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It’s Saint Patrick’s Day On Partridge Island And Sister Darling Brings Stew

Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as the Ides of March


With one white mitten,

Has a green ribbon


Tied around his neck,

As we stand on the dock


And welcome the arrival of Sister Darling,

Of The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed)

On this Saint Patrick’s Day,


She steps off the fishing boat,

And unceremoniously hands me


A hefty cauldron,

As she scoops up Paw


And holds him close, the way


(I trust)

She will eventually hold me.


“Irish stew,” says she.

But I didn’t even have to guess,


For I can recite, by smell,

The ingredients.


Lamb on the bone

Carrots/celery

onions/leeks/garlic

Bay leaf/sea salt/black pepper

Lots of potatoes

And two (I hope) pints of ale.

“You are right,” she says


As Paw snuggles into her hair,

“And you will get

A Reward.”

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2023 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

On World Book Day Franz Kafka Excites The Ladies On TikTok

It is difficult to say whether Kafka would want this type of attention.

He really liked the ladies (and many ladies really liked him). He was rarely without such companionship; he enjoyed a notable age range (mind you, he died at forty-one); he was engaged to his long-suffering Felice twice (though he never married); and his last lover (twenty years younger) attempted to leap into his open grave.

But Kafka was a private person, off and on the page (it is estimated he destroyed 70% of all his written work). It appears he never gave more than a dozen readings in his life (though he left his audiences rolling in the aisles with laughter). He found much of his own work very funny.

And, he was a good looking man – perpetually young. This is quite a theme on Tic-Tok, where teenage girls metaphorically (and probably physically) sigh. Kafka would like that – but not in public.

But, what is there NOT to like about a handsome and dead author? They offer so much, and do not disappoint.

Here is an article about the Kafka phenomena on TikTok: https://www.intheknow.com/post/franz-kafka-fancams-meme/

And here is some TikTok Kafka exposure: https://www.tiktok.com/tag/kafka

DE

Franz Kafka & Sweet Love For Valentine’s Day

Contrary to popular belief, Kafka had a very full love life. He was rarely without a lady friend during any part of his life. When one left, another soon took her place.

The following is a part of a letter he wrote to Felice, the woman he was engaged to – twice. It is fair to say that she was long-suffering. The sentiments Kafka expresses might have given her second thoughts. Perhaps that is partly why there were two engagements.

Think what one will about Kafka’s romantic abilities, he was a chick magnet. Right to the end. After his funeral, his last lover had to be restrained from leaping into his grave to be with him.

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

11 November, 1912

Fräulein Felice!

I am now going to ask you a favor which sounds quite crazy, and which I should regard as such, were I the one to receive the letter. It is also the very greatest test that even the kindest person could be put to. Well, this is it:

Write to me only once a week, so that your letter arrives on Sunday — for I cannot endure your daily letters, I am incapable of enduring them. For instance, I answer one of your letters, then lie in bed in apparent calm, but my heart beats through my entire body and is conscious only of you. I belong to you; there is really no other way of expressing it, and that is not strong enough. But for this very reason I don’t want to know what you are wearing; it confuses me so much that I cannot deal with life; and that’s why I don’t want to know that you are fond of me. If I did, how could I, fool that I am, go on sitting in my office, or here at home, instead of leaping onto a train with my eyes shut and opening them only when I am with you?  … Franz

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

While Kafka was in the first year of his ‘love-of-a-lifetime’ affair with Felice Bauer,  he met “The Swiss Girl”. In his diaries, she was only referred to as W. or G. W. They were together for ten days in a spa on Lake Garda.

She was a Christian. He was thirty, she was eighteen. However, the relationship (apparently sexually consummated) made a great impression on him for the rest of his life.

Research over the years  finally revealed her name is Gerti Wasner. However, very little else (as far as I can find) is known about her.

Where did her life lead after an encounter with Kafka?

Here are some of Kafka’s actual diary entries about the incident.

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

20 October 1913

I would gladly write fairy tales (why do I hate the word so?) that could please W. and that she might sometimes keep under  the table at meals, read between courses, and blush f

22 October 1913.

Too late. The sweetness of sorrow and of love. To be smiled at by her in the boat. That was most beautiful of all. Always only the desire to die and the not-yet-yielding; this alone is love.

Translated by Joseph Kresh

Sister Darling Saves A Soul For Valentine’s Day

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Stepped onto the dock of

The Partridge Island Lighthouse

This Valentine Day morning,

From an outgoing fishing boat,

To spend the day (and night)

On behalf of my religious studies.

Provisions she brought, beyond

Usual Lighthouse Keeper fare,

Incl. chocolates and bottles o’ wine.

There were even finely cut

Fresh fish fillets for

Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as soot

With one white mitten.

And when my religious instructions

Were done,

And before our festive feast,

We greeted each other with

Such enthusiasm,

That her hair-holding bun

Became undone,

And cascaded across her shoulders,

Giving Paw, the cat/kitten,

A place to hide.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2023 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

The Revival, “Come To Jesus Meetings” End, So Sister Darling Visits Partridge Island

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Has been on the road,

Saving souls in the hot hot hot

Summer months.

But September brings her home,

And the soul she is interested in

Is the soul of The Lighthouse Keeper

Of Partridge Island.

Come on down and save me!

So, today, which is her birthday,

She gets on a fishing boat at high tide,

And comes here for supper,

And breakfast,

And breakfast again.

I will provide her with,

A fine dish of salmon,

And a trinket or two,

While Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as Sturgeon roe

With one white mitten,

Will have a red bow

Around his neck,

Which makes him look

Fetching as hell.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2022 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

The Police Pulled Over The Dump Truck Of Delights

It was not a day like any other day, so I suppose it did not start like any other day. I don’t know.

However the day started, it did not end well. It did not go well. It ceased being well half way through.

Half way through the day that did not end well, on the street that leads to the Causeway that crosses the Bay that leads to the street that takes you into the heart of the city, the police pulled over the dump truck of delights.

One police car with flashing lights approached the dump truck of delights and pulled it to the side of the road and parked behind it with its lights still flashing and  . . .

Well, that was it.

The dump truck, painted a utilitarian grey with a rusty dump covered in a tied-down tarpaulin, was stopped. Halted. Pulled to the side of the road by the black-and-white police car with its flashing blue-and-red-and-white lights flashing dully off the dull dump truck.

Far enough!

End of line!

Turn off the engine!

Chock the wheels!

And that was that. In sight of the city proper. So near and yet so far. Over the Causeway was the forbidden land. Do Not Enter!

For the Dump Truck of Delights would rouse the populace and inflame the imagination and loosen too too many tethers.

There were unicorns, of course, in the Dump Truck of Delights.

And Spheres with moons and stars whizzing around them.

And rabbit holes to disappear into.

And cotton candy, floating floating floating like clouds.

And real clouds coloured like cotton candy.

And the Tree of Knowledge weighted down with fruit.

And angels and seraphim with trumpets and harps and chubby cherubim with big brass drums.

And the joys of the flesh and the hopes of the soul.

And the biggest, the widest, the firmest beds where anyone, anywhere, ever eased off into sleep.

There were warming winds.

There were cooling breezes.

The food and drink were – well – beyond description.

So – of course – the police were instructed to stop the Dump Truck of Delights, and keep such pleasure and peace from the people. To make sure it would not cross the Causeway and disrupt the commerce of the city.

Besides – the driver had no permit to transport unicorns.

DE BA UEL

It Is Pot Of Stew Day For The Blessed Arrival Of Sister Darling

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Will arrive

On the Sunday tide,

To help me on the way

To Heaven.

So, I will prepare,

And let simmer,

A rip-roaring

Pot o’ stew,

To warm her up,

(As she warms me)..

Turnips & parsnips,

Carrots & potatoes,

Onions & garlic & a trove

Of seasonings.

All to augment,

And enhance,

The liberal chunks

Of venison.

It will simmer overnight

Much as will I.

She will bring bread,

And pastries,

And a jug of red wine,

Though she is more than welcome

If she arrives

Empty handed.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2022 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

Sister Darling Saves My Soul And Ignites My Coal For Valentine’s Day

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Stepped onto the dock of

The Partridge Island Lighthouse

This Valentine Day morning,

From an outgoing fishing boat,

To spend the day (and night)

On behalf of my religious studies.

Provisions she brought, beyond

Usual Lighthouse Keeper fare,

Incl. chocolates and bottles o’ wine.

There were even finely cut

Fresh fish fillets for

Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as soot

With one white mitten.

And when my religious instructions

Were done,

And before our festive feast,

We greeted each other with

Such enthusiasm,

That her hair-holding bun

Became undone,

And cascaded across her shoulders,

Giving Paw, the cat/kitten,

A place to hide.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2022 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

Franz Kafka Wants The Best Of No World For Valentine’s Day

Franz Kafka had many lovers in his life.  For someone supposedly distant and difficult, he was rarely without a woman more than willing to be his companion. Of course, being his companion was difficult because he was – well – Franz Kafka. Not that, as far as I know, any of them actually used the phrase .“It’s complicated.”  But it was.

Felice Bauer was, arguably, the most important love in his life. She was engaged to him twice. And, considering the relationship they had, I’m guessing she was relieved each time they broke it off.  They were ‘together’ from September 1912 to October 1917, and most of their relationship occurred through letters. Those few times they were together were not always filled with bliss.

In Kafka In The Castle, where I fill in his missing diary entries, I have him make comments about the end of their relationship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt from Kafka In The Castle

27 February 1917

A letter from F. I am beginning to think that we do not really see the people in front of us. F. has changed from a vibrant companion to a banal drudge. But, of course, she has not really changed. She is neither of these things, but rather a combination. She is a person living through her life, and what I see reflected are my wants and fears. I want F. to share my tiny house, but I am ever fearful she might say yes.

28 March 1917

I have many letters I should write, the principle one being to F. A chore offering little satisfaction, and less pleasure. Except for the relief of knowing it is done. I am an expert in this, since I spend most of my life dealing with chores. The sins of the office will follow me into the third and fourth decade. But what is to be done about Felice? If anything, she is enjoying our correspondence more now, than she ever has. Rarely do we go below the surface of furniture and work. Will this be this, or that be that? If we ever approach the stairway of heaven together, she will be most concerned that the carpeting upon it is expensive and durable.

04 June 1917

Sometimes – with F – a kiss could make me feel I was becoming part of her. And she into me. I retreated.

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