Poetry by Jürgen Rooste

by Jürgen Rooste

* * *

what’s the use of poetry
I ask you – what

does poetry reconcile
our divorced parents
pit-a-pat holding hands
bring them together again
as it’s often seen
as has always been
birdsong and sunshine

why do we need poetry

does it somehow help
to give up alcohol
by god’s arse
I said “give up alcohol”
why give it up
it’s our national idiosyncrasy
a trademark more powerful than ”welcome to estonia”
I will motherfuckin’ phone ya
then we’ll go to a bar

already hemingway knew 
that in each port in the world
there’s an estonian
completely plastered
pissed and broke 

why do we need poetry

when our mothers start off
as alconauts of outer space
or vanish into working race
a crack appears between us
leaving no common place
and antidepressants rule
in a castrated universe

what’s the use of poetry

whether anybody gives a damn
when an arseful of idiots
writes pretty and vague words
that war is bad
don’t wage wars
is any lives spared then

that money is bad
I will not go to the surreal superhypermegamarket today

what’s the use of poetry

does it pay my rent
and goes to work for me
and has a clever idea
how I could even
fall in love with my wife again
does it keep away hunger
and watch over me one drunken night
in town
and when I’m down
and beat 

and passers-by won’t stop
does it help me to my feet

on the other hand
who needs the republic of estonia
the republic of estonia is like the poetry of a compulsive scribbler
the land of wind  yes thanks-please farewell
blow me away from here into hell
and the banks are like classic
poetry worth gold and
scientists are messing with their rhymes
a sociologist is searching
for alliterative words to
get some life into
foggy research files
yes and sex is like poetry
a proper fuck contains quite a few
four-foot trochees
professional sport is written
in elegiac distichs

I ask why
do we need poetry

I ask myself and the guy
who washes cars for living
and that pretty
babe at the foreign cultural institute
who imports poets
and the gaytvnewsreader in the pretty nightclub
neon lit
I phone the sex line and
the 24-hour locksmith
and ask them who needs


listen what they tell me
listen yourself
this is almost poetry
this is almost
worthy of our greatest poet’s strophes

yes indeed



in danish town rivers are flowing’
who said there were none
in my dreams danish town roars
like a waterfall
down o’er the edge of the world

each of my thoughts is a flash
from a machine-gun tape
every quiver of my body
is a signal from a radio transmitter
is someone out there

some marvellous amateur


at work
they want me to be
a duracell rabbit
what comes out is the usual guinea-pig
at home they expect me
to bustle about
like an eager daddy penguin
and not like your average tipsy bullfinch

but my heart my
heart is free as an onion
a bulb underneath and tops on top

in a gently roaring nordic wind


willyou love me until the edge of eternity
and after
we have passed the edge of eternity and have
moved on for a few hours
not realising what was happening what kind of world
we have reached

willyou love me even if
I don't manage all this
If I get drunk again and a moment before
the end of the world fall asleep in my own filth
in a corner in a room like an blissful child

willyou love me when night falls
when the weather has become bloody cold
and we have nowhere warm to go
nor have light nor any purpose in sight

willyou love me
when I tell you that only we together
will make time last that the secret is
that without us the world will cease for ever

willyou love me then just for
the wondrous world that could
after all exist (or what)

willyou love me a crazy beast
an egoist a big male feline on a broken tree branch
purring a song warm and deep as hell
while dark night deep as hell
descends over us and nobody knows what
will happen when light arrives

willyou love me who yearns for your warm
blood and lives only in anticipation of
consuming it
willyou love me darling

willyou love me until the edge of eternity
and far
far beyond this edge