Or: Kafka meets Marquis
Franz Kafka, for those who don’t know, wrote, among other pieces, “Metamorphosis”, which opens with these words: “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bead into a giant insect.” Some translations say dung beetle, some say cockroach. A classic
Don Marquis, for those who don’t know, was a newspaper columnist (a profession rapidly becoming one with buggy whip calibrator in historical placement) who, stuck for an idea for a column one day, invented Archy, a free-verse poet transmigrated into the body of a cockroach. Archy used the pre-electric typewriter by throwing himself headfirst onto the keys. Naturally, he couldn’t manage the shift key to make capitals, and punctuation was too much for him, so his pieces and poems were always a delightful challenge to read.
Thus, stuck for an idea today, and having met one of Archy and Gregor’s tribe, and having brutally yet regretfully sent him to Jesus, I give you this:
he was only a little brown cockroach
crawling about on the floor
trying to make a living
but now he will crawl no more
he lived in the house of a monster
and one day crawled into her view
and she though he never had harmed her
dispatched him at once with a shoe
oh pity the poor little cockroach
who never did anyone hurt
his body smashed flat as a tissue
swept up and discarded like dirt
I always feel bad about squishing bugs, but not bad enough not to do it.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a story from the point of view of something small and insignificant to the human world.