Kafka Re-Trial

Kafka lands resurrected in Crewe deposited by a silvery alien craft, And whilst he is wondering what to do He is asked to show his pass Or pay an instant one off fine At a cash dispenser of his choice And they are checking all the time On his irises face and voice.

And of course they find that he is not, They discover he just cannot be there, Although he seems as if he is visible, And has hands and toes and hair, If he is not on the Great Data Bank, He plainly and simply cannot be, He is not listed and he is not ranked He is surely not like you and me.

So they cant detain him in custody But they do not have to let him go He never ever happened, period So who can ever tell, or know. So on a lonely bench in quiet shade He sits alone and unremarked, Wondering what games they play, Against the backdrop of the park.

And so, are we just the opposite, Are we all consigned to hidden files, Are machines deciding who we are, Where we live, and when we smile, Is nothing a certain and real fact, Unless computer correlated true, And should your dossier go into error, How can you prove, you are really you.

How do you verify yourself for a loan, If your ranking gets compromised, How do you overturn all their data, Making you a pariah in others eyes, You may hold letters of validity, They may grudgingly know its you, Unless their system grants absolution, There is nothing they can say or do.

So unless we are verifiable as sound, And our image assuages Superhal, No one will ever trust us again, No one will ever want to be our pal, But this is not like yesteryear, When a quick query cleared your name, Your questions are merely registered, And you just get told how to complain.

Complaints are collated and quantified, They are cross filed and referenced, You must never lose this number, And you must never take offence, You are continually adjourned, Or moved to yet another floor, In the hope that you will falter, From all that has gone before.

Meanwhile youre mugged, not statistically, Contract MRSA, but its not on file, Your children cannot read or write, But their qualifications raise a smile, You always hit potholes that dont exist, To save waiting on trains that dont arrive, But whose flexitimes prove you missed, The only one late out of fifty five.

You cry out to be heard aloud, But the echoes mock your voice, You cannot afford the telephone, Cant bypass enforced menus of choice, Cannot contact a single human being, By department, name or reason, All this evolved like a dripping tap, Season upon big brother season.

Then one day walking in solitude, Your will to try nearly quenched, There is the quiet of the shady park, There is the man upon the bench, Who looks at you knowingly, And asks you if you ever read, And says Then I am Kafka, You Must Tell Me What You Need.

So He went up to their doors, The Nameless Man with Faceless Face, And bearded them in their hallowed den, Their plush revered and holy place, And caused unmitigated consternation, As he either was not really there, Or indeed actually physically existed, Solidly sitting silent in his chair.

So they asked him what he would want, If he were real and not mere illusion, For his appearance was so inopportune, His face and features causing confusion, His DNA was an embarrassment, Never born, nor listed, nor created, Never taxed, treated, nor arrested, Never receiving a non education.

So he stood up to his full height, And drew up his deepest breath, That made him seem immortal, And made them all fear death, And his mighty voice resounded, So much the walls retained his words, We want to be individuals again We want to speak and to be heard, We want our voice to really matter, And we want to hear no more lies, We want illusion swept away, Replaced by council of the wise, We want common sense to prevail, And not statistical subterfuge, Which tries to tell us its all ok, When we know it must improve, We want you to abdicate and take, Your machines and Mandarins away, And we want it done immediately, Oh Yes, we want it done today.

Or else I will shine in prime time, And then all will see its me, The man who is not Kafka, The man who simply cannot be, Then where will your credibility go, Will they ever listen to your pleas. No, far better for you to go now, And leave reality to me.

And they went away in disarray, Whilst he heralded a new era, No one knew who the hell he was, But yet everything seemed clearer, Everything was as it appeared, Nothing hidden, no more of the lies, And no one filed his disappearance, When he finally left our skies.

They can media us its always fine, Statistic prove what cannot be true, They can try to justify their lies, Attempt to airbrush history in two, They may perceive us all as fools, Force fed on false soap opera goals, But cannot forever control our minds, Nor assume they own our souls, For Long term lies have multiplied, And now are ringing empty and hollow, What seemed so reasonable yesterday Will be disproved upon the morrow, And with these endless lies surfacing, Just Like The Man Who Could Not Be, The truth will slowly become visible, And the truth will set us free.

Ex systems programmer living in England

In The News:


New Carrboro poet laureate brings poetry to the people
The Daily Tar Heel (blog)
Carrboro resident Celisa Steele works at a consulting firm she founded with her husband, but her real passion lies in writing poetry. Steele serves as the Carrboro Poet Laureate for the 2013-2015 term. According to a press release from the Carrboro ...

and more »

Poetry Hickory to celebrate 7th anniversary
Hickory Daily Record
Poetry Hickory was started by Hickory poet and teacher Scott Owens at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in 2007 as a monthly reading series. A few months later, Main Street Rag editor and publisher Douglass became co-sponsor of the series. Not long after ...


The Guardian

Hebridean poet wins UK's richest poetry prize with debut collection
The Guardian
The bi-annual competition, which is funded by the Edwin Morgan trust and run by the Scottish Poetry Library, was judged by poets Stewart Conn and Jen Hadfield. Hadfield said: Campbell's light touch is a rarity In contemporary poetry. There's no ...
Scots poet wins top prize for Uist-inspired workScotsman
Niall Campbell Wins £20000 Inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry PrizeEdinburghGuide.com

all 4 news articles »

The Guardian (blog)

Phill Jupitus, Hannah Silva, Hollie McNish and the poetry of protest
The Guardian (blog)
A book festival session on protest poetry on Saturday took a nostalgic Phill Jupitus on a canter through a career that started in the early 1980s when he was a civil servant by day and fought Thatcher by night, “like a kind of ideological Batman ...


Vietnam's poetry collection to be published in US in October
Tuoitrenews
“Bi mat cua hoa sen” (The Secret of Hoa Sen), a collection of 52 poems written by Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai and co-translated by the author and American poet Bruce Weigl, will be released in the U.S. by BOA Editions, a literary publishing ...


Poetry on Pause
Santa Fe Reporter
After eight years with an official city poet laureate, the Santa Fe Arts Commission has paused the program for evaluation. Jon Davis became poet laureate for Santa Fe in July of 2013, which means his two-year term expired this summer (read his column).


San Antonio Current

SA's Gritty PuroSlam is Feared, Respected in National Slam Poetry Scene
San Antonio Current
Let's face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man's Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man's Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013 / It's been a year since I've taken up this gig of eating and drinking across ...


Poetry's evolutionary niche at Cornell Plantations
Cornell Chronicle
Consider an orchid's foot-long spur and a moth's 12-inch tongue stretching through the spur to reach the orchid's nectar. Poet Joanie Mackowski sees in this biological oddity the same co-evolutionary process that gives us poetry. She'll explore this ...


10 local poets part of Northfield Sidewalk Poetry Celebration
Southernminn.com
For the last four years, the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission has partnered with Friends and Family of the Library to host a poetry contest. After announcing the winners, their poems are periodically stamped into sidewalks throughout Northfield.


Poets Gather in Pittsfield For Annual WordXWord Festival
TWC News
Enhancing the community through a week's worth of free performances of spoken word poetry, storytelling, and slam poetry. Not to mention free workshops conducted by professional poets, like Jive Poetic from Brooklyn, who hosted a workshop about poetry ...

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