Author Archives: Louis Kasatkin

About Louis Kasatkin

Unadulterated commentary and analyses on all aspects of contemporary literary arts news and topics, can be viewed on twitter under the cunning guise of @louiskasatkin also at my blogs,"fahrenheit451"on blogger.com and "And So It Goes"@ www.wordpress.com My facebook page etc.etc, ad infinitum...

Attributed to Hieronymus Bosch

      Attributed to Hieronymus Bosch


When all there is
is gone
and all that ever was
is no more,
There will be only empty faces
weeping tears that flood
from lidless eyes
staring into a void
that was our tomorrow;
and tomorrow
whose hours will never strike
whose pain we will never feel
nor disappointments endure,
there will be only tongueless mouths
screaming a truth
that we can no longer hear
when all is gone.

Homage

          Homage to ’70’s Rock Lyrics

When the barren night skies
scar our soul,
stars having fallen
from their firmament
raise only a futile cloud
of dust and misapprehension
leaving us stranded in
waterless wildernesses forged
by the wrath of our many
forefathers who lunged
at the Sun with their swords
seeking blood seeking glory
till Choruses were heard no more;
and mausoleuns entombed
only the weeping
as the barren night skies
scar our soul.

( A somewhat spontaneous celebration and nod to the likes of Pink Floyd,The Moody Blues,Led Zeppelin et al)

I, Camera

There is in the photograph you’re holding

someone taking a snapshot

of someone else posing

for someone else’s camera –

who’s being photographed by somebody

taking a picture to post online,

and in turn is getting snapped

by others taking shots

who without knowing it

are clicked for posterity

forever pointing lenses at

others in others’ images

that reduce to a single dot on the horizon,

which upon magnification

turns out to be you,

holding a photograph

of someone taking a snapshot..

Night & The Forest

A heart beating beating like a tightly clenched

fist on a door that will never be opened. . .

The air was low in oxygen

and that what they were involved in

the experience they were going through ,

threatened to suffocate them

and destroy everything ,

everything they believed in . . .

Two paramedics pick up a stretcher

bearing a yellow plastic sack ,

the ambulance disappears off down

the forest road and soon

this will be the loneliest place on earth . . .

In a windowless room with tiled walls

three identical metal tables lit up

by fluorescent strip-lights ,

The yellowing bruises ,

the burn marks  ,

the black holes ,

the black holes . . .

You dead or what?

You dead or what?


“There are the dead and those who claim to be dead”,
he opined;
“For someone who’s supposed to be
 dead you seem to be doing a lot of
moving around”,
he said arching an eyebrow;
“Not that I would question your right 
to identify as dead”,
his lips dripping with irony;
“Merely that your present vivacity
doesn’t immediately convey to others
an impression that you are indeed dead”.
Hearing this mortophobic prejudice,
the one identifying as dead slid back
into the coffin muttering,
they’d wait until someone sympathetic
to their lifestyle choice comes along.

Necromancer

Necromancer

I have wandered
amongst the graves,
and whispered to the dead
those promises long lost
in arcana;
those promises which
they had believed in
for so long,
that even Centuries themselves
passed them by
in all their majestic indifference;
leaving them twisting twisting
slowly slowly
in the winds of fate
hanging threadbare
by their own mistakes.

Attributed to Borges

   Attributed to Borges
( No particular afternoon or evening)
I was known there once
I was known there,
at that Cantina
down in the Old Quarter,
the one frequented by peddlers
and grifters and those 
bohemians seeking solace 
and redemption in anonymity;
the anonymity of failure
a failure at once heroic and 
meaningless;
the tapas were always just so,
and the beauty of the wines
defied the logic inherent
in their price,
just as space and time itself
defied the logic inherent 
in that Cantina;
the one on the Old Quarter
where I was once known.

Leeds Other Paper : A Memoir

Leeds Other Paper: A sideways look


Copy.Deadlines.Publication.The sweat of the printshop,the raw adrenalin of the editorial office.The rythms of being a freelance journalist with ambition,desire and something new and different to say.
My political and Trades Union activism goes back to 1975,the CPGB and then SWP and its 2 most vibrant off-shoots, the Right to Work campaign and the Anti-Nazi League.Back in ’79,after Callaghan and Labour managed to lose to Thatcher,APEX the clerical workers union(800 members) at Yorkshire Imperial Metals aka The Copperworks at Stourton came out on strike.I contacted LOP with a story and some inside info and the rest is history.
Occasional political satire pieces on the letters page as “The Man in the Queue” morphed in October ’83 to “The Man in the Stand”,Rugby League correspondent.R.L. in general isn’t what the alternative scene let alone the Broad Left at the time “did” or were remotely interested in.
My columns ran mostly uninterrupted through to the infamous demise of Leeds Other Paper’s ill-fated successor, “Northern Star” early in ’94.
But through it all,when there were doubts I ate them all up and spat them out as week by week Man in the Stand match reports and latterly as match previews.My labours of Sisyphus featured and commented on occasionally by wider national media including BBC Radio 4’s “Wilko’s Weekly”which featured LOP nationally in ’88.
There you go.
I always enjoyed and still do enjoy the notion of copy,deadlines,publication.In November ’99 I became the Rugby world’s (in either League or Union) first official Poet in Residence at a Rugby club with the history and pedigree of Wakefield Trinity.Less than 18 months later, Wakefield Cathedral invited me to become their first ever Poet in Residence.Since 2010, I became both Founder of Destiny Poets UK and Editorial Administrator at www.destinypoets.co.uk
But ’83 to ’94 were the visceral years,the coal face years of community and political activism; of leaflets and ineluctably and indispensibly Leeds Other Paper.
Those were the days my friend, and for some of us they never really came to an end.

Louis Kasatkin
( The Man in the Bath Chair )

Timescapes

               Timescapes

Time escapes
like air from a pierced balloon,
our “now” is going
going fast
our “then” has already gone,
sans requiem, sans mourning;
even tomorrow will be too short
for all our dreams;
Time will no longer return
at our bidding,
even as we wait for it
on some distant shore

so terribly, terribly
alone
adrift
abandoned
gazing forlornly
into that forever,
forever..

Attributed to Jacques Brel

         Attributed to Jacques Brel

The rain lashes the windows of the Café
abandoned by its habitues,
yet home,a shelter
to the love – lorn
betrayed by a mise-en-scene
that was supposed to say
here is your assignation,
that appointed rendez-vous
for which you can now
no longer wait in vain
like Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”,
for a love that always had in mind
only betrayal and you left abandoned
sat all alone and waiting
as the rain lashes
the windows of the Café.