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It is a whirlwind in here

The Ghost Of Kafka Walks

The Ghost of Kafka walks

(not stalks)


The streets

Of Prague.


 Prague,

(The place he would/could

Never leave
Until the last

Half year of his life)

He described as:
“The little Mother has claws.”

Which she did.

For him.


He managed

(In the last half year of his life)
To escape to Berlin

During one of

The
Worst times

Anyone could live

In Berlin


Until the end of the

Second World War.

But

That was years

Away.


But he escaped

With a young

Lover,

Which made things

So much

Better.


But his Ghost only

Walks
The streets of

Prague


Whereas

Kafka’s Ghost

Stalks

The rest of

The World.


~ D. E. BA  U.E.

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Margaret Atwood Travels Further Than Ever – Blessed Be!

the-testaments_margaret-atwood_3

I have noted some folk looking at this post from a couple of years ago. I had put it up because of the success of the television series, A Handmaid’s Tale.

Now, Ms. Atwood has produced a new novel, The Testaments, [which, by the way, has a brilliant front and back cover] with an international launch from London, England. I can humbly state that my part in her literary life remains the same.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was not my intent to piss off Margaret Atwood.

The opposite, in fact. I wanted her to know she was an inspiration.

She was giving a reading at the University of New Brunswick in my student days. I attended, but there was quite the gathering and she was whisked away at the end. However, I overheard there was a ‘gathering’ in her honour. Invitation only, of course. Academia and literati.

I crashed the party (that was the term used by the professor who clapped his sturdy hand upon my shoulder but – happily – did not thrust me into the night).

But Ms. Atwood was kept deep in many a learned conversation and I had no opportunity to converse. I did, however, overhear where she would be spending next afternoon – the historic University Observatory.

Next day I knocked upon the Observatory door.

It was not a cheerful Margaret Atwood who answered, and answered with alacrity.

She asked my name.

She asked my business.

And she asked how the hell I knew where she was. She had stolen the day to do some writing. Some ‘real’ writing, in this window-of-opportunity grudgingly offered on the book tour.

At least I was there to praise Atwood and not to bury her with some essay question.

Nor had I a manuscript to hand to her.

I might not have garnered a smile, but her curt thank you was reward enough.

For me, at least.

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Liven Up A Dull Party And Start A Novel

Alison Alexandra had asked her partner, with far more innocence than the result entailed, when people were going to pair off and head for the bedrooms. It was such a lackluster gathering she figured it would take quite a jolt to generate any interest.

And, she had asked her partner. It wasn’t as if she was angling for a tryst.

But, out of the blue – and out of other people’s boredom? – within twenty minutes or so, she had a woman sidle up to her. Drink in hand. Held at a professional tilt, though there was no raised pinky finger. Voice low, though not as low as the woman thought.

“Are you the one who asked if we are going to start to go to bed?”

Alison Alexandra, used to fine drink since her university days away, knew the lady’s finely-tilted glass was but a prop and barely touched. The scent of whiskey came solely from the glass. As for the lady herself, butter would freeze in her mouth.

“Is it making the rounds?”

“Do you want to make the rounds?”

“That was not my intent – no.”

“Then I don’t know if you are successful or not.”  The glass touches teeth. “Your question is making the rounds with alacrity.”

Alison Alexandra likes the word “alacrity”. It sounds like its own action.

“Have there been any answers?”

“Not to me.” There is a fleeting melt of the ice that is not in her glass. “Not that I’ve asked.”

“Have you made a head count?”

“I have not pointed and gone ‘eeny meeny miny moe’ – no.” The woman leans closer to Alison Alexandra, her lips now a conspiratorial distance from an ear. “But I do keep a select few in my vision.”

“Has there been movement?”

“There has been – if not corralling – some sidling up beside, with a ‘nicker’ into an attentive ear.”

“Anything for a pair of knickers, perhaps?”

The woman straightens with enough speed to lose a few drops of her conversational whiskey. She looks at Alison Alexandra in surprise and appreciation. A translucent mask is peeled from her face. She is animated. Her eyes are expectant.

“You are new here.”

“You’re the observer.” Alison Alexandra smiles.

“But I never say what I really see.” The woman finally takes a real drink. “None of us do.”

“But you come up to me – with your observations.”

“In truth -”

The woman stops. She realizes how rarely she tells the truth. She is startled that she is about to do so. She is apprehensive.

“In truth, it is on a dare.”

“Someone has dared you to ask me?”

“Actually, a number of people have put money in a pot to see if this will happen.”

“To approach me?”

“Yes.”

“How much am I worth?”

The woman raises her glass and laughs. “A bottle of Scotch.”

“Good Scotch?”

“Not really.” The woman is apologetic, yet she laughs. “It’s not that caliber of party.”

Alison Alexandra can see a friendship in the offing. So much more important than a partner for the night.

She takes the glass from the unprotesting woman and has a drink.

“Better than this?”

“Not even as good as.”

“Then no one is going to get me out of my knickers.” This does not stop Alison Alexandra from taking another drink. She hands the glass back to the woman. “There. I’ve had my limit.”

“That surely won’t get you into bed.”

“I’ve been looking around.” Alison Alexandra looks slowly around again. “Not even a bottle will accomplish that.”

The woman looks at her glass. It is still nearly full. She takes a deep drink.

“I am not so pure.”

“Oh – purity has nothing to do with it.” Alison Alexandra does take a bit of care with her next sentence. “But I am very picky.”

God And The Elephant Discuss Beauty

   The elephant was standing in the rain, enjoying the rivulets which streamed along the creases of his skin.

     It was cleansing and refreshing, and he occasionally flapped his huge ears, causing a small waterfall. The birds and monkeys kept a safe distance.

     “You’ll be creating your own weather system,” said the cloud, which was part of the larger cloud covering the whole sky. “Trunk squalls and violent ear showers.”

     “Just a portion of your abilities,” said the elephant.

     “Part of something is part of everything,” said the cloud. “I don’t do my works on my own.”

     “A humble part,” said the elephant.

     “Humble neither in might nor main,” said God. “That would be the estimation of most of my species – both animal and plant.”

     “I feel humble.”

     “You are humble,” said God. “But I don’t want you to feel humble.”

     “Excuse me?”

     “I want you to realize how wonderful, how exciting, how important – how equal – everything around you is. The blade of grass you eat; the stream from which you drink; the ants under your feet who keep the earth healthy; the butterflies who make the plants grow.”

     “The butterflies are beautiful.”

     “They’re all beautiful.”

     “I’m not so sure about the ants,” said the elephant.

     “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” said God. “And I behold everything.”

Is There Any Chance – you know – At All?

Is there any chance

That

The machine

Might be in

The ghost?

Might the turn

Of

The worm

Be ass backwards?

That

All ships at sea

Don’t see

Eye-to-eye?

That every answer is really

Looking for

The correct question?

And the search

For truth

Is far far

Far far far

Longer

Than a day

Is long?

~ DE BA UEL

Not A Ghost Of A Chance In This Time Of Pandemic – Rum Necessary

My crew of characters in my novel, “There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth, have been with me for about five years. When COVID hit, they decided to stay together in one dwelling. To pass the time, they decided to tell Ghost Stories.

Since 29 09 2020, I have been writing nothing but Ghost Stories. Seven all told.

In affect, I have written a complete book of short stories, all stand-alone, for the past seven months. Each story was true to each individual character, but that was not important to the stories themselves. It was important to the novel.

This has been a unique situation ofr me, to wander off in the midst of a novel to do something else. It has been exhausting.

When I returned to the actual novel, my characters had to deal with the Pandemic. They (and I) have been dealing with the Pandemic for over a year. I think I am four or so ‘ordinary’ chapters away from the end of the novel.

Each ghost story was followed by a short chapter where my characters commented about the ghost story they had just heard. This is in part to keep the novel in the forefront, and the type of thing people would do. They always had a meal and and an exquisite tot of rum.

“BOO!” to all

When You Sink But You Don’t Have To Swim

Alison Alexandra Ponders Whilst Under The English Channel

The London platform is abustle, though, in reality, she is boarding a train to take her to a train waiting in Calais. Still, it is under the umbrella of the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express, and she is happy to board and take a very cushy seat.

Two hours and fifteen minutes to Paris. Nice scenery at either end. A glass of Bellini, in a champagne flute, before the actual undersea part. Nothing could be finer.

Alison Alexandra assumes that a quaff of peach infused Prosecco sparkling wine is to ease the anxiety of anyone going not only underground but also undersea. She appreciates the glass of – expectedly – high-toned champagne regardless, but she does not need a drink to assuage any fears, for she has none.

She has always enjoyed the thought of actually moving under streets and buildings and cars and people and parks and dogs and folk in restaurants spooning soup while other folk high up in business towers give power point presentations about the fluidity of market shares or the expert way to niggle a wire into an explicate brain to stop one form of behaviour or to restart another. Thousands of snips of humanity and civilisation wending their way over her head as she wends her way from one underground station to another.

And then – to add the volume of the sea – well, what now floats overhead? How many fish and how much plankton and seaweed and eels and lobsters and oysters and snails and perhaps even whales swimming and eating and probably eating each other in the liquid beauty which is the water which is the ocean which is the sea that slaps against the cliffs that she watches from her prow-of-a-ship windows when she is on the other side.

And the ocean that slaps the rocks at the base of her cliff is full of fish gurgle and whale song and lobster clatter and crab scuttle and perhaps even the mermaids singing. And then there is the screw screw screw of all the propellers of all the ships carrying crew and passengers and cargo of all sorts and conditions, from cases of the champagne she is drinking to the host of automobiles like the Black Ghost that Gabriella drove when she shared some champagne delivered by ship and not aged on the delivery truck two cities over.

And other cargo, floating and steaming over her head, food and drink and oil and bourbon and stiletto-heeled shoes and prayer books and cotton and smart phones and insulin and jet engines and books and railway ties and sheep dip and textiles and spices from the Far east and tongue dispensers and sugar and steel beams for steel bridges and fishhooks and guided missiles and holy missals and buttons and bows and those tiny umbrellas for fruit punch cocktails and things that Alison Alexandra doesn’t even know exists but she has her suspicions.

All over her head and moving the waves and making whales sing their cautionary songs to warn other whales to get the hell out of the way or they will get bumped on their noggin. And they do. Get out of the way.

Alison Alexandra finishes her underwater pilgrimage and pops above ground in France. And although Alison Alexandra has been somewhat offended by having to take an actual bus shuttle under the actual English Channel, she still shouts “Alors!”

Port Saint John Reports Revenue Drop, Increase In Cargo {There is a lot lot lot of Port activity in “There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth”. A lot. Gateway to the world.}

Source: Port Saint John Reports Revenue Drop, Increase In Cargo

Has Biden Become God the Good?

There are some things that are just wrong.!

There is no need for any type of debate about them.

There is no ‘on the other hand’ about them.[

There is no ‘two sides to everything’ about them

They are just wrong!

Clear cut forestry is one.

Cutting down old growth trees is another.

Kilometer-scooping fishing nets at sea is another.

The Oil Sands actually create Hell on Earth.

Poisoning the air is another.

Filling the oceans with plastic is another.

And, we’ll just leave alone what human beings do to other human beings

We are vicious and we are suicidel – a bad combunation.

But Biden – Blessed Be! – is stopping the destruction of “Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge”

Which was instigated by he who must no longer be named.

This is a great way to begin June.

Is A Memoir A Memento Mori To Die For?

I have read that someone contemplating to write a Memoir is aiming at the End Time (my interpretation). I’ve pondered starting on my Memoirs for a few years (I wrote a sample about five years ago – describing how I got my first job). It was kinda fun to do, even if I didn’t come across as being particularly bright – which is how the fellow hiring me obviously felt. Still, it filled the year (and made some money) before I started university.

These days – of course – young folk of fame (even teen-agers) “write” memoirs and have a vast audience for the results. That’s what *fame* can get you. It can also get you over-the-hill at thirty. So far I have been spared.

But, the thing is, I don’t have a great interest in writing a chronological account of my existence. I seem to be more interested in clusters. For instance, I had a recent encounter with a friend of my youth, which made me think of barns. A barn did play an inadvertant part of this friendship. Which led me to think of other barns I have dealth with. I have a sense that dealing with barns in this day and age is not a commonplace. Yet I could tell you stories. Which is wat a memoir really it. A bunch of stories. Stories which I will do my best to keep true.

And I figure that if the stories entertain me, they will entertain a reader. I could be wrong about that, of course. You tell me – do you want stories about barns?

So – so far – I am embarking on barns. Recounting what happened there. What I lkearned. Why the incidents keep in my memory.

I can tell you one thing, though – keep away from chickens.

Facing Jail, Fines, Disgrace, Fear & Horror In Canada

At least, that is what I was told in two (2) separate phone calls today. From a monotonic voice who berated me for falsly using my Social Insurance Number (yes, SIN), out there somewhere in this great land of ours.

They have been following me – oh, yes they have – and preparing a case to incase me in one of HM Prisons until the flesh rots off my body.

Unless

Unless I put my diseased finger on #1 on my phone to connect to an ‘operative’ who will lead me through a series of directions where, I will not only confirm my SIN number, but also provide any number of other pieces of information to prove who I am. The monotonic voice will not, of course, tell me what any of these deep Government directions will be. I have to press #1.

And – oddly – all this time the voice can not tell me what these directions are, it will also not answer any of my questions. It’s as if they couldn’t hear me. Unless I push #1.

And, it appeared, the second phone call was an exact replica of the first. At least the part I listened to.

But my door is locked and chained and my blinds are drawn. Well . . . not really. But you never know who is reading this.

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