Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kafka's "Theatre of Oklahoma"

                                                                  to Paula

          Nothing that we love over-much
          Is ponderable to our touch.
                                              W. B. Yeats

The frozen sea inside melts as love
re-enters your eyes through your mother Joy,
your retired-navy father, your sister–your husband
the horn man thawing your heart playing his solo.

I loved your need to be free, I drove you away.
Cathleen took me to her home and turned me human.

Kafka wielded an axe, you see what he found:
Joseph K. executed in a quarry;
kept out of the castle, K’s hired as janitor
provided he gives up his art.
In Amerika Karl rides the train to find
Nature Theatre in Oklahoma.

In this tragedy, Pearl Taylor of Tahlequah
is born, marries, and dies in under thirty years.
Pearl’s daughter names my father for her true father
Manuel Romain, who loved Pearl after he played
Spanish guitar and sang songs for at least an hour.
Below their room little Effie looked after his horse.

What’s not forgotten lies in the letters you keep:
As our crow nests in tall grass, you leave, I follow . . .
I lived south of your Oregon: your eyes, your wit,
your laughter, your music, your walk like a sailor’s.

(13 September 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander


No comments:

Post a Comment