Karlstejn

Thinking about hanging out in Plsen with Bernie and Phil made me a bit nostalgic. It was 9 years ago that I lived in Prague. Karlstejn is one of my favourite pieces I wrote while there.

Karlstejn
3.8.00

it was the injured grasshopper that finally
caught my attention, flanked by a wasp,
in the foot path, too late for you, buddy,
i said, too late. that and the 72 meter deep
castle well. a man poured a cupful of

dobra voda
down the shaft and we all waited,
watched as it finally hit the surface of the water,
sparkled for a good 2 minutes. below castle,
man fishing from canoe on the river. i’m lazy
i don’t take photographs. drunk, too. one

pivo
and i don’t know where i am. 40 minutes
early for the train so i walk around the quiet
block that smells of yesterday’s garbage
guarded by colorful flowers. study the leaves. i

could be anywhere
. tiger-cat in field stalks
butterflies until it sees me, i wave and it makes
off gazellish like never to be seen again. i
caught its green eyes. thought we made a
connection. i spoke. perhaps it didn’t recognize
my language. back to the train station i long for
a real companion. marigold, rose, you bright
nameless purple thing – yes, don’t you mock
my loneliness. we’re all pitiful historians.
it’s not true – what they told us at the castle.
we’ve always been here at this tourist attraction.
it was built for us. we can only walk away.
i walk away. man on the corner keeps
locked-up cockatiels. they can’t scatter
when he comes. every other thing
is a holy relic. and i am the suffering christ.

~ ~ ~

hop on the train.

6 Comments

  1. Fledgling Poet
    Mar 2, 2009

    Stunning imagery…your rambling thoughts create a beautiful vision!

    yeah, *rambling* about sums it up… haha

  2. julia
    Mar 2, 2009

    I really, really enjoyed this! Especially:

    ‘early for the train so i walk around the quiet
    block that smells of yesterday’s garbage
    guarded by colorful flowers.’

    What a dizzying array of impressions packed into this poem.

  3. Sweet Talking Guy..
    Mar 2, 2009

    Cool post, could do with a pivo now! Love that word gazellish!

    thanks, STG!

  4. angie
    Mar 3, 2009

    this really captures that strangeness, that fusion of familiarity and unknown…

    love this: “we can only walk away./i walk away”

    it’s always like that when I travel… one of the things I love about it…figuring out how it’s all connected, while living in the surprise of it…

  5. Brad
    Mar 5, 2009

    I see the pull of nature and you’re there
    among the crawling dead. I wonder where you were before the horror dragged you from your head. Why does a man (and how, pray tell) pour a cup of mountain peak into a well unless of course it’s water talking market speak? Oh bugger this, I cannot walk and chew on this activity. I need to lose the lot of you and suffer in my own good space.

  6. openchannel
    Mar 5, 2009

    Hi Brad!

    lol!

    “dobra voda” means “good water” in Czech. It was a brand of water people drank there, like Evian or Aquafina.

    i’ve never seen “horror” in this piece before. Melancholy, yes, but not horror.

    I had gone to Karlsjn to see the castle, but found it too touristy for my tastes… I had a beer and began to wander around the town buzzed (I’m a lightweight).

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