TEACHING KAFKA TO ICE FISH

Kafka said, 'writing is the ax that
breaks the frozen sea within us.'
In my book that makes him an ice fisherman,
though these days we use augers
because they're a whole lot easier.
I could show him how we do it in Minnesota.
First, buy thinsulate -- this stuff they make in the Cities
and put in clothes, boots, everything. Keeps
out the weather and especially the cold.
Not that you'll need it, Frank, because
we wait until the ice is thick enough to drive
onto. No shit. Nobody walks anymore.
I drive a Ford Explorer.
Next, make sure you bring some brewskies
or maybe a bottle of Schnapps.
If the fishing's slow we can always drink.
Come to think of it, even if there's action
we'll drink. Now here's the key, Frank.
Buy a good pop-up. These days they have these
little do-hickeys that let you drop
a line but not worry about it. If a fish
bites, they pop-up. Clever, huh,
Frank? Buy one you can adjust the tension
on so when we're sitting in the Explorer
drinking Schnapps we'll be able to tell
if it's Bluegills, Sunnies, Crappies,
Perch or Lake Trout. We only
get up for Lake Trout.
The others can just hang on.
Don't keep Perch, Frank. If anyone
catches you with Perch you'll be
laughed off the ice. Finally, I don't know about
writing. I can't see it has anything
to do with ice fishing, unless you're covering
it for In Fisherman. Sometimes I bring
comics, or a Playboy. Whoa, that breaks the ice.
My friend Carl brings a VCR he plugs into
the lighter and watches movies out there.


Cary Griffith
TAR
CARY GRIFFITH has published in a few small literary journals. He studied with Tess Gallager way back when, at Iowa, then dropped beneath the radar -- children, struggled to make a living, put bread on the table, continued trying to write (though turned his pen toward money), got a divorce, etc. etc. -- perhaps you've heard this story? This is his first appearance in The Adirondack Review.