The late Richard Brautigan has been called, among other things, "the last of the Beats." I don't know if this is entirely true, as Brautigan died in the 70's and Beat was more a product of the 50's, but I can easily see how he truely might have been. In any event, Brautigan is my favorite poet and one of my favorite authors. The following poems are taken from his book, "Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork", which is now out-of-print. Whatcha thunk of 'em??
I wonder if eighty-four-year-old Colonel Sanders
ever gets tired of traveling all around America
talking about fried chicken
LOADING MERCURY WITH A PITCHFORK
Loading mercury with a pitchfork
your truck is almost full. The neighbors
take a certain pride in you. They
stand around watching.
IT’S TIME TO TRAIN YOURSELF
It’s time to train yourself
to sleep alone again
and it’s so fucking hard.
Any thought that I have right now
isn’t worth a shit because I’m totally
AUTOBIOGRAPHY (POLISH IT
LIKE A PIECE OF SILVER
I am standing in the cemetery at Byrds, Texas.
What did Judy say? “God-forsaken is beautiful, too.”
A very old man, who has cancer on his face and takes
care of the cemetery, is raking a grave in such a
manner as to almost (polish it like a piece of silver.
What am I doing out here in west Texas, standing in
a cemetery? The old man wonders about that, too.
My presence has become a part of his raking. I know
that he is also polishing me.
RIGHT BESIDE THE MORNING COFFEE
If I write this down now, I
will have it in the morning.
The question is: Do I want
to start the day off with
FOR FEAR YOU WILL BE ALONE
For fear you will be alone
you do so many things
that aren’t you at all.
“GOOD WORK,” HE SAID, AND
“Good work,” he said, and
went out the door. What
work? We never saw him
before. There was no door.
I’LL AFFECT YOU SLOWLY
I’ll affect you slowly
as if you were having
a picnic in a dream.
There will be no ants.
It won’t rain.
UMBRELLAING HERSELF LIKE A
Umbrellaing herself like a poorly-designed angel
she falls in love again: destined to a broken heart
which is the way it always is for her. I’m glad
she’s not falling in love with me.
WE WERE THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK NEWS
We were the eleven o’clock news
because while the rest of the world
was going to hell we made love.
FUCK ME LIKE FRIED POTATOES
Fuck me like fried potatoes
On the most beautifully hungry
Day of my God-damned life.