:: Article

Five Poems

By Jón Örn Loðmförð.

Drinking Ink

I’ve been giving away my words
With little success
I’m ignored by all
And there are those who imply
That I fell out of the wonky tree
The reason for all of this being:

No shadows can be discerned
In this light, only gusts of wind
Carrying with them odours and sparks
Of leaves

(at home, withered grass is burning)

It’s best to seize the opportunity
During the night
When the party’s just about to start
But the people already folding
Under the pressure of the festivities
I quickly stick my feet forward
Ready to attack
Intent on filling the dance hall
With ink beetles
Which easily dive deep
Under lice-ridden dog paws
Under mosaic tables
Under the red, blue and white
Butcher’s apron


Heavy breadcrumbs

We were sitting outside on the balcony
Smoking cigarettes
And we threw down the butts
So that they covered the street

And the kids outside made
Angels in the pile
And shouted:

Cigars for little children!

As we had expected

We named them
Before they disappeared
Into the ashes


A poem for Frankfurt

When will it rain?
Finger-thick ice
Has enveloped the
Tree branches
We are asked
To show patience
And understanding
Until it gets warmer outside
The slippers lie on the floor
The toes are blue from being out of doors for so long

I’m going to tell you about Iceland
Chant patriotic poems
About the caves, the waterfalls, the hot springs
The horses, the ewes and the cows
About the people’s struggle – der Sagas
And the striving in perilous weather

Icelandic patriotic poems are part
Of the nation’s precious heritage
Offering a new understanding and satisfying
The searching, praying mind of Modern Man
And are convenient for individuals as well as groups

“Icelandic is the nation that guards your heritage”
Is transformed, with the aid of a translation machine, into
“Island ist eine Nation, die Ihr Geschäft braucht.”
Which translates back into Icelandic as
“Iceland is a nation well suited to the demands of your company.”

Because for some reason
There are few things as sad
As an abandoned factory
Abandoned northern lights
An abandoned Lady of the mountain
With her daddy’s drill between her legs

I turn into a savage
In the summer night
The girls into tender
Daughters of the forest
Lots of drunken sex
To be had there
It says in the brochure
It’s raining philosophers’ stones
Everything glitters with joy

Icelanders’ heads are undiversified
And awfully lumbering
Compared to the sturdy body
The neck is short and erect
The Icelandic woman has followed the nation
Since the beginning of settlement, through thick and thin
And been of much use and enjoyment.
She is unique and is praised
Around the world for her skills and special merits
Each year, many tourists from abroad
Get to know her
During short trips.

I would like to thank Dagur
For the inspiration
“Ich bin überwältigt!” replies Dagur
In front of the collegiate church
In Tübingen
Where, engraved in marble, one reads:
“Goethe puked here”

There, at least, something happened

When something happens in central Reykjavik
Nothing happens, just a café that changes hands
A seagull vanquished by a gun cartridge,
A woman in the national costume and a poet roll around in a graveyard
A giant spider pokes its feelers into genitals,
A complicated courting in the west side of town

But when will it rain?


May over with

June 1

Tonight, as other nights, I jot down in my daytimer.

Consumer Price Index: 300.30

First, I wrote down the price index; I feel it to be a good and incontrovertible narrative. No man’s definitions are of a definiteness on par with the market. A pair of shoes is always say a pair of shoes, whether you use them for exchange or sell them to the States.

            12 °C
            wind 2 m/s
            precipitation 0.22 mm/hr
            humidity 66%
            air pressure 1017.8 hPa

Next, the weather. Until now, I’ve reconciled myself to using imprecise adjectives to describe the weather, as may be seen in my previous entries. Bitter wind – what’s a bitter wind? Do adjectives really mean anything, and if so, does a word keep the same meaning as it had yesterday? Climate is too important a thing to me to approach it with imprecision and therefore I shall henceforth make use of correct and approved units of measurements. In addition to this, I shall view weather as a history of conflict between elements such as highs and lows, heat and cold, catastrophe and calm, not as some happening in a garden one can capture on camera.


I will also stop talking enthusiastically about the sun. It’s there. Yes, it’s there and has been. Not a remarkable narrative to make mention of this. It’s a ball of plasma that glows because of thermonuclear fusion. Thermonuclear fusion has nothing to do with my feelings, nor can it be utilized as unit of measurement of my optimism.


Consumer price indices are the thing that come the closest to being a measurement of my optimism. As may be seen, there is a period of expansion, a beginning of another downtrend or something in between and based on previous experience I suspect that I have nothing that anyone could possibly wish to accept.



Jón Örn Loðmförð, born in Selfoss Iceland on Christmas Day 1983 and conceived in Keflavik around Easter the same year, is an Icelandic experimental poet who has lately concentrated on digital poetry with a good deal of success. He has created poetry machines, including the notorious Goggi, available in four languages, and the Daddi poetry machine, which Jón and his friends poetry band, Músifölsk, has demonstrated in performances such as at the 2006 Nýhil Festival and at the Arts Festival the same year.

He has published three books with Nýhil, Síðasta ljóðabók Sjóns (Sjon’s last poetry book), with Arngrímur Vídalín, a textual recyling of the texts of Icelandic author Sjón Usli: kennslubók (Mayhem: Textbook), with Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, a feminist cut-up poetry book and Gengismunur, a collection of computer generated text manipulating both Icelandic modern poetry and economical jargon.

Jón has also published online digital works, including mbfr.is (a remix of a Icelandic online newspaper) with Eiríkur Örn, one digital book with Eiríkur called Brandarablandarar and various video works.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, December 19th, 2010.