Tuesday, June 19, 2012


[re: Richard Brautigan]

Disdainful of hippies, you seemed Kafka’s queer cousin.

Knowing too much about your demons, you made peace with them, sharing the same world.

Feeling your romantic self the only self, shooting at the moon,
drunk on George Dickel, down a sloppy back road, you once threw a stone through a cop shop window, hoping to end up housed and fed, but got fined instead. 

It helped drive you mad, a little like that O. Henry story. Except for the big sky. You were in Montana.

Ferlinghetti, that old fuck, called you a child, like Emerson bemoaned Thoreau. You were more in tune with trout than Larry, who never got merry without revolution. A real man, he.

You dealt with them as long as you could, and then one day you just quit, feeling it odd how the plain things in life live on while life itself gets trickier.

After talking with Marcia, you felt like clay excavated from your garden.
As you looked out over the Pacific Ocean in your favorite chair, you decided to take a little target practice, using all your bullets but one to put a hole in everything she ever touched. 

The last was saved for your brain. She’d touched that, too. Everything touched it. Nothing would leave it alone. Not even the clouds.

When Robert found you a month later on the living room floor, the smell nearly drove him away. He wrenched the .44 Magnum from your stiff hand and found the brief note you left. It was under your right arm, spattered in brains and blood. 

Funny to the very end, it said: “Messy isn’t it?”

And the ocean breeze whistled through the holes in your house like laughter.


  1. Interesting 'no comments' my son was telling me what the top five rock LPs were yesterday, as per the new peers, the criteria should be All Killer and No Filler and it is all about staring at the cover for hours on end without tiring of that; I pondered why RadioHead were at the top - I guess they never went into adolescent dreams w/ Are You Experience pouring out of the speakers. Anyway I got to the Richard Brautigan Wikipedia page wanting to confirm whether he was a Californian writer, a Montana writer, or a writer from Oregon for my thesis - I settled on an American writer, because he was all of the aforementioned, and then I saw that he had an unpublished work [that's like not putting out Valleys of Neptune by Hendrix, posthumously] - then I came into this page, and no comments. No comments, I must have stumbled across one of those invisible places, that they can't see that endless linear line of things, that aren't important. Meanwhile I haven't thought about Brautigan for years, as I savoured every single word back in the day - I had only mentioned him as one of his book titles was nearly an exact quote from a Premier of our Victorian state - when asked about pollution Henry Bolte said: The Wind Will Blow it Away - Brautigan's title - So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away - it just struck me that the co-relation of poet and right wing Premier building Brutalist school of architecture apartment towers, that still survive to-day and have housed millions [or at least tens of thousands] was a kind of retrospective poetry, as both created monuments of good will. So that's my comment. And I also ordered another one I hadn't seen; published in 1994 - An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey for $10.00!!

  2. Wow Chuck.

    Kinda brutal, but at the same time insightful.

    Richard's work clearly touched you, and you have taken the time to include rich detail in your pleasurable little eulogy. Trout vs humanity.

    What about the dad in denial. The father that declared himself 'no dependants' when he signed up for war. Who gifted his child with a few cents for ice cream/cinema on the two occasions they met by pure coincidence.

    What about the clock in the kitchen in Montana, surrounded by bullets shot by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper?

    Brautigan is a 20th Century artistic tragedy, as poignant as Jimmy Dean, Buddy Holly or John Lennon.

    Only their deaths were messier.