Of the one time I met Richard Brautigan, I only remember that he was drinking hard and lighting into those commies in Eastern Bloc countries that published translations of his books but would not pay royalties. He was loud and appeared to be a braggard. I quite disliked him. This was some time in the early 1980s.
I’d read some of his poetry because one of my friends had said that Richard Brautigan, and only he, had been the reason why she got interested in poetry. This makes some sense – Brautigan’s poetry is easily accessible, mostly funny, and he’s a master of short poems about the odd thing that sparked his imagination (he usually manages to spark the reader’s imagination as well).
Here’s one I reread this morning:
The Pomegranate Circus
I am desolate in dimension
circling the sky
like a rainy bird,
wet from toe to crown
wet from bill to wing.
I feel like a drowned king
at the pomegranate circus.
I vowed last year
that I wouldn’t go again
but here I sit in my usual seat,
dripping and clapping
as the pomegranates go by
in their metallic costumes.
December 25, 1966
(From The Pill Versus the Springhill Mining Disaster, 1968)
I read this Haiku by Brautigan back in the early 70s and have not been able to forget it ever since I copied it down in my journal back then and noted by it – “tone flippant”.
A piece of green pepper
fell off the wooden salad bowl:
so what. Most likely my line breaks and punctuation are incorrect, and I forget the title but the goofy humour of it grabbed me.
“Goofy” is quite descriptive of Brautigan’s kind of humor. Thanks for stopping by!
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