June 30th, June 30th

By Richard Brautigan (selected works) Japanese Model Romance Dreams Are Like the [the] Strawberry Haiku A Short Study In Gone A Study in Roads Floating Chandeliers Japanese Women Sunglasses Worn at Night in Japan Japanese Pop Music Concert Chainsaw Day for Night The Alps A Young Japanese Woman Play a Grand Piano in a Very Fancy Cocktail Lounge Worms Things to Do on a Boring Tokyo Night in a Hotel Travelling Toward Osaka on the Freeway from Tokyo Eternal Lag The Past Cannot Be Returned Two Women Love Land of the Rising Sun
"1942" Piano tree, play in the dark concert halls of my uncle, twenty-six years old, dead and homeward bound on a ship from Sitka, his coffin travels like the fingers of Beethoven over a glass of wine. Piano tree, play in the dark concert halls of my uncle, a legend of my childhood, dead, they send him back to Tacoma. At night his coffin travels like the birds that fly beneath the sea, never touching the sky. Piano tree, play in the dark concert halls of my uncle, take his heart for a lover and take his death for a bed, and send him homeward bound on a ship from Sitka to bury him where I was born.

Japanese Model

Tall, slender dressed in black perfect features Egyptianesque She is the shadow of another planet being photographed in a totally white room Her face never changes her page-boy hair looks as if it were cut from black surgical jade Her lips are so red they make blood seem dull, a useless pastime Tokyo May ?, 1976


I just spent fifteen seconds staring at a Japanese fly: my first. He was standing on a red brick in the Mitsui Building Plaza, enjoying the sun. He didnít care that I was looking at him. He was cleaning his face. Perhaps he had a date with a beautiful lady fly, his bride to be or maybe just good friends to have lunch a little later in Mitsui Plaza at noon. Tokyo May 17 or 18, 1976

Dreams Are like the [the]

Dreams are like the [the] wind. They blow by. The small ones are breezes, but they go by, too. Tokyo May 20 or 26, 1976

Strawberry Haiku

***** ******* The twelve red berries Tokyo May 22, 1976

A Short Study in Gone

When dreams wake life ends. Then dreams are gone. Life is gone. Tokyo May 26, 1976

A Study in Roads

All the possibilities of life, all roads led here. I was never going anyplace else, 41 years of life: Tacoma, Washington Great Falls, Montana Oaxaca, Mexico London, England Bee Caves, Texas Victoria, British Columbia Key West, Florida San Francisco, California Boulder, Colorado all led here: Having a drink by myself in a bar in Tokyo before lunch, wishing there was somebody to talk to. Tokyo May 28, 1976

Floating Chandeliers

Sand is crystal like the soul. The wind blows it away. Tokyo May 28, 1976

Japanese Women

If there are any unattractive Japanese women they must drown them at birth Tokyo May 28, 1976

Sunglasses Worn at Night in Japan

A Japanese woman age: 28 lives seeing darkness from eyes that should see light at night. Tokyo May 30, 1976

Japanese Pop Music Concert

Donít ever ever forget the flowers that were rejected, made fools of. A very shy girl gives the budding boy pop star a bouquet of beautiful flowers between songs. What courage it took for her to walk up to the stage and hand him the flowers. He puts them garbage-like down on the floor. They lie there. She returns to her seat and watches her flowers lying there. Then she canít take it any longer. She flees. She is gone but the music plays on. I promise. You promise, too Tokyo May 31, 1976


A beautiful Japanese woman / age 42 the energy that separates spring form summer (depending on June) 20 or 21 -so they say- Her voice singing sounds just like an angelic chainsaw cutting through honey. Tokyo June 1, 1976

Day for Night

The cab takes me home through the Tokyo dawn. I have been awake all night. I will be asleep before the sun rises. I will sleep all day. The cab is a pillow, the streets are blankets, the dawn is my bed. The cab rests my head. Iím on my way to dreams. Tokyo June 1, 1976

The Alps

One word waitingÖ leads to an avalanche of other words if you are waitingÖ for a woman Tokyo June 1, 1976

A Young Japanese Woman Play a Grand Piano in a Very Fancy Cocktail Lounge

Everything shines like black jade: The piano (invented Her long hair (severe Her obvious disinterest (in the music she is playing. Her mind, distant from her fingers, is a million miles away shining like black jade Tokyo June 1, 1976


The distances of loneliness make the fourth dimension seem like three hungry crows looking at a worm in a famine. Tokyo June 1, 1976

Things to Do on a Boring Tokyo Night in a Hotel

1. Have dinner by yourself. Thatís always a lot of fun. 2. Wander aimlessly around the hotel. This is a huge hotel, so thereís lots of space to wander aimlessly around. 3. Go up and down the elevator for no reason at all. The people going up are going to their rooms. Iím not. Those going down are going out. Iím not. 4. I seriously think about the house phone and calling my room 3003 and letting it ring for a very long time. Then wondering where Iím at and when I will return. Should I leave a message at the desk saying that when I return I should call myself? Tokyo June 1, 1976

Travelling Toward Osaka on the Freeway from Tokyo

I look out the car window at 100 kilometers an hour (62 miles) and see a man peddling a bicycle very carefully down a narrow path between rice paddies. Heís gone in a few seconds. I have only his memory now. He has been changed into a 100 kilometer-an-hour memory ink rubbing. Hamamatsu June 7, 1976

Eternal Lag

Before flying to Japan I was worried about jet lag. "My" airplane would leave San Francisco at 1 P.M. Wednesday and 10 hours and 45 minutes later would land in Tokyo at 4 P.M. the next day: Thursday. I was worried about that, forgetting that because I suffer from severe insomnia I have eternal jet lag. Tokyo June 9, 1976

The Past Cannot Be Returned

The umbilical cord cannot be refastened and life flow through it again. Our tears never totally dry. Our first kiss is now a ghost, haunting our mouths as they fade toward oblivion. Tokyo June 19, 1976 with a few words added in Montana July 12, 1976

Two Women

/1 Travelling along a freeway in Tokyo I saw a womanís face reflecting back to us from a small circular mirror on the passenger side of the car in front of us. The car had a regular rearview mirror in the center of the front window. I wonder what the circular mirror was doing on the passenger side of the car. Her face was in it. She was directly in front of us. She had a beautiful face, floating in an unreal mirror on a Tokyo freeway. Her face stayed there for a while and then floated off forever in the changing traffic. /2 She moves like a ghost. She is not alive any more. She must be in her late sixties. She is short and squat like a Japanese stereotype. She takes care of the lobby of the hotel. She empties the ashtrays. She dusts and mops things. She moves like a ghost. She has no human expression. A few days ago I was standing beside three Japanese businessmen peeing in the lavatory. We each had our own urinal. She walked in like a ghost and started mopping the toilet floor around us. She was totally unaware of us, standing there urinating. She was truly a ghost and we were suddenly ghost pee-ers as she mopped on by. Tokyo June 21, 1976


The water in the river flows over and under itself. It knows what to do, flowing on. The bed never touches bottom Tokyo June 28, 1976

Land of the Rising Sun

sayonara Flying from Japanese night, we left Haneda Airport in Tokyo four hours ago at 9:30 P.M. June 30th and now we are flying into the sunrise over the Pacific that is on its way to Japan where darkness lies upon the land and the sun is hours away. I greet the sunrise of July 1st for my Japanese friends, wishing them a pleasant day. The sun is on its way. Tokyo June 30th again above the Pacific across the international date line heading home to America with part of my heart in Japan


Brautigan Poetry