A Literary Autopsy

January 24th, 2015 — 9:35am

 

kafka (1)“Now, you have all the vitals. Josef K., male, 40. Eastern European, middle child, no dependents. Never married, profession: Insurance advocate.

 

“So, let’s get down to work. The first thing you notice immediately are the feet. Big. Too big – a duck out of water, clown’s feet, must have been uncomfortable walking through this world, on cobblestones especially. So too with all the extremities. Notice the ears and how they are reaching out to hear – almost to here! The hands. Too big for gloves. A murderer’s hands, always in need of clutching each other for fear of their fallen fate.”

 

“Now, let’s turn our attention to the eyes which some say are the keyhole of the soul. Dark, deep, moist, cavernous eyes. They have the look of too little sleep, of an active nether world, an always awakening dream. Calculating eyes, always wanting something which the other is unable to give. Long straight eye brows that guard the inner sanctum in a plain yet threatening way.”

 

“Then, there’s the nose. Typical mensch, built to oxygenate the brain. Solomon’s sniffing snoze. Almost artificial, glued on, inhuman, primitive, as if it were bought from the golem maker along with the clown’s feet, for a show, to beckon some hidden force, then unceremoniously stuck on. A nose that knows.”

 

“Lips. Thin, always dry. Unkissed. Not those of a lover but one who wants to be loved. An intellectual’s lips. Well sealed to prevent secrets from escaping too soon, allowing ideas to be well digested.”

 

“Speaking of the digestive system, let’s now focus on the torso. Truly a perfect ectomorph. Emasculated, a human squirrel full of nervous energy, unsettledness. But of the mind, not the body. The body wastes away on the stem of the mind. Thin, wiry, almost consumptive, the torso shows the effects of a high calorie burning organism. A man of immense hunger. A hunger artist. And it is this, I believe to be the key here. The digestive system is or should I say “was”, in a constant state of work, reconstituting experience. Life does not offer this man enough food to exist.”

 

“So, in a word, the cause of death: hunger. Perhaps he never found the food he liked – a forerunner of a more modern and endemic though less fatal disease known as nausea. A sickness of those who never seem to arrive at port. Which brings us to our next cadaver, a very interesting case, a young man found on a train from Bouville in the Gare de Montmartre in Paris. DOA, dead on arrival, no apparent trauma though ….”

kafka

 

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Modern Hygiene

January 19th, 2015 — 2:02pm

 

Everyone should have to dig a grave.

 

Choose a spot, break the earth

dig and dig and dig

jump in

dig and dig and dig

cold splashes on the face

bailing water

from the always giving, taking earth.

 

Everyone should have to dig a grave.

 

Then, feeling the arms light

hearing the smuck

as the body lands and settles

seeing how the first shovel full

lands and

illuminates the face

for a moment

though the earth abideth forever.

 

Everyone should have to dig a grave.

 

Digging, digging, digging

then, a few stones on top

a few quiet thoughts and

the wiping of the brow

the sun on the damp soil

finally, the back turned.

 

Everyone should have to dig a grave.

 

The day is coming

when this will be deemed a talent.

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Terminal Illness (dis ease)

January 10th, 2015 — 11:56am

 

Millions die from it

every day.

 

In bed, on the street

in a car, on their feet

while dancing

while smiling

while asleep …..

 

Millions die from it

every day.

 

On the beach, in the water

eating a peach, having a daughter

in tuxedos

in the nude

in style

in or out of the mood …..

 

Millions die from it

every day.

 

In apartment blocks

to the sound of clock tick tocks

in foreign exotic lands

even when wearing wedding bands

when having a late lunch

when drunk on punch

when mellow

when full of ire

on their birthdays

setting themselves on fire ….

 

Millions die from it

every day.

 

Residents, dog catchers

eye catchers, fetchers too.

The boy next door

one day even you.

 

Millions die from it

every day.

That’s life.

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Learning To Lose

January 9th, 2015 — 10:14pm

 

I always won.

Always.

 

Even when I had lost

I found some way

to fudge it

so I had won.

Always found a way

to the top

of the heap.

 

Now that I have learned

to lose,

I cannot be beat.

My race is now one.

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Night Blues

January 9th, 2015 — 10:07pm

 

It’s 10:00 pm

Sunday, full of rain

John Lee Hooker

on the stereo

crying out from in

like me for my Maybelline

sitting here

picking at my wounds

slowly like a good drunk

letting the taste of the day

drain away

slowly falling back

into the only thing

that is true, the night

and sleep

where better dreams of Maybelline

‘ll have to do.

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Taoist ideogram

January 9th, 2015 — 10:04pm

 

There is a movement

that doesn’t move.

 

There is a wind

that is still.

 

There is black

that dresses in white.

 

There is a yes

that means no.

A stop sign

that says go.

An earth

that is a grain of sand.

A boy

that has always been a man.

A death

that always lives.

A thing outside us

unknown

that always gives.

 

What makes anything right?

 

I, I undying in this necessary fight

can do what I wish

in travail, in delight.

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Ambiguity

January 9th, 2015 — 9:59pm

 

The chicken is ready to eat.

What feet will

take it there?

It’s own? Anothers? It’s mother’s?

Who cares?

It’s the readiness

that matters

not the possibilities on

either end

meaning

nothing depends

on a chicken

unless it is

ready to eat

on its own two feet.

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A Drinkers New Year’s Resolution

December 23rd, 2014 — 7:40am

 

Jan. 1 - Do not drink again.

Jan. 2 – Do not drink.

Jan. 3 – Do not.

Jan. 4 – Do.

Jan. 5 -

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For Christ Almighty

December 23rd, 2014 — 7:37am

 

The year is almost out

a candle burning down.

John has died, crucified

not even now

the gospel of twist & shout allowed

just a wiggle and wail

an old man in the corner

spewing in an older pail.

 

Everything is ending

slowly, all at once.

Judge not or yea shall be judged,

didn’t some body say?

So what?

I’ll do it my way ….

the cover band bays n’

cardboard Jesus’ sway

with me in this meltdown

pressed, panicked like the Mad Hatter

knowing now the show doesn’t matter

for Christ almighty

he’s left his light snuffed out

the Gospel according to John

is gone

for many years now

gone for Christ almight

or thereabouts.

 

Dec. 8th, 1999. Karlovy Vary

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To Be Nowhere

December 23rd, 2014 — 7:31am

 

to be no where

abandoning what you were

not embracing

what you are going to be.

 

To just be

but no where

in a kind of

other life -

all that isn’t,

is to see

the nature of which

pretends to make

us free.

 

It is to be

outside the looking glass

looking in

a place where

in the middle of no where

we are aware

that nothing stays

that a broken record still plays

the wind will wind again,

it is to be

both the fruit falling

and the tree,

this no where

where G-d is the eye

I see.

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