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Kafka And Trump Walk Into A Bar

kafka-for-president

 

{I wrote this after Donald Trump was elected President of The United States of America.  He is still in place.

Today an article popped into my news stream entitled : “Trump Has Franz Kafka Spinning His Grave”. You can find it here: https://www.laprogressive.com/trump-has-franz-kafka-spinning/

So, in honour of Kafka (and I have visited his grave), I’ll play it again, Donnie.}

““““““““““`

~ Frank. Welcome to your world.

~ Thanks, DT. I’ve been living it all my life.

~ I’ve taken some pages out of your books, Frank.

~ I did try to get them burned.

~ You didn’t try too hard.

~ Well – no.

~ You know – neither did I.

~ I know. They all ran to your tune.

~ They did.

~ You were the Pied Piper of Havoc.

~ Worked like a charm, Frank.

~ Yes, DT – yes, it did.

~ They thought I was a bug.

~ Yes.

~ But I turned them into bugs.

~That you did, DT. And turned them against each other.

~ Yes.

~ And stood back, and watched.

~ Pretty well.

~ To the victor goes the spoils.

~ I was astounded – believe me.

~ And they keep making the same mistakes.

~ I know, Frank. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so funny.

~ The one-eyed man is King in the land of the Blind.

~ Yes, Frank – yes. But you know what?

~ What?

~ I’ve got great vision in both eyes.

Trump & COVID19 Walk Into A Bar In Tulsa, Oklahoma

5999878_031020-wpvi-coronavirus-generic-from-broadcast-open-img
~ Oh – my God – Mr. President. Thank You!

~ I take credit for everything.

~ Thank you. Thank You!

~ You’re welcome.

~ Let me shake your hand.

~ Of course.

~ I suppose a hug is too much?

~ Not at all.

~ Oh. Oh. You are Death’s dream.

~ Any chance you can take out Biden?

~ Oh, I am but a foot soldier. Anyway – he wears a mask.

~ Coward.

~ I love it when you talk like that.

~ He’s keeping his distance.

~ But you don’t.

~ I got guards. No one will get closer than six feet.

~ Of course.

~ I like that – six feet.

~ Why?

~ That’s how deep they bury you. Ground Zero.

~ But aren’t you worried about your followers?

~ Why?

~ Well – you’ll lose their votes.

~ Nah – that doesn’t matter.

~ But you’ll need every vote.

~ Oh, we just get them from the graveyard, too.

Does Hope In Life Cloud The Reality Of Death?

quote-plenty-of-hope-an-infinite-amount-of-hope-but-not-for-us-franz-kafka-242320

An Excerpt from my Kafka In The Castle, where I fill in all of his missing diary entries. Perhaps because the summer heat is getting to him, his patience is thin with those whose hope outstrip the realities of life and – particularly – death.

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

17 June 1917

I am told that you can’t lose people, that “…they will always be with you in memory.” Max is heavy with this type of comment – as if the hand of sentimentality brushed off his coat before he set out on each day.

Both the intelligent and the slow of wit seem to be struck dumb by this nonsense. Emotion, I suppose  – hope, I suppose – has no place for reason among its folds. But, if you can not touch, or have expectation of being touched, then the people and places are as gone as yesterday.

There is no way to travel back, and the future beckons with only an empty gesture and a hollow laugh. Bowing low at the open doorway to usher you in, but the room is empty. And will remain ever so.

When they are no longer there to hold their hand out to you – well, then they are no longer there.

 

(image) https://izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-plenty-of-hope-an-infinite-amount-of-hope-but-not-for-us-franz-kafka-242320.jpg

Witch Hunt

rebecca_nurse_salem_witch_trials_by-freeland-a-carter-artist-public-domain-via-wikimedia-commons_promo

 

The witch hunt is on:
 
Not for
 
But by
 
The witches.
 
I know of what I speak
Being
A descendant
Of a witch
– Mary Eastey –
(also spelled Esty, Easty, Estey)
 
Executed
(hanged, not burned)
By the good
& pious folk
(Christians all)
Of
Salem, Mass.
 
[I put in “Mass” so
those life-hating Puritan folk
Gnash their teeth
And burn,
A little brighter
In Hell.]
 
{And I add
… ’cause it tickles my
Fancy…
That 19 years later
Mary’s husband
received £20
of compensation.}
 
Praise The Lord
 
The witches
(ready, aye, ready)
Now seek their
justified
retribution
against those with
the stench
of self-serving
Morality
upon
their breath.
 
BEWARE!
[Image} https//:www.biography.com/.image/t_share/MTUwMTQyNDY2ODExNTA0MTg4/rebecca_nurse_salem_witch_trials_by-freeland-a-carter-artist-public-domain-via-wikimedia-commons_promo.jpg

 

To Wear A Jolly Hat

colorful-fedora-hat-more-colors-10

 

Oh, to wear a jolly hat,
 
An impressive chapeau,
 
A trendy  topper.
 
And be:
 
The host of the neighbourhood,
 
The toast of the town,
 
The Crème de la crème.
 
The bee in the bonnet,
 
The bee’s knees,
 
The cat’s meow,
 
The font of celebration
And good cheer
 
To direct,
 
Like a traffic cop
 
In the midst of
COVID constraint
and
Rambunctious chaos.
 
All those
 
In their honking cars,
 
With balloons
 
Tied to door handles
 
Or streaming
 
From
 
Open windows
 
 
Fiddling
(figuratively)
Whilst Rome burns.
 
 
Bringing cheer to those,
 
Trapped upon their balconies,
 
 
Daring not to go down
To the parking lots of life.
 
 
Except
 
(of course)
 
For those few
 
– well, not so few –
 
Who leap over constraints;.
 
Social order;
 
Good health
 
&
 
Metal fencing.
 
To grab at
 
Proffered gifts,
 
And bestow upon
 
Friend and family alike
 
The hugs
 
And
 
Kiss
 
Of Death.

Death Mask And The Creative Spirit

dscn1265

 

My two gals, Alison Alexandra and her friend, Amanda, went on a sea voyage. A voyage via a freighter, and not a cruise ship. They stop in the ports where the freighter stops, and they take visits of the town if they so desire.

 

On one of their times on shore, they decide to visit a Police Museum. One of the exhibits is a Death Mask of a hanged murderer. They take great interest in this, noting the repose of the face.

 

This incident is based on an event in my own life. I melded parts of my experience into my characters afternoon visit during their day ashore. This had not been on my mind when I started this particular chapter..
 

I once taught a workshop on Supernatural writing. For my workshop I took advantage to take my students on a field trip to see the death mask of a historically known poet. The death mask was conveniently on view in a display case in a near-by building.

None of them had even heard of ‘death masks’, let alone seen one. I invited them to incorporate the idea into their writing exercises. Some did, some did not.

However, it’s possible this visit to Death elicited the following story from one of my students.

My student and her husband had purchased a new house. Cleaning and renovations eventually took them to the back loft area, which was piled high with decades of accumulated detritus from a long life.

 

They cleared out beds and boxes and newspaper piles and magazines and bundles of clothes and on and on. Near the end of this process, my student noticed a “clump of something”on one of the wooden beams of the loft.

Getting ladder and flashlight her husband climbed to see what it was.

It was the end of a number of knotted bed sheets.

Joe-the-Knife is Dead

beans-of-erinyes
[The Three Erinyes]
Dead
(I am informed)
 
As a door nail.
 
His quietus made.
 
Turned to ashes.
 
Tough food for worms.
 
Done as dinner.
 
 
Yet I murmur:
 
 
“Poe-et-ic justice”
 
“Couldn’t have happened to a …”
 
“Bon Voyage!”
 
“Write if you get work”
 
“Karma is a bitch”
 
“The Three Erinyes
Tisiphone
Megaera
Alecto
All descended.”
 
“Justice prevailed”
 
“The Devil takes his own”
 
But
 
They do say
 
‘If you can’t say anything nice…”
 
 
[And I can’t
‘Cause I knew the son-of-a-bitch
Only too, too well
And
Anyway
Saying more would
Just be
Overkill]
So
… sure
I’ll refrain
 
And keep
My thoughts
To myself.

A Farewell For Nova Scotia

509738-4-light-outdoor-hanging-lantern-iron-ash
 
It is possible,
Because we are told
(are we not)
That everything is possible.
 
So, it is possible that, when
I turn on the porch light,
Bright enough to illuminate
The new, blue crocuses in
The front flower bed,
That that light
Can
Go down to the shore,
Skip across the waves,
Slide past the Lighthouse light
On Partridge Island
And whirl over the waters
Of
The Bay of Fundy.
 
My tiny light
(Remember, we are told
It is possible)
Takes a sharp,
So very sharp,
Left turn
To reach the wave-lapped
Coast of Nova Scotia
Near to the
Cumberland shore
And can be seen,
Not so far inland
By both the living
And the dead.
 
It brings inside it
Pain and remembrance
Prayer and hope
A tiny light
Shining as bright
As it can.
 
Since everything is possible.

Death Takes The Lead In The Final Dance

35_newmarriedlady

My two gals, Alison Alexandra and her friend, Amanda, had a sea voyage. It was a voyage via a freighter, and not a cruise ship. They stopped in the ports where the freighter stops, and they took visits of the town if they so desired.

On one of their times on shore, they decide to visit a Police Museum. One of the exhibits is a Death Mask of a hanged murderer. They take great interest in this, noting the repose of the face.

This incident is based on an event in my own life. I melded parts of my experience into my characters afternoon visit during their day ashore. This had not been on my mind when I started this particular chapter..
 
I once taught a workshop on Supernatural writing. For my workshop I took advantage to take my students on a field trip to see the death mask of a historically known poet. The death mask was conveniently on view in a display case in a near-by building. The poet was Bliss Carman, and among the tales told of him, was that his death mask was the only thing remaining of him in this city of his birth. His ashes, buried with great pomp, were actually the ashes from a railway, gathered by his lover who wished to have his real remains stay with her.

None of my students had even heard of ‘death masks’, let alone seen one. I invited them to

incorporate the idea into their writing exercises. Some did, some did not.

However, it’s possible this visit to Death elicited the following story from one of my students.

My student and her husband had purchased a new house. Cleaning and renovations eventually took them to the back loft area, which was piled high with decades of accumulated detritus from a long life.

They cleared out beds and boxes and newspaper piles and magazines and bundles of clothes and on and on. Near the end of this process, my student noticed a “clump of something” on one of the wooden beams of the loft.

Getting ladder and flashlight her husband climbed to see what it was.

It was the end of a number of knotted bed sheets.

 
And, since Death can lead its merry way in so many ways, here is a segment of a Bliss Carman poem which sums up to me, oh, so much.
Bliss Carman (from) Across The Courtyard

Somehow she had acquired the chill
Of worldliness; I missed the thrill
Of eager radiance she had
When we were comrades, free and glad.
Some volatile and subtle trace
Of soul had vanished from her face,
Leaving the brilliancy that springs
From polished and enamelled things.
The beauty of the lamp still shone
With lustre
, but the flame was gone.

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