Parables are short stories about life, love, art, and a search for meaning. About half a century ago I got my MFA at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I hadn’t published my MFA thesis called Parabolic Dishes. Why publish it now? Well, I believe there may be some joy in it for some. Also, at my age I can’t wait much longer. The hoofed stranger may soon be knocking at my door to take me to a place where I’d rather not go.
Why the title Parabolic Dishes? When I was in the Army, the parabolic dish sent electric impulses in code, transmitted to a receiver. Parabolic comes from parable, a story transmitted, usually on a page, that transmits metaphorical information from one person to another. I start the project with parables, and then short stories.
The master of the parable was Franz Kafka. His main character is Joseph K., a man who was waiting at a door, not being able to cross over. My name is also Joseph K. Perhaps I am waiting for Godot, and I won’t make it to the Promised Land.
Maybe we’ll make the best of the time being, smile and find and give joy, before the inevitable final hour.
Joe Krausman was the MCA fellow in playwriting at Smith College, he was awarded the University of Massachusetts fiction writing fellowship. Joe taught play writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and he taught writing at the Grinnell College in Iowa. He was a graduate of the Oxford Center of post-graduate Hebrew studies. He also was artistic director of the Pines Theater Festival in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was a finalist in the Rayne Prize poetry writing contest five times, winning second prize in 2015 for the poem Shipwreck. In 2018 his poem Deceptions won first prize, it was selected from over 500 poems. Despa Press published a book of his plays called The Ice Cream Parlor. Benevolent Bird Press published a chapbook of his poems called Monkeyshines. Joe won the George Held award twice for his contribution to the Albany Public Library. He also received the Maimonides Prize called People of the Book. He received the Dorn Star Medal in 2019. He can be heard reading and being interviewed at Joe Krausman YouTube.