These holidays, I have been drawn back into the madly beautiful world of Richard Brautigan. I had been revisiting his collection The Pill versus The Spring Hill Mine Disaster (after a friend picked up a beautiful first edition recently) and then while I was away in Tasmania, discovered a copy of Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt for the grand price of $1.80. Both these collections combine the best and worst of Brautigan… and by worst I mean, there are some pieces in each collection that are throwaway doodles, but his best… his best is some of the most joyous, energetic and passionately-goofy writing you are ever likely to read.
Take this from Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt:
Always spend a penny
as if you were spending a
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
And check out this clip of Brautigan’s poem Gee, You’re So Beautiful It’s Starting To Rain (Brautigan himself is reading this one). One of his many aching love poems to Marcia (read the poem here); love, something that Brautigan struggled with all of his too-short life.
So, if like me, you are feeling drawn in to Brautigan’s mad beauty and you want to suspend reality for a while, you can read a great selection of his poems and other writing at his official site.