Wednesday, November 25, 2009

André Surridge, "Lunch in Prague"

André Surridge

Lunch in Prague

Ah Kafka!
So thin, more insect than human
What do I say to a gaunt fellow
Haunted by his own scarecrow of a shadow
In the middle of the day in Prague?

I’d like to take you to McDonalds
Buy you a super triple whopper burger.
Here we are! Come inside, my shout.

Of course he’ll have fries
Can’t you see how long and thin they are
They’re almost Kafkaesque.

Look, he can have what he likes
And he’ll have fries with everything
Fries with chocolate sundae
Fries with apple pie
Fries with Snow Freeze.
Yes, to eat here!

Tell me Franz, how’s your latest novel going?
Forget your overbearing father
Forget about jumping out of the window
Forget your miserable Insurance Company job
A man’s lunch break is sacrosanct.

Yes, I know, they always play the music far too loud here!
Do you really suffer that much?
The sound of every slamming door,
Footsteps, the neighbour’s gramophone
The jangling town hall clock?
Excuse me, could you turn the volume down please?
Genius at lunch! Thank you!
Eat Kafka, eat.

Highly Commended NZPS Competition 2005
Earlier version published in the anthology “Learning a Language”

André Surridge, poet and playwright, was born in Hull, England in 1951 and emigrated to New Zealand in 1972. More than twenty of his stage plays have been performed, including "Zugzwang," which won the Shell Playwrights Award (NZ) in 1984. His poetry has been widely published, for example in Magnapoets, Atlas Poetica, Modern English Tanka, Presence, Eucalypt, Bravado and Kokako.

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence

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