Make your own free website on Tripod.com


ROMMEL DRIVES ON DEEP INTO EGYPT

by Richard Brautigan (selected works) HAVE YOU EVER HAD A WITCH BLOOM LIKE A HIGHWAY THE MEMOIRS OF JESSE JAMES FLORA SHAKESPEARE 15% ROMEO AND JULIET LOVE'S NOT THE WAY TO TREAT A FRIEND CANNIBAL CARPENTER DONNER PARTY FORMAL PORTRAIT -2 THE SISTER CITIES OF LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, AND HIROSHIMA, JAPAN NEGATIVE CLANK JULES VERNE ZUCCHINI SHE SLEEPS THIS VERY EVENING IN GREENBROOK CASTLE YOU'LL HAVE TO BUY SOME MORE CHAIRS HINGED TO FORGETFULNESS LIKE A DOOR ALL GIRLS SHOULD HAVE A POEM CHOSEN BY BEAUTY TO BE A HANDMAIDEN OF THE STARS 30 CENTS, TWO TRANSFERS, LOVE PLEASE THERE IS DARKNESS ON YOUR LANTERN PROFESSIONAL, NONOFFENSIVE, BLAND YEAH, THERE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A JUNE 5, 1968 SHELLFISH MOUTHS THAT KISSED IN THE HOT ASHES OF POMPEII A LYRICAL WANT, AN ENDOCRINE GLAND FANCY THE MOON VERSES US EVER SLEEPING TOGETHER AGAIN TOO MANY LIFETIMES LIKE THIS ONE, RIGHT? COLOR AS BEGINNING ALL SECRETS OF PAST TENSE HAVE JUST COME MY WAY AS THE BRUISES FADE, THE LIGHTNING ACHES AT LAST OUR BODIES COINCIDE DEER TRACKS

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A WITCH BLOOM LIKE A HIGHWAY

Have you ever had a witch bloom like a highway on your mouth? and turn your breathing to her fancy? like a little car with blue headlights passing forever in a dream?

THE MEMOIRS OF JESSE JAMES

I remember all those thousands of hours that I spent in grade school watching the clock, waiting for recess or lunch or to go home. Waiting: for anything but school. My teachers could easily have ridden with Jesse James for all the time they stole from me.

FLORA SHAKESPEARE

Acting out the place where the flowers die, circling their graves with themselves, your costume is perfect, you're on stage.

15%

She tries to get things out of men that she can't get because she's not 15% prettier.

ROMEO AND JULIET

If you will die for me, I will die for you and our graves will be like two lovers washing their clothes together in a laundromat. If you will bring the soap, I will bring the bleach

LOVE'S NOT THE WAY TO TREAT A FRIEND

Love's not the way to treat a friend. I wouldn't wish that on you. I don't want to see your eyes forgotten on a rainy day, lost in the endless purse of those who can remember nothing. Love's not the way to treat a friend. I don't want to see you end up that way with your body being poured like wounded marble into the architecture of those who make bridges out of crippled birds. Love's not the way to treat a friend. There are so many better things for you than to see your feelings sold as magic lanterns to somebody whose body casts no light.

CANNIBAL CARPENTER

He wants to build you a house out of your own bones, but that's where you're living any way! The next time he calls you answer the telephone with the sound of your grandmother being born. It was a twenty-three-hour labor in 1894. He hangs up.

DONNER PARTY

Forsaken, fucking in the cold, eating each other, lost, runny noses, complaining all the time like so many people that we know.

FORMAL PORTRAIT

I like to think of Frankenstein as a huge keyhole and the laboratory as the key that turns the lock and everything that happens afterward as just the lock turning.

-2

Everybody wants to go to bed with everybody else, they're lined up for blocks, so I'll go to bed with you. They won't miss us.

THE SISTER CITIES OF LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, AND HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

It was snowing hard when we drove into Los Alamos. There was a clinical feeling to the town as if every man, woman and child were a doctor. We shopped at the Safeway and got a bag of groceries. A toddler looked like a brain surgeon. He carefully watched us shop at the exact place where he would make his first incision.

NEGATIVE CLANK

He'd sell a rat's asshole to a blindman for a wedding ring.

JULES VERNE ZUCCHINI

Men are walking on the moon today, planting their footsteps as if they were zucchini on a dead world while over 3,000,000 people starve todeath every year on a living one. Earth July 20, 1969

SHE SLEEPS THIS VERY EVENING IN GREENBROOK CASTLE

She sleeps this every evening in Greenbrook castle without the comfort of husband, and what she knows is what she dreams. He isn't dead and he isn't alive, and the crack of light beneath the door is like the tail of a cat as she paces in her room. She sleeps this very evening in Greenbrook castle without the comfort of husband, and what she knows is what she dreams. He isn't dead and he isn't alive, and the light in her window is like a wedding ring shining to the dark and distant woods. She sleeps this very evening in Greenbrook castle without the comfort of husband, and what she knows is what she dreams. He isn't dead and he isn't alive, and the light that reflects her golden hair is the answer to her marriage and the children of her prayers.

YOU'LL HAVE TO BUY SOME MORE CHAIRS

If you love a statue start a mirror. Your friends will admire you. If you love a mirror start a statue. Make room for new friends.

HINGED TO FORGETFULNESS LIKE A DOOR

Hinged to forgetfulness like a door, she slowly closed out of sight, and she was the woman that I loved, but too many times she slept like a mechanical deer in my caresses, and I ached in the metal silence of her dreams.

ALL GIRLS SHOULD HAVE A POEM

For Valerie All girls should have a poem written for them even if we have to turn this God-damn world upside down to do it. New Mexico March 16, 1969

CHOSEN BY BEAUTY TO BE A HANDMAIDEN OF THE STARS

Chosen by beauty to be a handmaiden of the stars, she passes like a silver brush across the lens of a telescope. She brushes the stars, the galaxies and the light-years into the order that we know them.

30 CENTS, TWO TRANSFERS, LOVE

Thinking hard about you I got onto the bus and paid 30 cents car fare and asked the driver for two transfers before discovering that I was alone.

PLEASE

Do you think of me as often as I think of you?

THERE IS DARKNESS ON YOUR LANTERN

There is darkness on your lantern and pumpkins in your wind. and Oh, they clutter up your mind with their senseless bumping while your heart is like a sea gull frozen into a long distance telephone call. I'd like to take the darkness off your lantern and change the pumpkins into sky fields of ordered comets and disconnect the refrigerator telephone that frightens your heart into standing still.

PROFESSIONAL, NONOFFENSIVE, BLAND

The gunman holds the wind in his hand. Autumn and spring pass like robberies across his eyes. He doesn't blink while one stops leaves and the other starts them. The gunman is a friend to the changing of the seasons. He holds the wind in his hand.

YEAH, THERE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A JUNE 5, 1968

My telephone rang in the middle of the night, but I didn't answer it. It rang and rang and rang and SHUT UP! And rang as if it were possessed. I always figure that good news doesn't travel in the middle of the night, so I didn't answer the telephone. I let it go to hell. I was right, too. It was somebody calling to tell me that Kennedy had been hit.

SHELLFISH

Always spend a penny as if you were spending a dollar and always spend a dollar as if you were spending a wounded eagle and always spend a wounded eagle as if you were spending the very sky itself.

MOUTHS THAT KISSED IN THE HOT ASHES OF POMPEII

Mouths that kissed in the hot ashes of Pompeii are returning and eyes that could adore their beloved only in the fires of Pompeii are returning and locked bodies that squirmed in ecstasy in the lava of Pompeii are returning and lovers who found their perfect passion in the death of Pompeii are returning, and they're letting themselves in again with the names of your sons and your daughters.

A LYRICAL WANT, AN ENDOCRINE GLAND FANCY

A lyrical want, an endocrine gland fancy, a telescope that I thought had no thorns have lead me to a pain that I cannot pronounce. It gathers around me like a convention of translators for a language that does not exist with all those meetings to attend.

THE MOON VERSES US EVER SLEEPING TOGETHER AGAIN

I sit here, an arch-villain of romance, thinking about you. Gee, I'm sorry I made you unhappy, but there was nothing I could do about it because I have to be free. Perhaps everything would have been different if you had stayed at the table or asked me to go out with you to look at the moon, instead of getting up and leaving me alone with her.

TOO MANY LIFETIMES LIKE THIS ONE, RIGHT?

Too many lifetimes like this one, right? Hungover, surrounded by general goofiness, lonely, can't get it up, I feel just like a pile of bleached cat shit.

COLOR AS BEGINNING

Forget love I want to die in your yellow hair.

ALL SECRETS OF PAST TENSE HAVE JUST COME MY WAY

All secrets of past tense have just come my way, but I still don't know what I'm going to do next.

AS THE BRUISES FADE, THE LIGHTNING ACHES

As the bruises fade, the lightning aches. Last week, making love, you bit me. Now the blue and dark have gone and yellow bruises grow toward pale daffodils, then paler to become until my body is all my own and what that ever got me.

AT LAST OUR BODIES COINCIDE

At last our bodies coincide. I'll bet you thought this would never happen. Neither did I. It's a pleasant surprise.

DEER TRACKS

Beautiful, sobbing, high-geared fucking and then to lie silently like deer tracks in the freshly-fallen snow beside the one you love. that's all.

HOME

Brautigan Poetry