ON THE CASTLE



I read Kafka's Castle four years ago.

I hardly remember the names of the characters,

the castle bureaucrats, the droll peasants,

just that it was weary,

never sparked into significant violence,

and insult of insults; was unfinished. 


I recall that I read it without pleasure,

K's systemic reproach flat and toneless

as if they'd somehow managed to weapon-proof

the very edges off the fiction.


If you must read The Castle,

read it against sterile white walls,

under the sickening hum of a constant bulb

that never admits the time. 


Read it terrified and deloused.

In the quivering proximity of violence,

read it alone.


Feeling like I was flooding,

filling up with something I couldn't damn out 

I read Kafka's Castle four years ago in jail.


It was supposed to be absurd,

a blunt existential impact,

like the plastic slap of prison-issue flip-flops

across the concrete floor.

I was 19.


Christopher Rogers

CHRISTOPHER ROGERS is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and a Research Editor for Architectural Digest.  A Virginia native he currently resides in Los Angeles.
The Adirondack Review
FINALIST
Fiddlehead Prize
The St. Lawrence Book Award
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