Personal Effects


When a teen,
I ate Kafka for comfort.
It was the early seventies,
so it was cold,
and I huddled around a coal brazier
of Nabokov,
in the grubby greatcoat
of the Newark Jews,
Ginsberg and Roth.
I found succour there,
though, could only laugh
when well-written
oddity and despair
slunk through my innocent eyes,
in the guise
of Vonnegut and Brautigan,
scintillating
in the glee of recognition.
I knew I’d found
a brother
when, bathing with Henry Miller,
he set aside his truncheon
of a cock, and introduced me
to Knut Hamsun,
who was waiting
’till the water froze
before jumping in.
When punk arrived
my hair refused to
bristle or spike,
or turn Day-Glo
being the orchid house
and a place of repose
under its dark tresses
for William Carlos Williams
to loll in a southern hammock.
And as I went to my twenties,
I was there
when she made
her maiden attempt
on a first haiku,
surprisingly screaming

“Don’t DARE fuck with me!
I’m Emily Dickinson!
One line will KILL you!”

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Personal Effects

  1. so you ate Kafka for comfort….wow..that’s awesome…he always frightened me to death with his writing…..almost spit my drink when i read your dickinson closure…loved it

  2. For this alone I would have applauded you…

    β€œDon’t DARE fuck with me!
    I’m Emily Dickinson!
    One line will KILL you!”

    But as a whole poem, you set me back on my heels!
    Thank you, I feel soundly whipped and sent back to school to read more.. πŸ™‚

  3. Ah, you brought me right back to images of readings in coffee houses in Greenwich Village, Ginsburg, et al..and that lasl line is a killer! Nice tribute to some great writers here. Well done!

  4. Very interesting poem indeed. Comfort in Kafkaβ€”so ironic in the way only Czechs know. I only started reading him a couple of weeks ago and had to abandon the hopeless nightmare. And how fascinating the way you could time travel, but also to bring us a reincarnation of a contemporary Emily Dickinson.

  5. “I found succour there,
    though, could only laugh
    when well-written
    oddity and despair
    slunk through my innocent eyes,” <— Absolutely adored this part. I feel a sense of familiarity in it.
    Kafka for comfort, though… I find Kafka scary but I've always loved his work still.
    I burst out laughing at the end and it hurt like hell because I'm all sore from my cold.
    Great work! Thanks for the read =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s