Metamorphosis THIRTY

Posted on 31st May, 2019

DAY 30


Our final posting for the month of May - many thnaks to all who sent work - we have enjoyed reading and posting it.


Letter to my son - Carol Price


Dear David,


I have been very worried about you. I know that you have been continuing to try to find work, and every week I see you leave the house to visit the Job Centre. Occasionally, you are smartly dressed in your suit and I guess that you have an interview. It is almost two years since you have had any significant work and I can see the light has left your eyes; no longer the sparkle in your conversation and the enthusiastic banter with your friends which I used to love to hear.

More and more you are spending your evenings alone in your room, or sitting with me in front of the television, making an effort to keep me company. Since your father died last year, life has lost its lustre for me also, and though we both are grieving, we are solitary in our grief.

When I was your age, I was already married with a small baby. Money was tight, but  it was a fulfilling life. Your Dad and I would go out for walks a lot together, bringing you in your pushchair, and during the summer we would rent a small cottage by the sea and you would play for hours in the golden sand. I look at you now and I see a grown man still living with his mother when you should be making your own way in the world, settling with a girl you love and looking forward to being a parent. The reality is that you have debts you cannot pay and nowhere to live except the spare room in your childhood home.

I thought about selling the house and splitting the money between us, but then neither of us would have enough to purchase an adequate property. I asked a surveyor to look at the house thinking that maybe I could convert it into two self contained units, but that was not practical either. So here we are, neither of us happy, existing in this imperfect world.

The other weekend, you went out with your friends and the following day you seemed brighter. You even offered to cut the grass for me, and I heard you humming to yourself as you got the mower out of the shed.

Last night, you did not come home till very late, and I thought I heard whispered voices. When I got up this morning, you had left your room and you were in the bathroom having a shower. Your bedroom door was slightly open and I caught a glimpse of a tousled mass of auburn curls on your pillow.

You probably think I would not approve of you bringing a girlfriend home, but truthfully I welcome the fact that you have a chance for some happiness. I yearn for you to experience a loving relationship, to find your identity again in the wonderful glow of a mutually respectful twosome. If this girl is special to you, then she will be welcomed into my life. 

When you come down to breakfast, no doubt looking slightly embarrassed, I will be busy in the kitchen, but my heart will be singing for you. Perhaps the times of gloom and financial despair will start to lift now, and you and I can move forward into a happier life.

With much love,







Lost Momentum : Gwendol Gains



Patches of bare threaded carpet, pink and grey

rub against my heels and toes

Small round aluminium ashtrays that spill

white ash onto rose wine

that soaks - Mateus


Curtains that gently waft  

night air across the room

Guarded breath too halted to be heard or seen

is felt close on cheeks that smart

from kissing stubble and transient pleasures enjoyed

Tom Waites’ Closing Time crackles on 

as burning musk pervades

Silk and velvet cushions, faded crimson and midnight blue

lay strewn among crumpled bodies lost

below a chandelier all yellow and tarred

with cobwebs hanging


Corded sashes broken in the night

leave gaps too wide for explanation

Discord, harmony

drift side by side

as cream Corporation buses start to move


This Gauloise night is nearly over

London Road is waking up

to drizzle and dripping and dropped

Park Drive packets, all wet

Students staggering home

shuffling leaves so sodden

that cease to rustle or fire the imagination


The Op has popped for Bridget Riley

Rock now cracked is rubble, the Stones

Time to roll to safer shores

than breakfasting at Blue lagoon cafes with talk of Che

to salaries that need bank accounts

dry cleaning bills and women that do


Doorstep deliveries that

STOP the revolution _

                                     for yet another generation




Review of 'Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka : Catriona Scott


‘As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.’

It has been a month now since I last wrote a review and so I thought it fitting that, when I returned to writing, I did so with a review for a book I have been meaning to read for a long time. I say a book but I really mean a short story – Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. It is one of those stories that everyone knows the premise of, and it is probably Kafka’s best known work. As such, I felt rather intimidated at the prospect of reviewing it. What could I possible say about this story that hasn’t already been said in a more eloquent and scholarly way? Well, I can begin by saying that this story surprised me. Of course, waking up and finding oneself transformed into an insect would be a surprise to anyone, but it was the way in which Kafka told his story – the deft, precise prose, the minute details, the fusion of humour and horror – was what most caught my attention while reading. Perhaps this is because of the often misused and misinterpreted phrase ‘Kafkaesque’, or due to my limited knowledge of Kafka’s own biography, but I had expected the story to be complicated, perhaps even impenetrable, like so much red tape. What I found instead was a darkly comic story, sparsely told from a small premise, proving the point Adam Thirlwell, who wrote the Introduction to this collection, makes – ‘so much less [is] necessary to create a story than people [think]’. 

In his Introduction, Thirlwell also states that ‘Often, these are the funniest jokes of all – the ones that are not really funny. They are often slightly sad.’, and this is definitely true of Metamorphosis. Gregor’s transformation is grotesque and frightening but, at the same time, the image of him struggling to get out of bed on his tiny new legs, or that of his father shooing him away with the insect Gregor looking pleadingly back at him – these images are amusing in spite of their sadness. But the story’s humour begins even before Gregor attempts to get out of bed, as his immediate concern is not that he has become a giant insect, but that he has overslept.


The next train was at seven o’clock; to catch that he would need to hurry like mad and his samples weren’t even packed up, and he himself wasn’t feeling particularly fresh and active.


As the story builds throughout its fifty one pages, we see Gregor face a series of different challenges, from attempting to communicate with his family to being pelted with apples by his father, to his mother and sister attempting to move furniture from his room which he wants to keep to retain some sense of his human self. Although these situations are often comic, because the characters of Gregor’s family, the servants, and the eventual lodgers are only shown through a few details, we sympathise the most with Gregor as his situation worsens. His situation – and, indeed, the plot of Metamorphosis – is very simple, with his transformation beginning a series of interactions and inconveniences that build towards a climax, and so it is the execution, the details, that really make it gripping. From the description of Gregor’s father – ‘his father leaned against the door, the right hand thrust between two buttons of his livery coat, which was formally buttoned up’ – to his sister’s various efforts to find him food that he will enjoy, the details are small but help to paint a fuller picture of the family and their surroundings, so much so that it comes as a shock when Gregor’s formerly sympathetic sister states ‘…we must try to get rid of it. We’ve tried to look after it and to put up with it as far as humanly possible, and I don’t think anyone could reproach us in the slightest.’

Metamorphosis may be a small story, but it packs a powerful punch, and is a fantastic introduction of Kafka’s unique style. It has certainly piqued my interest in reading more of his work in the future – especially since his characters’ attempts to understand the logic of the nightmarish world in which they find themselves seems particularly relevant these days.







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