lisa beskin




Everyone likes poems about FRANZ KAFKA! He steps in and imparts just the right lightness and weight. In this way KAFKA is like dressing for weather with no temperature. He is like JOHN KEATS, who always adds gravity, even if you’re being serious by mentioning him. You can use FRANK O’HARA, too, because we would most of us like him to be our boyfriend. Talking about his poems is like bearing a watercolor painting. FRANZ KAFKA’s boyfriends were legion, and he treated them badly. They stretched halfway around the world, though many were stashed in Prussia. The crayon color “Prussian blue” is named for their laments. Dear READER, the poems I love are stuffed in your pockets. In this way you are my pants. I know a poet named JAMES HAUG, he is very nice. One time JAMES HAUG and I did not discuss JOHN KEATS, we remembered instead our trip to Florence with FRANZ KAFKA. KAFKA stopped in front of FRA ANGELICO’s painting and laughed and laughed—look at the angel, secretly enjoying Mary’s attentive dread!