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How To Assemble A Skaldestycke*

Inspiration can be elusive. I was sat next to Ulrika Jonsson
in the studio which was the excuse for this piece.

Step one - check that Viking helmets are included -
With vodka, saunas and a dragon tattoo
If any Volvo parts are missing - call Hans Blix
While Greta Garbo sings Abba's "Waterloo"

Instal the existential angst of Kurt Wallander
(The pre-drilled Scandinavian detective)
Insert the dark, silent, frozen, gloomy winter
Hammer home the bleak and introspective

Attach a smorgasbord of Bjorn Borg and Bergman
To Anita Ekberg's Trevi Fountain frolic
Align the meatballs, tighten up the drunken elk
Adjust the tendency towards the melancholic

Reposition the fermented Baltic herring
Secure the Muppet Chef's flappen-jacken-ja
Nail down the Strindberg, discard the surplus Sven
Embellish with Ulrika-ka-ka-ka

Finally - paint it all bright blue and yellow
Finish with a super-sexy-blonde veneer
And that's a flat-pack poem made in Sweden
Without one cliched reference to Ikea

copyright elvis mcgonagall
for bbc radio 4’s saturday live, 2012

* Swedish for “poem”

elvis mcgonagall

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