J. J. Steinfeld

A Visit to the Kafka Café

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The 110 poems of A Visit to the Kafka Café are both a dialogue with and a questioning of the human condition as they hover between what the author sees as the absurd and the existential elements of life, making their way through the worldly and otherworldly aspects of existence, the ordinary and the extraordinary spheres of being. These poems investigate what it means to live in this world, to flee from it, to return by its emotional gravity. A Visit to the Kafka Café attempts to make sense out the way we conduct our lives, to find meaning in our not always meaningful surroundings, to look at individuals caught in time and space and history, and in the sometimes joyous, sometimes frightening yet endlessly fascinating moments of existence and being.
Journeying through poems such as the collection’s opening poem, “A Visit to the Kafka Café” to “You Awake at the Beginning of Time” to “The End of Geography and Time” and the collection’s final poem, “Some Will Be,” in which the author asks “What will you be doing when the world ends / or threatens to end? / (Please excuse the not so subtle distinction.),” offering possible scenarios of our comings and goings at imagined world’s end, the 110 poems of A Visit to the Kafka Café invite the reader to join the writer in various states of being and an assortment of realities hovering between the absurd and the existential.

J. J. Steinfeld is a poet for our days, in which the chaotic dissolution of everything in the world is incipient in the absurdity of day-to-day human thoughts, actions, and rituals. In A Visit to the Kafka Café, Steinfeld unravels these into darkly funny, surprising, inspiring words and images that then twist intriguing neuroses into readers’ neural networks so they never remember the past or imagine the future in exactly the same way again.
~ Jane Ledwell, author of Last Tomato and Bird Calls

Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published nineteen books. From 1981, when Steinfeld published his first short story, to 1986, when his first one-act play was produced, and 2001, when he published his first poem, to the publication of his 2018 Ekstasis Editions poetry collection, more than 400 of his short stories and nearly 900 poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals, at least one piece in every Canadian province and internationally in eighteen countries, and over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.

ISBN 978-1-77171-293-4
144 Pages
6 x 9
Now available

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