Thunder resigns the dimpled sky to fatigue
and stirs my Delphian soul—

Around my brow clocks circle, clocks in heat
in twenty directions the ticks tock—

When the lights flicker, I come to.
Lucid puddles seep into shoe beds

I stand upon my liquid self,
the self that bares teeth to the walls.

For whom do I wait? For whom do I expect?
Law papers, newspapers, fish papers, gossamer

threads flap and linger and time-table
my mind to cimmerian shudders.

Death in the form of trepidation, death in
calico-colors, alive and at ease with itself

the cat bathing herself claws-open
baiting the willow trees, the underground daisies.

I sink to pale knees.
The shale floor is cool to touch.

Twenty men could not
move me.


3 Comments on “Kafka Talks

  1. Josie, I absolutely adore this. If you could, perhaps, clarify one small element: “When the lights flicker, I come to.”; it’s uncommon to end in a preposition in such manner, but I can neuro-linguistically “fill in”, perse, the symbol behind the stopping, but then I can’t quite discern whether one “comes to”, as in, begins existence, or “comes to” as a vaticination of the states present herein, as is the liquidity of form, the deadening of the will, the argillaceousness of the floor (which, to me, is more in-itself than the temperature). In a sense, what I’m asking is if you come to from a point of emptiness, or you (come to) your own dissolution.


    • The “come to” here functions in two ways; first, it serves to stretch the poem beyond its starting place—as if the speaker had been wrapped in surrealist dread for some time, and the flickering lights bring them back from the thunder, back from the “clocks in heat”, back from whatever else was happening before—and then, secondly, for emphasis, almost irony. Rationality is signaled but what follows does not (literally) back up rationality. What is logic, then? “For whom I do wait? For whom do I expect?”

      I love both interpretations of yours and love their combination, even. From perceptible emptiness into metaphysical dissolution. Thank you for thinking on this poem, and encouraging me to do the same!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The pleasure is entirely mine, Josie. I don’t usually give much of a thought to things I do not like. No sycophancy here.
        You are profoundly talented; I’m overjoyed to have found you, and, if you allow me, will interact further in future.
        The best, Josie!

        Liked by 1 person

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