Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Saturday, April 13, 2013

K is for Kafka . . .

I met him when I was twenty,
drawn to photos of his hypnotic eyes, 
his German dark stares,
his incomprehensible twisted tales,
a kaleidoscope of failed endings,
none romantic.
Then I found his letter,
and this has stayed with me, 
that abortive forty-five page typed 
letter to his father, never delivered,
which begins in fear,
later published, for there was 
only one Kafka.
Others now read
what was essentially private,
a moan from the soul
only psychiatrists can decipher,
and English majors.
I met my father when I was near thirty 
and tried to call him "Daddy".
He thought someone on the television
was calling her father,
a voice overlay that made no sense
and then it finally stopped.

Charlton Bruce Camp
The problem with writing poetry is that sometimes the poem explores places the writer does not want to go. But this week's thread, memoir poetry, took me to Kakfa, discovered in college, and my father, a short-lived Hollywood stuntman, bartender, lover of motorcycles, and for a brief time in my thirties, my father.

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