Mattias Forshage



A fig salad in hardships the cat pulled the horse from the table the sun rose out of the sea and the teeth were gleaming.

“Commendable”, one whispered reverentially and stared immovably towards the horizon.

The sea formed ballroom stairs where penguin processions came marching down and one two three a heavy rain of onions came pattering in the icecream according to the directives from the pavillion command of the daycare centers, indeed a problematic body with parsley in its ears. Chain and pickaxe, tomato soup and wide-ranging sunglasses, was today’s agenda and the young lovers squirmed in their easychairs. Maybe this too was a game meat rhapsody for the evening’s show, at least one couldn’t be careful enough: whoever wanted supper must not pull their feet out of the water until there were fish or crayfish or mermaids holding on to each toe. And those mermaids who lived in glass coffins in the deep, those were the ones to trust whenever it was time for inspection and manhandling and elections for parliament.

Because such a philosophical fish soup couldn’t fill the stomach of anyone in the entire zoo. Pure humbug, a knapsack with an antnest between glasses, poor jokes, everywhere they were trying to splash such somber paint on one’s clothes, and one did like the horses, performing strange ballets just to get rid of them.

But then one morning the hotel was shaken so strongly that the cattle fell from the roof and squeezed to death an unknown number of fellow occupants. The vagabond style simply wasn’t in fashion anymore. One varnished one’s hobbyhorse and subdued it with slippery sweet treats. And in Latin America, the waves rolled even higher for those who were sitting with their faces in their plates. New articles in the local press, new hidden assassinations. The ladder was not yet invented, so everybody was hanging around in large webs training the pigeons.

And then the tear gas came gushing, and the forest of birds was laughing nostalgically. That’s when the creak was to be dried out, but as the machines arrived they found nothing but a sleeping indian village. The mermaids were strumming their razorsharp scales and the trees were singing a birthday song. Everybody produced their star maps from their pockets and studied them carefully with a sad gaze while emptying their wineglasses.

No priest lived safely these days as the cobblestones vibrated with fury and the entire city supported the poor fig salad whom hardships had fallen upon.


In order to surprise his beloved, he shaved his face off before leaving work.

The birds on his shoulders doubted his sanity, but in the noise of every corner’s singer they chose to file their complaints on a small note offered to fellow pedestrians. And the watches had already stopped, and the butterflies had already stirred disorder among the papers so that no one could find their place in the big tree of evolution. Bells were ringing as the stomach ached. In that way one could manage without horror amulets, and instead knew how to spit shaving foam and blood on the military as they arrived.

However the train was bound for Uppsala, and some of the cylinders of the conceptual apparatus had shipwrecked. All of one’s former friends were swimming in the train station aquaria like ammonites, beautiful ammonites, luminous tracks from football games of ancient days. It was all dusty, maybe that’s why the rhinoceros kept snorting. Otherwise we had to stand ready to lower the trapeze artist to the ground before the grip was lost, and it was only a week since the night when the birding platforms fell. Of all the people standing in the tower, only one school class survived who had decided to set a bad example anyway.

An office had been opened for the reed growers who kept surfacing, and it brought about a cheerful spirit in the neighbourhood. Who had ever tried before to play crocquet through the apartments, buried their pets in the window boxes, and raised wild carnivores in the yard. These were happy times for tired children who otherwise commuted with flying machines between the alpine stations and the hospitals, naked ships from payday to representation. Being horror characters, they knew their limits.

What remained except rolling up one’s entire childhood history into the dungball of a roller dungbeetle and await. But meanwhile the stables burned down and the horses were gushing forth over the damp meadows. It was possible to go flowerpicking, but no one blossoms as the shaved-away face, a big red empty space of openness.


Nowhere the summer was as moist as in the cool fjord where diving bells were playing games underwater and perhaps might strike to greet steam boats whenever the weather allowed.

Otherwise there were meaningless stairs carved out of the mountain where people fell badly but still nobody could learn the new dance steps. Since the one who lives far from the sea will not get much more from the elks than the waves of the horns – they will get no instructions for navigation they will get no signs in her face with eyes closed they will get no foxtrot.

“I’ll be damned”, he said when he let his articles sink into the body of muddy water. But is it a space film or the price for the fresh-made sponge cake in suspenders? “To my appetite”, some thought. “I’ll cut off the store if you like, but the power net is unreliable, and soon we’ll be in the electric chair”. “But why, we were just going shopping, and took the opportunity to take the suit in for a service wash. The fact that the elephants ate it is a question for a novel – there were so many being executed that they have to be stocked in the church organs until further. And what if the fire would have taken them!”

An ominous dialogue continued while the city fire lighted her eyes. Even the most bitter quay cleaner would have found those animal remnants with a smile on his face, and now the stormy weather wasn’t far off. The counter clicked and the motor started, pumping out the big dinner table into the sea. There on the floating bed it was possible to make love among the desserts while the corals reached up for you. In that way it was possible to be immersed in the storm in a trustworthy happy way, without coffee breaks and approximate time records and small funny hats.

Nowhere in this sun-bleached marine painting eye diseases were beginning to sing about the majesty of the fjord opening with voices like church-bells, because winter was approaching.


The leitmotif to the morning rising from bed of the people in the onion city was a distant bellowing as if from mistreated guests.

Everybody was used to it, and the traindrivers and others even happily whistled along to it. Nowhere did the city walls of ice crack, but still medieval times were hiding in every attic, eagerly waiting for a moment to fall down on people’s heads. But in the labyrinthic canals the silence of salmons reigned where idyll gondolas and water corpses softly floated forth. Corpses could be played with as if they were icefloes. Icefloes in turn were hanging like mobiles in the kitchen window. Gingerbread was in the making in there, and both children and domesticated sealions were squeaking with impatience.

The gingerbread baking day was a big day, a festival in urban planning. The resulting constructions were judged by the neighbourhood’s general assembly, and some of them were elected to be raised in large scale in other parts of the world, while most were sinked into the aquaria for fish, molluscs and echinoderms to inhabit and eat. Without overtaxing oneself one would climb to the mountaintops of worm tubes and coral fans to see if the sun would possibly rise this week.

Warmly and bittersweetly the winks of moments dripped down on the mussels emitting slow flames towards the tongues of lovers. They were not impatiently awaiting the sun. They were not hearkening the insistent screams of the incarcerated in the morning.


One of the showpieces of the grasshopper fields was a costume change scene in a bain-marie.

It was desired to get the horses to stand on their hindlegs for a very long time, and the hammer beats could polemically chase off even the most awake murderer ship. Honking and buzzing one would show the directions to the long quay where the local politicans were to run the gauntlet. But the maps were wounded with large wet footprints, that made the walk from one main course to the other far more problematic. Fireworks were launched.

Imagine what a sad exchange that was then to be seen in the buntings, if the armoured car with all the cakes had been attacked by highway robbers. But remember the promises from vague glowworms see how the dechristianisation campaigns pull thundering circus applause. And then there will be dolphins in the canals regardless! “Hooray!” blinking constellations trains derailed ”Long live the antipode!” cigar songs cephalopod diet; everywhere patience had run thin and disappointment at that time might have led to disaster, such as one of these footprints might have settled down in the village square. Of course it would be possible to go squid fishing in them, but they would also become ambiguous signs if viewed from the sky, with a content potentially ruining certain delicate connections.

This was no choice for any of them. And the very least so for the girl who suffocated the singer between her thighs. For whatever games they decided on no one was as skillful in hiding as eroticism was. Was it responsible for that laughter sounding like a head of lettuce? Was it its brother that left all these bloodstains? The horsemen had no more answers than the rest of us, but still they were the ones who had signed out the magnifying glasses.

”Either we knock over the soup cauldron in the double bed, or we see walnut death in the eye in the sky of fireworks. The cleaning staff will provide us with missing links. In order to repay our generosity. Or we find cinnamon rolls in the metro. It could be mistaken for an erotic dream, but all we did was to clean the windows before they undressed and sat down in the washtub on the sidewalk.”


A naval battle was playing, but it did not resemble the game of chess of the ships in bottles.

Many spectators were disappointed, but some realised that this was a new type of death-threat. The trapezes were rocking in an ominous way and were scratching the itches of the fulmars. Tender misnavigation, a wasp-nest of hermine tracks in the somber rig. There, squids were pouring like ghosts, bioluminescent and comforting, while the rough sea was shaking the parasites out of the scalps of the hollow-eyed crew. “Let us take water skis through the streams of tears”, they said and laughed until the blood was squirting all over the wallpaper.

And still the assassins had problems with their recruitment campaigns, even in this part of the country where no one was strangling the coastal cliffs. There was no reliable rawness at all in their manners; the wind was howling and the doves were nesting on old people’s heads. A single wave of migration could intoxicate itself to the brink of the abyss, but every time someone was there filling the car engine with hay. That type of carpentry had already interrupted so many meals, so now both beer and oatmeals were in the wrong hands. In the rattling of flags it was difficult to hear the cries of eagles, so it was necessary to put the plough in the soil somewhere. With some luck, it was possible to find a skull, for seeing with instead of one’s old and worn one, with a funeral wreath of bread cabbage olives pythons stains of paint and candles.

Nevertheless she managed to bring about a happy end, she simply slaughtered him carefully before the sun rose. Therefore the sea was red and the sharks were assembled already before the armadas assumed battle formations, this boiling desert realm of blood.

automatic texts june 1991, too hot in the invertebrate exhibition