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:


Poetry Everywhere, and They Mean Everywhere, in Miami Festival
New York Times (blog)
On April 1 the organizers of the O, Miami Poetry Festival begin their annual monthlong campaign to put a poem in front of all 2.6 million residents of Miami-Dade County. “Miamians should watch out for poems on buildings, on fences, in the mail, even in ...


The Guardian

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Long before she quit her day job and adopted the stage name Hollie Poetry, Hollie McNish was scribbling poems on whatever surface she could find. She started at the age of four, and when we meet she is clutching a folder full of her teenage work. “They ...
AT THE LIBRARY: Library celebrates poetry monthRapid City Journal
Gulzar: As a poet, I think I write intelligently, but I'm not an intellectualScroll.in
There is lots to celebrate in April at the libraryThe Daily Star

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The Vermont Standard

Library celebrates Poetry Month
New Canaan Advertiser
New Canaan Library honors the importance of poetry in our lives with a special appearance by Connecticut's Poet Laureate, Dick Allen, on Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. Allen was appointed as the State Poet Laureate of Connecticut ...
Poetry Reading With Poet Laureate Sydney Lea, TuesdayThe Vermont Standard

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MiamiHerald.com

An ode to your ZIP code kicks off O, Miami's poetry festival
MiamiHerald.com
Fernandez wrote her poem for ZIP Odes, a collaboration between WLRN and O, Miami, the poetry festival now in its fourth year. The poem's form is simple: A Haiku-like poem built around your ZIP code. The number of words per line and the number of lines ...

and more »

Petoskey News-Review

Terry Wooten's new collection traces four decades of poetry
Petoskey News-Review
Originally from Marion, Wooten lives in Kewadin north of Traverse City, where he maintains the Stone Circle, an amphitheater he designed for poetry performance. Open to the public Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, Stone Circle has only one ...


Daily Californian

'The Tijuana Book of the Dead' is a poetry collection worthy of acclaim ...
Daily Californian
Luis Urrea's latest volume of poetry opens with an intimate morning scene: “you, who can't believe your Ma rose at 4:45/ to fry one huevo and a slice of bologna/ laid on corn tortilla — border benedict—/ here's your chance to drag home/ $80 a week ...


NPR (blog)

A Teacher's Moment: Finding 'The Essence Of Poetry'
NPR (blog)
I'm not sure what is at the root of their inability to connect, but being able to work together is the most crucial element of hosting our annual Poetry Nights. These are a big deal at Combs High School, and the seniors in this class plan and organize ...

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Poetry month celebrated during artwalk in Kingfield
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
KINGFIELD — High Peaks Artisans' Guild, 245 Main St., will celebrate National Poetry Month with Dixfield poet and Guild member Kelly Sterns. She will read from her series “Somebody Oughta Tell Grandma Her Wig's On Backwards, But We Don't” during the ...


Press Herald

A rallying cry for poetry
Press Herald
Tony Hoagland understands why you don't like poetry – or why you think you don't. It has to do with the way generations of Americans were introduced to poetry in school. It was boring and tedious and emphasized memorizing lines instead of figuring out ...

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Hartford Courant

Poetry Reading With Filmmaker John Sayles At Atheneum
Hartford Courant
Legendary filmmaker John Sayles and his partner and producer, Maggie Renzi, will come to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art on Thursday, April 2, to participate in a poetry reading during the April First Thursday event, themed “Call of the Wild.”.

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