Thursday, February 7, 2008

Return to Richard


This blog started life in the middle of 2007 with the idea that the writing of Richard Brautigan should be shared and could be the jumping-off point for a variety of musings and idle speculation and reflection and some other nonsense.

It's been a while since Brautigan's work has shown up here. That's a shame. Here's one from "The Pill Versus the Spring Hill Mine Disaster:"

Kafka's Hat

With the rain falling
surgically against the roof,
I ate a dish of ice cream
that looked like Kafka's hat.

It was a dish of ice cream
tasting like an operating table
with the patient staring
up at the ceiling.


This is one of many in which it appears Mr. Brautigan is just reaching a little far. Seriously, what would an operating table taste like? Sometimes his poems feel like a sculpture made of random junk welded together: a rusted car bumper, an ice auger, an old tractor seat, and clock gears.

Ice cream, Kafka, operating room, rain.

It's like one of those scenes in a Marx brothers film in which the brothers engage in some peice of physical funny-business that has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot (thin as it is). Still funny, though, and in their quirky way these Brautigan constructions are still fun to read.

Another in that same vien, this from "Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt:"

Propelled by Portals Whose Only Shame

Propelled by portals whose only shame
is a zeppelin's shadow crossing a field
of burning bathtubs,
I ask myself: There must be more to life
than this?

It's like an imrov comedy troupe drawing random words and phrases from a hat and building a funny sketch incorporating them. Sometimes it works, sometimes its just silliness. You decide.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Thanks for the selections, Jim. I agree that Brautigan's work needs to be kept available. Hope you are well.