when the cats fly, right? And we wait. We pick up wild wallflowers and visit watergun museums and then wait some more. Patiently we wait. The one who wrote the children's song, "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream” was very wise.