Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beer/Brautigan/Brendon


The blogger who calls himself Bleeet posted a list expanding on the Biblical 'inherit the earth' theme. You can read it here.

This little blog has had frequent posts about beer.

In a rather forced attempt to bring these disparate references together, here is one of Richard Brautigan's first published poems.

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth's Beer Bottles

When we were children after the war
we lived for a year in a house next
to a large highway. There were many
sawmills and log ponds on the other side
of the highway. The sound of the saws could
be heard most of the time and when there
was darkness trash burners glowed red
against the sky. We did not have a father
and our mother had to work very hard.
My sister and I got our spending money
by gathering beer bottles that had been
thrown along the highway or left around
the sawmills. At first we carried the
bottles in gunny sacks and cardboard boxes
but later we found an old baby buggy
and we used that to carry our bottles in.
We took the bottles to a grocery store
and were paid a penny for small beer bottles
and two cents for large ones. On almost
any day we could be seen pushing our baby
buggy along the highway looking
for beer bottles.

-----
from Four New Poets. Ed. Leslie Woolf Hedley.
San Francisco: Inferno Press, 1957.

3 comments:

Bleeet said...

This is almost like anti-poetry. There's not even many attempts at lyrical or vivid imagery. It's prose. A paragraph to an opening story about his childhood.

Jim H. said...

Brendon:

Empty beer bottles in a pram is not a vivid image?

Maybe not Robert Service vivid, but would you give me poignant?

I do like comments, I really do!

Bleeet said...

I suppose that's vivid enough, but I'm struck by how the poem is just a fairly routine remembrance of childhood with basically no noticeable poetic flourishes (whatever those might be...)