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Poetry Ride in Tartu, 25 November 2014, 9.49 PM


Poetry Ride in Tartu, 25 November 2014, 9.49 PM

Just shortly, my name is Mika and I am a finn, who prefers to write in Estonian language since the folks here in Estonia simply read and love my stories so much. I love it too! And there are many many many reasons why I love my home town Tartu. One of the main things is the literature scene. Every single one in town I know writes or reads poetry. That is why I also started to do the same in 1993 when I moved here from Ilomantsi, which is quite near Joensuu, the next stop of the Poetry Ride after Tartu. This is the literature town of the globe for me. Not all of us in Tartu become a poet or a writer, but some of us do. I also considered myself as a hobby writer but when people were talking about a pop writer Mika, I had to start ta carry a weight of the writer´s gown on my shoulder. Tartu is unique in this sense. I know I am already repeating myself, but I need to emphasize it. This town makes you an author. Great. I don´t think about it too often, but sometimes I do, snorting tea, being a poet. Meeting other weirdos like me.

Events like Poetry Ride have traditionally been such occasions. I have met many great writers around the neighbor countries of Estonia here in Tartu and 25 November was not an exception. I was glad to meet again old friend Jan Kaus from the capital of Estonia Tallinn as well as Contra, who came to Tartu from the deepest south of the country, Urvaste village. The new friends were Miia Toivio, Kārlis Vērdiņš and Gunnar Wærness. Sorry guys, but I was too fond of Miia to listen your stuff.


This is what I had to write during that evening:

“Poetry Ride”

so the poster said in the street

i went in with a trust of a child

up stairs to the hall and sat down in the last chair row

the hall was full of people a couple of friends and a whole lot of strangers

even from norway

then she came oh shit

wild eye ski capped voice so low so fine

a poet from north far away behind the wolf border

she sang something epic i did not hear any words she said i just dared not

the melody was frighten enough

i crawled under the piano underneath the palm tree leaves and waged war on myself

where the hell did she appear

this wolf and her song

who had taught it to her

the girl continued singing – did she smell me?

oh no it wasn´t fun

finnish yeah true but the tune

or whatever – sound – that´s the word i was seeking for

and listening eyes shut hoping she wouldn´t notice me

i stumbled slowly under the chairs to the back door and out

i took a deep breath freely in the darkness of hipster town tartu

free from the - spell or whatever

i don´t even want to seek the right word (my love) to say

that wondering how on earth did she know my song


Oh yeah, those were the feelings. Later in the heat of Tartu I heard something as beautiful. I had forgotten how nice language English can be. It was Contra shouting out his poems on the street:

in the pretty room of hotel

tried to kiss her – she said: go to hell

that’s why i’m feeling no well

start to write new horror novel


don’t you say

that I’m a pervert

when I take away

your shirt

by the way

in our church

all girls throw away

their shirts


Thank you poetry riders! Hope to see you next year!

Mika Keränen, author of Souptown Stories

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