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It is a whirlwind in here

Month

January 2023

Who Was Looking At The Island As The Day Moved Forward?

I felt eyes upon me

This morning

From the Mainland.

And it isn’t just me.

Paw, the cat/kitten,

Black as the

Bottom of a barrel,

With one white mitten,

Felt them, too.

We stared back from Partridge Island,

Wondering if someone had set up

A telescope, on a tripod,

From the closest shore.

Or if a spyglass (or two)

Was peering from The Martello Tower,

To catch a glimpse of our

Sequestered life.

Paw gave a hiss

(As he is wont to do),

For he is not fond

Of them Mainlanders.

So, to appease him,

I gave a spit of tobacco,

While secretly wondering

If it was Sister Darling of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Pondering her next visit

While reminiscing of the raptures

Of her last.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

Franz Kafka Exposed In His Newly Translated Unexpurgated Diary

Franz Kafka  has just had an updated version of his Diaries translated and released in English.

Of course, he is being touted as a rather naughty fellow, with various sexual observations (and perhaps desires) revealed. Comments about gentlemen’s private members seem to lead the reviews (much as reviews of Prince Harry’s Spare were quick to point out his frostbitten, er, Willie).

It really took a more free-wheeling translation to show Kafka was a very sexual (and sexy) fellow. He liked the ladies, had numerous lovers, and enjoyed the paid ministrations of  – as he referred to them – ‘shop girls’. His last lover had to be restrained from leaping into his open grave.

None of this is really new. I have read all of his diaries published before this edition. Most of it was already there.

The editor of his diaries was his best friend, Max Brod. Brod also removed references to Kafka’s real opinions about his contemporaries. And other socially doubtful observations.

I have written a book, Kafka In The Castle, where I fill in all of the diary entries missing from his diaries, imagining what he might have been doing on those days. As it is assumed that Kafka, himself, destroyed about 80% of all his own writings, it is assumed he destroyed these entries himself.

I don’t know what this new addition might do for my Kafka manuscript. But, as they say, any publicity is good publicity – it’s publicity.

Here is a link to an interview with the translator of the new diaries:

https://slate.com/culture/2023/01/kafka-diaries-uncensored-homoerotic-ross-benjamin-interview.html

And below are entries from my manuscript.

+++++++++++

07 December 1916

                Max takes the fact I always tell the truth as a virtue. He takes my protestations as a virtue. But I am capable of nothing else. Max even says he is envious of me, and I actually laughed in his face. Me, so envious of everyone living their real lives. He was much taken by surprise.

08 December 1916

                 I have not admitted something to Max. It is the closest I come to lying – not saying everything I think. So I have not told him I see envy on the faces of many people. Even my father. It is a power which I do not want. A power which frightens me. 

17 May 1917

           Dreamed I was in Florence, after a long train journey. I was supposed to meet M. upon the bridge with all the goldsmith shops. I had the feeling we had chosen the place as an equivalent to the Alchemist’s Lane. And as I walked along the river, it was indeed Prague I saw on the other shore. I wondered if I might be in this tiny house, scratching out these words upon the page – this page. But I continued toward the bridge, and tried to ignore the Prague of my dreams. Much as in real life.

     The bridge was in a precarious state, the abutments pocked and stained. Mortar fell away in handfuls. I looked up to see M. standing at the top of the steps. There were double handrails made of gold, and the steps themselves seemed burnished with use. “Hurry,” she implored, leaning toward me and pointing to the river. This movement deepened the cleavage between her generous breasts, and I was distracted. I imagined my hand slipping beneath the confines of her blouse, and my fingers retrieving a heated nugget of gold. But finally I turned to where she was pointing, and saw that the river was nearly at my heels. I moved adroitly, and was soon standing beside her. “Must you meet me in such a place?” I asked. “It’s your dream. And, you weren’t so concerned a minute ago.”  “But we’re here for the gold?” I asked.  “No.” She took my hand. “We’re here for the view.”

     She led me into one of the shops where the goldsmiths were shaping sheets of gold around molds, tiny hammers going tap tap tap across the rich, dull surface. I could smell the scent of warm gold from between her breasts. I wanted to taste it, going flick flick flick with the tip of my tongue. Yet another button had unhooked from the strain, and I could glimpse the gold piece, damp with sweat. “Are you after my treasure?” asked M. “Even if we are in Florence,” I said, feeling very clever with myself, “that doesn’t mean all the treasures are ones of art.” M. was kind enough to smile. She then gestured. “Look – to left and right.”

     As I looked from one bank of the river to the other, I saw that the cities were vying for my attention. Florence was bowing on my left, while Prague was undulating from the right. The buildings shook, the towers nodded, and the river tore between. At my side, M. was joining in with a dance of her own, her nearly exposed breasts swaying with little restraint. “You’re not helping,” I said. “You watch what you want,” she replied. The river was now so turbulent that music escaped from the waves, and the two cities attempted to outdo each other. Florence beckoned with the raised steps of a gavotte, while Prague hipswung with the new American jazz. “Which city?” asked M., her hair in a swirl, and the last button defeated. “Which city is to be your partner?” And my eyes left her wild hair and the flashing nugget of gold, and I stepped onto the river, its music around my knees. And I held out my hands toward Prague.

20 May 1917

           But of course, it was just a dream.

Wotz Been Did & Wotz Been Hid 4 Friday 13th

I wish to state before this assembled multitude;

This packed house;

This captive audience;

That I have every right

(as much as each of you)

To be here

To represent my interests;

My justifications,

My associations,

Because

I am a member

In every day,

And,

Perhaps

Even on nights which are too cold.

And then the elevators,

(as they so often do)

Stop.

You look askance.

Indeed, you look at me

In that manner

That indicates the corners of your eyes

Are full of mistakes.

Which proves to me

Beyond and above

– to heaven even –

To the very Golden Gates,

Where various saints

Hang to the golden bars

And swing to and fro

In the Celestial breezes,

Which cause clouds to scud across the sky,

And there is barely time to think of a reply.

DE

Kafka Takes Praise With – Not A Grain – But A Bag Of Salt

In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in **missing** diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. It is estimated Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote. I am as accurate as I can be with the timeline.

++++++++++++++++++++++

12 January 1917

I have heard that Max has been praising me again. Excessively.

He not only praises my scribbling, but also imbues me with the fortitude and honesty of the Christian saints. He will next want me to open my own rabbinical school.

It is neither easy nor expedient to be honest, and causes much resentment. People do like to know they can trust you, but are generally wary about the truth.

Especially if it is truth about them.     

Particularly if it is my truth about them.

It is generally acceptable however, to be truthful about other people.

Yes, my writings are the truth – a total truth. But, I do not know how to write any other way.

I may as well be praised for being born with two arms and black hair, my choice in the matter is the same.

A Family Tree Of Many Branches – Dukes and Witches #Bloganuary

My ancestry has, of course, many humble and hard-working folk, from farmers and tradespeople to ministers of the cloth. But it always seems more exciting to point to the historic notables, if they can be found.

Estey starts (so it seems) with the noble family of Este from Northern Italy, which ruled parts of Italy and Germany for a number of centuries. But, the branch which led to me, got into a fight with the Pope – an unwise thing to do at the best of times. For the sake of self-preservation, those Estes hoofed it to the safety of England, and ended up in some minor capacity at the court of the English monarch.

A more modern descendant of that branch had some sort of farming enterprise some distance from London. I have seen the occasional gravestone in country churchyards, taken there by a local historian. I stayed in very swank accommodations for a night, in an establishment that had been a Manor House for centuries. It is currently a grand hotel, visited by Royalty. I like to think that my ancestor/farmer sold produce to the place, following the same narrow road I took. It is now known as Hintlesham Hall. https://hintleshamhall.co.uk/

It seems that some of the Estes at the English court (or, who knows, from the branch that farmed near  Hintlesham Hall), went to America. At any rate, Esteys were there in the very late 1600s, living in Salem Massachusetts. One of them, Mary Estey, got caught up in the infamous witch trials, and ended her days by being hanged on 22 September, 1692. This was the last execution of the Salem Witch Trials.

Nineteen years later, her husband received 20 pounds compensation for her death.

Some of their descendants moved (I think wisely) to Canada.

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