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Trump And Kafka Walk Into A Bar

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{I wrote this after Donald Trump was elected President of The United States of America. Many folk also looked at it after the glorious meeting in  Helsinki with Putin, Tzar of ALL The Russias. So – why not post an oldie but a goodie as the West’s democratic representative here on earth meets Kim Jong-un  – a Tzar in his own right – in Hanoi? Will it be Viet Nam all over again?}

~ 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.

(image) http://s3.amazonaws.com/ quietus_production/images/articles/21607/cf35889b7cbe1c1e99763f8b9cf64535_1484923461.jpg

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Going Up And Down In Montréal

 

fountain-titled-female

(Place Ville Marie)

At one time I shared a whole house with four other people. Two were in the process of becoming lawyers. I noted that most of their stories did not contain much whimsy. The following is a story one of the fellows told us. I, of course, make up the dialogue but, though fiction, it is based on his facts.

*********************

“I don’t mean to stare – I apologise. I’m not in the habit of doing this, but you remind me of someone. That has to sound like a line – the look on your face. But I’m not after ….

“Have you ever been in the train station at Place Ville Marie in Montréal? The escalators that come up by the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.  I had a lot of travel to get to work when I lived in Montréal, and made train and bus connection.

“No, thanks. I don’t want another.

“One morning – a Thursday – as I was going up the escalator, I saw a girl coming down from the street. She had short red hair – that’s the main reason I’ve been staring – and a green skirt with a white blouse. Coming down that escalator, with that wide space between us. She was looking at me the way I was looking at her – interest and excitement and whatever potential that leads to. We stared into each others eyes as we came level, and craned to look back as we passed.

“I guess I’ll have another of the same, after all.

“That was stupid enough. I should have jumped that barrier, or at least gone down after her. But I had a job, and was young, and things like that just don’t happen.

“Next morning, even though I was looking for her, and hoping so much, I couldn’t have been more shocked by a ghost when I saw that red hair. She had that same look – of shock.

“God, to be so unsure of what to do, and stupid to the ways of the world, and even to have that stabbing thought that it can happen again tomorrow. We stared and stared, you could almost feel electricity between us. At the top I waited as long as I dared, hoping she would come up. I had to get my bus, and just jumped it as it was pulling away.

“That was a Friday. I sweated through the weekend, full of grand plans about telling her to wait, or to come up to me, or yelling my phone number. She wasn’t there, of course, on Monday or any other day. I looked the rest of the summer, then it was back to university.

“I mean, to be given one chance like that and waste it. But two. I’ve never forgotten, even now with a wife and kids, I wonder what might have been. It can make my hands shake, seeing someone like you, and with too much drink in me.”

When Trump And Putin Last Walked Into A Bar

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~ Have you been drinking the vodka, Donald?

~ Why do you ask, Vlad?

~ Because you are acting like Russian.

~ You know what Ivanka told me?

~ Nyet

~ That I was Putin you in your place.

~ Maybe I’ll have other drink.

~ We all laughed, believe me.

~ A double, I think.

~ Even President Xi. I didn’t know a Chinaman laughed.

~ To hell with double. Leave the bottle.

~ You know what Ivanka said about Assad?

~ Let me fill glass.

~ She said that I Bashared his Ass.
~ Ivanka has a mouth.

~ Tears. We howled laughter until the tears came.

~ Maybe she’d like to sell dresses in Russia.

~ She’ll sell you the best dresses, believe me.

~ Maybe some fur hats – made in Crimea.

~ You don’t want her starting a war, do you?

~ Donsky – you’re a funny man.

~ It’s where she gets it. Believe me.

 

DE

Margaret Atwood And I – Not A Handmaid’s Tale, But A Tale Nevertheless

Elisabeth Moss,Margaret Atwood

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.

DE

(image) https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/elizabeth-moss-margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-emmy-win.jpg?w=670&h=377&crop=1

#Trump And #Merkel Walk Into A Bar In Hamburg

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~ You are not quite the tuff bad boy I expected, Herr Donald.

~  Maybe not – but your stiff starchiness is evident, Frau Reich Chancellor.

~ One must keep you and the Tzar of all the Russias in their place.

~ Nothing is going to keep Vlad in his corner of his empire.

~ True.

~ Unless . . .

~ Speak it up, Herr Donald.

~ I dunno – you never know who is listening these days.

~ I think we’re safe – the Tzar is on his way home.

~ But “home” is the operative word, Angie.

~ Then you had best whisper into my shell-like ear.

~ All we’d need is a Twitter GIF of that!

~ Not to worry – I’ll just roll my eyes.

~ Well – Frau Angie – why don’t we form an Anchluss?

~ I think you mean an alliance, Herr Donald.

~ I’ll leave the technicalities to you.

~ And we’d already have an alliance, Der Donald, if you behaved yourself.

~ Did you just say “dear”?

~ Not in this lifetime.

~ Just checking, Angie.

~ Nor the one after.

~ The ladies like a bit of power – if you get my drift.

~ Hell would first freeze over.

~ I’m thinking you might accomplish that, Frau Reich Chancellor.

DE

(image)s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/embed-lg/public/2017/07/07/trump-merkel.JPG

#Trump And #Putin Walk Into A Bar In Hamburg

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~ At least you do not offer me poison, Donald.

~ And you kindly offer me nothing, Vladimir.

~ I was taken aback when I learned you don’t drink.

~ Lips that touch liquor is the only way it touches me.

~ Still – Don – what is the point of getting through the day?

~ What do you mean?

~ If you never feel any better from beginning to end.

~ There are other ways – believe me.

~ Nothing as good as vodka – and I’ll drink to that.

~ Gotta admit, Vlad – there is one thing to tempt me to that bottle.

~ What?

~ Reich Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel.

~ Oy Vey!

~ “Amen” to that, Vlad.

~ That is one bitch in britches.

~ Freeze the balls right off you and use them for hockey pucks.

~ She gave me such a look.

~ Her handshake had the touch of death.

~ She has done one thing though, Don.

~ What, Vlad?

~ She has made comrades out of us, Comrade.

DE

(image)http://www.google.ca/search?q=Putin+%2B+Trump+%2B+Merkel&client=gmail&rls=aso&authuser=1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj16ZHF6_fUAhUDcT4KHS0sD68Q_AUICCgD&biw=1366&bih=659#imgrc=7UWKn7dAWUaI3M:

Trump And The Pope Walk Into A Bar

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~ What’s your poison, your Holiness?

~ Always a little wine.

~ Do you think I could get a title like that?

~ Pardon?

~ “Your Holiness”.

~ I have my doubts.

~ I could really go for that – believe me.

~ You’d have to change your faith, my Son.

~ That could work.

~ It’s not as easy as you might think.

~ Gotta go into the mumbo jumbo, would I?

~ There are things to learn – yes.

~ And my Latin probably sucks.

~ You could avoid that.

~ E Pluribus Unum

~ Well, that’s a start.

~ I got lots of them, believe me.

~ It’s more than just money, my Son.

~ I’ve got billions of them.

~ So I’ve heard.

~ Billions and billionser. Feels good.

~It’s easier, my Son, for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

~ Could choke a camel with them. Wad them down its throat.

~ That wouldn’t really solve the problem.
 

~ “In God We Trust” – that’s what it means.

~ Pardon?

~ E Pluribus Unum.   It means “In God We Trust”. Religious as hell.

DE

(image)https://media.toofab.com/2017/05/24/donald-trump-pope-810×610.jpg

Hitler, Kafka, And Me

arton3192

I owe my life to Hitler, thanks to the Second World War, and my Canadian soldier father meeting my British War Bride mother.

I imagine it is too crass to say I have a soft spot for Hitler. I’ve studied his personal history, and know something of the man who was (admittedly) only a small part of the monster.

If he had been able to sell more of his paintings . . . who knows what might have happened?

And, I even managed to track down a connection between Hitler and Franz Kafka. This possible meeting  goaded me to write a stand-alone short story about Kafka, in addition to my novel about his missing diaries.  In the short story Kafka is implored to join the Austrian army in WW I so he can kill ” . . . the man who will kill your sisters.”)

In reality, before Hitler came to power, he lived in Munich. In the apartment building where Hitler lived, a cousin of Kafka’s was also a resident.  Nothing is known as to whether the monster met the cousin. Or if Franz visited his cousin. Or if Franz Kafka met Adolf Hitler.

But it would be interesting, a challenge – and even fun – to have these two men (virtual teetotallers and vegetarians both) meet in a coffee house. Or an Art Gallery.

Kafka saw monsters everywhere he looked. Why not give him a real one?

DE

(image)http://oeuvresouvertes.net/IMG/arton3192.png

Birthdays Bring Thoughts And Pictures From The Past

 

399px-mccord_hall

(image)http://unbhistory.lib.unb.ca/images/thumb/2/22/Mccord_hall.jpg/399px-Mccord_hall.jpg

Birthdays make me (surprise) ponder the past.

My great friend and writing mentor, Nancy Bauer, as wise as the ears she sometimes writes about, in the past had mentioned the Past on Facebook. One of the responses to her comment spoke about our mutual times with a fluid writing group, in the gathering place fondly known as The Ice House.

That reminded me of this past blog of mine. It is centred around The Ice House and the passage of time. I’m sure Nancy, who writes a weekly newspaper column and has, occasionally, some trouble thinking of topics, will allow me to modify and steal from myself.

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

I came across an announcement today about a memorial reading for the Canadian poet, Alden Nowlan. One of my claims to fame is being mistaken for Alden – sadly three years after he died. Perhaps I had had a rough night the night before. At any rate, at this memorial reading a number of the readers are known to me and come from my ‘era’. One of the things some of us shared was that we were members of the same writing group. This group met on Tuesday nights for two to three hours, reading and commenting on each others work. Save for one Master’s Thesis that I know of, not enough has been written about this long-lasted group. And much could be written. Many notables passed through the door and many eventually-established authors emerged.

Although the building where we met had the proper name of McCord Hall, it was in fact the very old converted Ice House of the University of New Brunswick. It had been turned fancy with wooden beams and high windows and a long impressive wooden table. The Ice House is in current use as I speak, designated as an English Graduate seminar room. There is even coffee.

 

Indeed, just recently I wrote a brief story about the Ice House for a CBC contest. It went, in its entirety:

When the august Ice House Gang was in its writing heyday at the University of New Brunswick, the saintly Nancy Bauer was looked upon as our revered Mentor. She was calm and fair, even to the untutored and raunchy. Once, while one of our more seamy members was reading out-and-out pornography, I began to rub my foot against her leg. A look of confusion crossed her face and then, with a voice etched in acid, she loudly announced: “That Estey is feeling me up under the table.”

 
I did not win.

However, perhaps the reason is because of the following. This is part of the description of the memorial reading for Alden:

Along with Nowlan, former University of New Brunswick professor Bob Gibbs was a member of the “Ice House Gang”, a group of faculty members and writers who would gather in an old stone hut on College Hill.

I know much is in the eye of the beholder, but…

DE

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