Kafka Blocs

Methamorphosis Roger awoke from nagging dreams
to find he’d grown into a whopper, a hairy human swarmed in vermin.
“Don’t break bad on me,” his mother yelled at the door. “Bugs don’t dream, asleep or awake. You’re late for work.”
But he hardly knew how to work his new legs and arms. How would he get about
on so few? His hands and fingers he found fascinating, and he lay in bed studying
their shapes and twists and movement. His father banged on the door: “Get up!”
He felt his skin – soft! His two eyes saw only one thing at a time, yet he knew his skin was covered with insects so
various how or where was he to begin eating breakfast? Even the hands (but
he was not quite sure why he called them hands) on the clock moved like
the arms of a slow moving cockroach, around and around and up and down.
What seemed absurdly a bad eternity, (after all why would time break bad?) three roaches slipped under the rug.
Roger watched the roaches dissipate, his body wasted with bedsores, as if
he’d come to the roundabout of a pier. The Viral
Dude J. had few followers and those probably bots, and he rarely if ever
tweeted, so when the POG knocked on his door to ask about something
gone viral, Dude assumed some hack had infiltrated his computer system, spreading multi-vile messages about
him with perhaps a pic in his briefs. Dude’s habits were simple and hardly
worth the effort of tweets, of looking words up in a dictionary, as if a dog’s wag in a side street was any different
in Tijuana than in Timbuktu or Paris, Texas, where Dude had often visited,
enjoying an escargot with a Beaujolais, taking in jazz in the Business Quarter.
None of this of course reached home, and Dude’s annual review relied solely on ratios of quotas to sales, of clicks
that stuck to worrisome dead links. The Condo
Outside beneath the colossal condo K. camped with the peasants just in
from working the streets with their signs but he was in no mood for noir
poetry. He curled up on the margin of a broad sidewalk away from the bird stoppers placed all around the
condo and out of earshot from the sounds also designed to discourage
one from coming too close because the spacious steel walls were warm to the touch like a rubber hot water
bottle his mother used to sleep with after his father left them in the cold
house to go work a shift in the town factory owned by the rich Mr. Rook.
In the morning there was hot coffee and a young woman recruiting men to join her crew of window washers
and dressed and harnessed K. arose.


  1. This is bananas! I love it! Kafka would have enjoyed this more than standing on line at the DMV.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Ha! Thanks for checking in, Keith. DMV, yes, the ultimate opportunity to practice one’s patience. Actually, I think I may have spotted Kafka at the DMV the last time I was there. Short, thin, wiry fellow in a black homburg. He was at window number 3. I waited for 45 minutes for my number to be called, and when I left, Kafka was still pleading his case at window #3. By then a supervisor had been called over.

      1. johndockus says:

        Greatly entertaining scramble of Kafka here, Joe. It made me laugh. Just this last week I watched Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, and I loved it. Ralph Fiennes plays a concierge with old world values, impeccable manners, gracious, highly literate, practicing those values like a dapper Don Quixote, and he has a lobby boy named Zero under his tutelage and mentorship. Faintly reminiscent or a strand connecting to Kafka and his bewildered and always well-meaning protagonist who finds himself in increasingly absurd situations, the rising bureaucracy which threatens to kill the older values, values from the old world which were perhaps more human and civilized. The return to Nature isn’t ever pretty. As the juice is squashed out of the grape, so the spirit is squeezed out of the human. The march of Progress results in a backlash, a strong undercurrent, from which the primal is finally released, with a machete in its hands. Violence is behind the machinations. Going postal, school-shootings, all the way up to terrorist attacks. But I’m getting away from my point. Watching “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, I also thought of the goings-on in your Haiku on Dog Cloud Piano for Guitar and Voice post, and the train of thought which spilled out into the comment section below it. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is quite like the Michel Berger Hotel. I love the interactive home page for it, the animated graphics.

        1. Joe Linker says:

          For the “return to nature” motif, watch that Zizek segment of Examined Life. Did you see that yet? It’s 10 minutes. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    2. johndockus says:

      Devil horns for Keith! Joe, I met Keith at his blog a while back, and we’re both, no doubt in addition to other things, metalheads. He’s an over-the-top satirist, hilarious at times. Hey Keith, I shot an email to Courtney J. recently, after some time of not corresponding with her, that it would be great if you tried to vary your writing, to set up the satire and keep it fresh; but satire and nothing but satire all the time, is like having potatoes every night for dinner. Some more variety is needed, like Joe does here. I’ve kind of tuned out from your blog of late, because it all runs with a full head of steam in satire all the time. But you have the gift of blasting things which should be blasted, that’s for sure. Hey man, as I wrote to Courtney, I got the new Morpheus Descends comp. from Dark Descent Records recently, and have been listening to it quite a bit.

      1. Joe Linker says:

        So Keith is a satire specialist. It’s his branding. Some of his readers have actually not recognized that they are reading satire. He’s the Jonathan Swift of WordPress.

        1. johndockus says:

          Keith is definitely good at satire, because he takes no prisoners and holds nothing sacred, or at least he cuts down to size that which puffeth itself up. It takes guts to write good satire, or do really good comedy with edge. Keith is definitely not politically correct. I’m not sure Jonathan Swiftian. Swift is a different sort of satirist, going for bigger game, and with a more ruthless spirit, bitter and contemptuous. Swift was more serious than Keith. Keith maybe is more of a humorist, if one looks closer. I get a sense that Keith doesn’t have the kind of hang-ups Swift had. Body horror which turns cosmic, a disgust for the human body which I recall D.H. Lawrence went on about in his essay or a letter (I don’t recall) about Swift. Maybe Keith is closer to Harmony Korine, a bizarro genius film and movie auteur-director of pop and commercial signs and symbols, digging around in the trash and refuse of our glorious culture ala Zizek, who throws it all together into a big salad, tosses it with a Pillsbury Doughboy cap on his head with upsidedown cross painted on it with the blood from the carcass of roadkill.

          This from an interview in Paris Review of Harmony Korine about a book he wrote: In this is sort of what Keith does in his satire, throwing things together which normally aren’t seen together. — Q: “The crazy thing is that when you get to Tupac’s list of favorite novels, on page seventy, of the book, those are all pretty serious literary classics.

          “A: Yeah, I guess those are books–I went to college for one year–and those are things I was looking at during that time or that I would hear people talk about. I would buy those books and read passages from them or read the whole thing if I could make it through and, again, it would be like talking about Kierkegaard but maybe Kierkegaard would be funny next to Milton Berle. Or, like, the history of molestation in the Boy Scouts. I remember there was a book about that at the time that was a compilation or an encyclopedia that I thought was the craziest thing I ever read, and I was like, How could something like that even exist? So I wanted the book to work like that.”

          1. Joe Linker says:

            It was just a modest proposal.

            1. johndockus says:

              HA! You know, you’re a humorist yourself, the more I read you. A genial humor, not mean, but very intelligent. It’s interesting to me that Keith Spillett ended up here, digging your Kafka scramble. Very different backgrounds, but the irreverent humor is a tie, something shared, though to be sure each of you comes at it from a different angle. His humor is plugged in and amped up, and turned to high volume, on a kind of steroids, while yours plays itself out more toned down and without enhancements, speaking, not shouting.

              This cut-up, chance method stuff, also was used through Bryon Gysin and William Burroughs, to early industrial music, surfacing in Throbbing Gristle and (early) Cabaret Voltaire from England. I think of this in relation to your SoundCloud clips. Throbbing Gristle in particular, again a la Zizek, used the refuse and garbage of sound, static, dissonance and feedback, as well as the live performance and not pre-planning anything, as elements of their peculiarly disturbing and compelling, not songs, but soundscapes and pieces.

              1. Joe Linker says:

                A list of references now to follow up on. Working them off. Throbbing Gristle? At first glance, an oxymoron. Brian George, btw, where does one find that? & Industrial music – is that done with a telecaster?

      2. Cool! Good to hear from ya. I have some otherish type writings deeper in the site, but mostly, I just enjoy destroying things! I got a series you might dig on the lyrics to Carcass “Heartwork” you might dig from a few years back though. Be good, Bro!

  2. Dan Hennessy says:

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: !

    1. Joe Linker says:

      ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
      ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
      ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
      Casting out 9’s.

  3. johndockus says:

    Mr. Dan Hennessy: I just had to know who this curious gentleman who speaks in morse-code with Joe is, and I clicked to your blog, and scanned — and laughed, and scanned— and laughed. You’re freakin’ hilarious, fantastic dry-humor, wonderful terseness. Man, like Joe, like Keith, each in their own way, you’re a humorist too, a little cock-eyed with punctuation, everything charmingly a little off, as it should be. Sometimes you use punctuation like buckshot. Dick Cheney should take lessons from you in how to control a shot.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Commas and periods that travel at a safe distance , plenty of elbow room , where punctuation is not a minefield .

      File under Punctuation Theory .

      Introduction to secret code .

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