Richard Brautigan is dead at 49

It took about a month for them to find his body and a whole lot longer than that for him to be discovered while he was alive.

And he is there at the roadside jotting down notes by a flattened crow,
he is there biting his beard
bent over, scribbling
his jagged verse,
feet fanning the air, claws still frozen —
one wing sticks up
like it’s raising its hand
waiting to be called on
with the answer.

And bodies are like that, they look better
when they’ve got something in them —
and here I am
lost in a development where all the names
are stamped on the rocks and it’s a maze of flags,
driveways and children,
all of them watching me with well-taught suspicion,
the parents and their garden hose and robes —
no one breaks a stare, and I’m surprised
they can even see me.

In the shadow of some trees by the road
a doe and her two young crouch down,
they stir at my feet on the gravel
and in the morning sun
I can see the veins in their pink ears glow,
they know.

The garage doors are all cartoon mouths
and the driveways roll down like tongues
to deposit the unwanted
on the sides, on Tuesdays.

They wonder about me, is he a cop or
a private investigator, a reporter?

Haven’t you ever seen a poet working?

I’m prepared to say I’m writing down things I need to do today, and that’s the truth.



Categories: Uncategorized

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6 replies

  1. I want to watch you work. I won’t get in the way. I would just watch from the window, curtain open just a sliver. Of course I’d have to call my wife over. And I might take my own notes of you taking notes.


  2. and poetry is at the top of every good to do list.


  3. Do you know about Brautifan’s Please Plant This Book? It was a series of seed packets with poems printed on them. The idea was to plant the seeds. There aren’t many around. People planted the seeds and threw away the envelopes. A full set of all eight packets with the seeds still inside is highly collectible. It’ll set you back about $3,000. That’s the collector in me speaking. I’ve been to dozen of rare book fairs and have never seen a set.

    Liked by 1 person

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