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THE PILL VERSUS THE SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER

by Richard Brautigan (selected works from) ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE HORSE CHILD BREAKFAST THE BEAUTIFUL POEM THE SHENEVERTAKESHERWATCHOFF POEM KARMA REPAIR KIT: ITEMS 1-4 SAN FRANCISCO XEROX CANDY BAR DISCOVERY WIDOW'S LAMENT DEATH IS A BEAUTIFUL CAR PARKED ONLY THE FEVER MONUMENT AT THE CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY "STAR-SPANGLED" NAILS ADRENALIN MOTHER MAP SHOWER A POSTCARD FROM CHINATOWN DECEMBER 30 I'VE NEVER HAD IT DONE SO GENTLY BEFORE YOUR NECKLACE IS LEAKING THE RAPE OF OPHELIA I FEEL HORRIBLE. SHE DOESN'T THE GALILEE HITCH-HIKER, PART 1 THE AMERICAN HOTEL, PART 2 1939, Part 3 THE FLOWER BURGERS, PART 4 THE HOUR OF ETERNITY, PART 5 SALVADOR DALI, PART 6 A BASEBALL GAME, PART 7 INSANE ASYLUM, PART 8 MY INSECT FUNERAL, PART 9 IT'S RAINING IN LOVE HEY! THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT MY NOSE IS GROWING OLD THE CASTLE OF THE CORMORANTS MILK FOR THE DUCK THE HORSE THAT HAD A FLAT TIRE THE SYMBOL I CANNOT ANSWER YOU TONIGHT IN SMALL PORTIONS THE GARLIC MEAT LADY FROM BOO, FOREVER

ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE

I like to think (and the sooner the better!) of a cybernetic meadow where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony like pure water touching clear sky. I like to think (right now, please!) of a cybernetic forest filled with pines and electronics where deer stroll peacefully past computers as if they were flowers with spinning blossoms. I like to think (it has to be!) of a cybernetic ecology where we are free of our labors and joined back to nature, returned to our mammal brothers and sisters, and all watched over by machines of loving grace.

HORSE CHILD BREAKFAST

Horse child breakfast what are you doing to me? with your long blonde legs? with your long blonde face? with your long blonde hair? with your perfect blonde ass? I swear I'll never be the same again! Horse child breakfast, what you're doing to me, I want done forever.

THE BEAUTIFUL POEM

I go to bed in Los Angeles thinking about you. Pissing a few moments ago I looked down at my penis affectionately. Knowing it has been inside you twice today makes me feel beautiful. 3 A.M. January 15, 1967

THE SHENEVERTAKESHERWATCHOFF POEM

For Marcia Because you always have a clock strapped to your body, it's natural that I should think of you as the correct time: with your long blonde hair at 8:03, and your pulse-lightning breasts at 11:17, and your rose-meow smile at 5:30, I know I'm right.

KARMA REPAIR KIT: ITEMS 1-4

1. Get enough food to eat, And eat it. 2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there. 3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it. 4.

SAN FRANCISCO

This poem was found written on a paper bag by Richard Brautigan in a laundromat in San Francisco. The author is unknown. By accident, you put Your money in my Machine (#4) By accident, I put My money in another Machine (#6) On purpose, I put Your clothes in the Empty machine full Of water and no Clothes It was lonely.

XEROX CANDY BAR

Ah, you're just a copy of all the candy bars I've ever eaten.

DISCOVERY

The petals of the vagina unfold like Christopher Columbus taking off his shoes. Is there anything more beautiful than the bow of a ship touching a new world?

WIDOW'S LAMENT

It's not quite cold enough to go borrow some firewood from the neighbors.

DEATH IS A BEAUTIFUL CAR PARKED ONLY

For Emmett Death is a beautiful car parked only to be stolen on a street lined with trees whose branches are like the intestines of an emerald. You hotwire death, get in, and drive away like a flag made from a thousand burning funeral parlors. You have stolen death because you're bored. There's nothing good playing at the movies in San Francisco. You joyride around for a while listening to the radio, and then abandon death, walk away, and leave death for the police to find.

THE FEVER MONUMENT

I walked across the park to the fever monument. It was in the center of a glass square surrounded by red flowers and fountains. The monument was in the shape of a sea horse and the plaque read We got hot and died.

AT THE CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

I don't care how God-damn smart these guys are: I'm bored. It's been raining like hell all day long and there's nothing to do. Written January 24, 1967 while poet-in-residence at the California Institute of Technology.

"STAR-SPANGLED" NAILS

You've got Some "Star-Spangled" Nails In your coffin, kid. That's what They've done for you, Son.

ADRENALIN MOTHER

Adrenalin Mother, with your dress of comets and shoes of swift bird wings and shadow of jumping fish, thank you for touching, understanding and loving my life. Without you, I am dead.

MAP SHOWER

For Marcia I want your hair to cover me with maps of new places, so everywhere I go will be as beautiful as your hair.

A POSTCARD FROM CHINATOWN

The Chinese smoke opium in their bathrooms. They all get in the bathroom and lock the door. The old people sit in the tub and the children sit on the floor.

DECEMBER 30

At 1:03 in the morning a fart smells like a marriage between an avocado and a fish head. I have to get out of bed to write this down without My glasses on.

I'VE NEVER HAD IT DONE SO GENTLY BEFORE

For M The sweet juices of your mouth are like castles bathed in honey. I've never had it done so gently before. You have put a circle of castles around my penis and you swirl them like sunlight on the wings of birds.

YOUR NECKLACE IS LEAKING

For Marcia Your necklace is leaking and blue light drips from your beads to cover your beautiful breasts with a clear African dawn.

THE RAPE OF OPHELIA

Her clothes spread wide and mermaid-like while they bore her up: which time she chanted snatches of old tunes, and sweet Ophelia floated down the river past black stones until she came to an evil fisherman who was dressed in clothes that had no childhood, and beautiful Ophelia floated like an April church into his shadow, and he, the evil fisherman of our dreams, waded out into the river and captured the poor mad girl, and taking her into the deep grass, he killed her with the shock of his body, and he placed her back into the river, and Laertes said, Alas, then she is drown'd! Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia.

I FEEL HORRIBLE. SHE DOESN'T

I feel horrible. She doesn't Love me and I wander around The house like a sewing machine That's just finished sewing A turd to a garbage can lid.

THE GALILEE HITCH-HIKER

Part 1 Baudelaire was driving a Model A across Galilee. He picked up a hitch-hiker named Jesus who had been standing among a school of fish, feeding them pieces of bread. "Where are you going?" asked Jesus, getting into the front seat. "Anywhere, anywhere out of this world!" shouted Baudelaire. "I'll go with you as far as Golgotha," said Jesus. "I have a concession at the carnival there, and I must not be late."

THE AMERICAN HOTEL, PART 2

Baudelaire was sitting in a doorway with a wino on San Francisco's skidrow. the wino was a million years old and could remember dinosaurs. Baudelaire and the wino were drinking Petri Muscatel. "One must always be drunk," said Baudelaire. "I live in the American Hotel," said the wino. "And I can remember dinosaurs." "Be you drunken ceaselessly," said Baudelaire.

1939, Part 3

Baudilaire used to come to our house and watch me grind coffee. That was in 1939 and we lived in the slums of Tacoma. My mother would put the coffee beans in the grinder. I was a child and would turn the handle, pretending that it was a hurdy-gurdy, and Baudelaire would pretend that he was a monkey, hopping up and down and holding out a tin cup.

THE FLOWER BURGERS, PART 4

Baudelaire opened up a hamburger stand in San Francisco, but he put flowers between the buns. People would come in and say, "Give me a hamburger with plenty of onions on it." Baudelaire would give them a flowerburger instead and the people would say, "What kind of a hamburger stand is this?"

THE HOUR OF ETERNITY, PART 5

"The Chinese read the time in the eyes of cats," said Baudelaire and went into a jewelry store on Market Street. He came out a few moments later carrying a twenty-one jewel Siamese cat that he wore on the end of a golden chain.

SALVADOR DALI, PART 6

"Are you or aren't you going to eat your soup, you bloody old cloud merchant?" Jeanne Duval shouted, hitting Baudelaire on the back as he sat daydreaming out the window. Baudelaire was startled. Then he laughed like hell, waving his spoon in the air like a wand changing the room into a painting by Salvador Dali, changing the room into a painting by Van Gogh.

A BASEBALL GAME, PART 7

Baudelare went to a baseball game and bought a hot dog and lit up a pipe of opium. the New York Yankees were playing the Detroit Tigers. In the fourth inning an angel committed suicide by jumping off a low cloud. The angel landed on second base, causing the whole infield to crack like a huge mirror. The game was called on account of fear.

INSANE ASYLUM, PART 8

Baudelaire went to the insane asylum disguised as a psychiatrist. He stayed there for two months and when he left, the insane asylum loved him so much that it followed him all over California, and Baudelaire laughed when the insane asylum rubbed itself up against his leg like a strange cat.

MY INSECT FUNERAL, PART 9

When I was a child I had a graveyard where I buried insects and dead birds under a rose tree. I would bury the insects in tin foil and match boxes. I would bury the birds in pieces of red cloth. It was all very sad and I would cry as I scooped dirt into their small graves with a spoon. Baudelaire would come and join in my insect funerals, saying little prayers the size of dead birds. San Fancisco February 1958

IT'S RAINING IN LOVE

I don't know what it is, But I distrust myself When I start to like a girl A lot. It makes me nervous. I don't say the right things Or perhaps I start To examine, Evaluate, Compute What I am saying. If I say, "Do you think it's going to rain?" and she says, "I don't know," I start thinking: Does she really like me? In other words I get a little creepy. A friend of mine once said, "It's twenty times better to be friends with someone than it is to be in love with them." I think he's right and besides, its raining somewhere, programming flowers and keeping snails happy. That's all taken care of. BUT if a girl likes me a lot and starts getting real nervous and suddenly begins asking me funny questions and looks sad if I give the wrong answers and she says things like, "Do you think it's going to rain?" and I say, "It beats me," and she says, "Oh," and looks a little sad at the clear blue California sky, I think: Thank God, it's you, baby, this time Instead of me.

HEY! THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

For Jeff Sheppard No publication No money No star No fuck A friend came over to the house a few days ago and read one of my poems. He came back today and asked to read the same poem over again. After he finished reading it, he said, "It makes me want to write poetry."

MY NOSE IS GROWING OLD

Yup. A long lazy September look in the mirror say it's true: I'm 31 and my nose is growing old. It starts about 1/2 and inch below the bridge and strolls geriatrically down for another inch or so: stopping Fortunately, the rest of the nose is comparatively young. I wonder if girls will want me with an old nose. I can hear them now the heartless bitches! "He's cute but his nose is old."

THE CASTLE OF THE CORMORANTS

Hamlet with a cormorant under his arm married Ophelia. She was still wet from drowning. She looked like a white flower that had been left in the rain too long I love you, said Ophelia, and I love that dark bird you hold in your arms. Big Sur February 1958

MILK FOR THE DUCK

ZAP! Unlaid / 20 days My sexual image Isn't worth a shit. If I were dead I couldn't attract A female fly.

THE HORSE THAT HAD A FLAT TIRE

Once upon a valley there came down from some goldenblue mountains a handsome young prince who was riding a dawncolored horse named Lordsburg. I love you You're my breathing castle Gentle so gentle We'll live forever In the valley there was a beautiful maiden whom the prince drifted into love with like a New Mexico made from apple thunder and long glass beds. I love you You're my breathing castle Gentle so gentle We'll live forever The prince enchanted the maiden and they rode off on the dawncolored horse named Lordsburg toward the goldenblue mountains. I love you You're my breathing castle Gentle so gentle We'll live forever They would have lived happily ever after if the horse hadn't had a flat tire in front of a dragon's house.

THE SYMBOL

When I was hitch-hiking down to Big Sur, Moby Dick stopped and picked me up. He was driving a truckload of sea gulls to San Luis Obispo. "Do you like being a truckdriver better than you do a whale?" I asked. "Yeah," Moby Dick said. "Hoffa is a lot better to us whales than Captain Ahab ever was. The old fart."

I CANNOT ANSWER YOU TONIGHT IN SMALL PORTIONS

I cannot answer you tonight in small portions. Torn apart by stormy love's gate, I float like a phantom facedown in a well where the cold dark water reflects vague half-built stars and trades all our affection, touching, sleeping together for tribunal distance standing like a drowning train just beyond a pile of Eskimo skeletons.

THE GARLIC MEAT LADY FROM

We're cooking dinner tonight. I'm making a kind of Stonehenge stroganoff. Marcia is helping me. You already know the legend of her beauty. I've asked her to rub garlic on the meat. She takes each piece of meat like a lover and rubs it gently with garlic. I've never seen anything like this before. Every orifice of the meat is explored, caressed relentlessly with garlic. There is a passion here that would drive a deaf saint to learn the violin and play Beethoven at Stonehenge.

BOO, FOREVER

Spinning like a ghost on the bottom of a top, I'm haunted by all the space that I will live without you.

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