Friday, November 24, 2006

Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork

Okay, I really didn't intent to write about poetry two days in a row, but Richard Brautigan's been on my mind. He's one of my favorite poets, partially because a lot of people think that he wasn't really a poet at all. Basically, his poems sound like prose, and his prose sounds like poetry. Here's one of my favorite Brautigan poems:


Fuck me like fried potatoes
on the most beautifully hungry
morning of my God-damn life.

Kinda hits you hard, doesn't it? Even if it's not your favorite kind of poetry, it really gets to the heart of things. In a few lines, he just plain nails the intensity of sex, the way it can be so sustaining.

Here's another one:


The thought of her hands
touching his hair
makes me want to vomit.

Not the prettiest poem ever; again, though, it really hits that feeling you get when a relationship ends. The nausea, the hurt, the feeling that you really want to let it go, but can't.

While we're on the subject of relationships,


I talked a good hello
but she talked an even
better good-bye.

You ever been there? I can't imagine a better way to put that feeling.

Okay, here's one more:


Signalling, we touch,
lying beside each other
like waves.
I roll over into her
and look down through
candlelight to say,
"Hey, I'm balling you."

That one just makes me laugh.

Anyway, all of these come from one of his collections, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, but you can find many of his poems here. Maybe, like me, you won't enjoy him at first, but will find that he sticks in your brain, like a catchy commercial or one of Barry Manilow's songs. You might find yourself playing with his words and giggling at his intensity. I hope so.

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  • His novels are pretty good. I'm a big fan of Trout Fishing in America and In Watermelon Sugar.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At November 24, 2006 at 8:22 PM  

  • I think I have video of you saying the Fried Potatoes poem on your wedding day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 24, 2006 at 10:18 PM  

  • I don't find his words very sexy, (and this is coming from girl who dislikes chick flicks)But, he has an amazing ability to turn few words into vivid, widescreen, brazen pictures. I'll have to read more...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 24, 2006 at 11:16 PM  

  • Now this is exactly what I mean when i say that I need your blog. I am an antique quant and I did not bargain for this kind of cultural mind meld expansion routine. I used to think that if you didn't write it in a differential equation, it wasn't worth reading. Then you came along, and now I'm saying things like "Fuck me like fried potatoes on the most beautifully hungry morning of my god-damn life" and she's laying there laughing at me. I don't think I'm ever going to get laid again, but that's alright, my marriage is based on laughter, and it's hard to keep it up when you're laughing that hard because she's laughing that hard. Know what I mean?

    So keep up the good work, because even if I'm not getting any, I may be getting younger, and that's also OK with me.

    One more thing, please ask Misanthropster to write more. She doesn't have to be pissed off at anyone, she could even start a new blog. I just like to hear what she has to say. I appreciate it, thank you, and good night. My brains are fried and the chickens don't want them to graze on anyway and neither does the cat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 24, 2006 at 11:55 PM  

  • this was very cool....I read a bit and it's almost like a modern haiku form.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 25, 2006 at 12:50 AM  

  • Holtet-
    I remember reciting it for you. I have to see it!

    I agree that he's not sexy at all. Actually, we should compile a list of sexy poets--Marvell, Donne, Herrick, and so on. Actually, I can't imagine delivering the fried potatoes line without laughing.

    I'm with you--she should definitely write more. I'll start pestering her post haste!

    That's exactly it! The simplicity and power.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 25, 2006 at 1:48 AM  

  • He's a very original voice. As long as he's been around, I can't think of anyone who sounds like him.

    And I agree that it would be a treat if Misanthropster wrote more. She is always interesting. And she slams doors on rude creeps really well, too.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At November 25, 2006 at 2:51 AM  

  • You are freaking me out with your parallel like. Brautigan and Silverstein? If you tell me you read and loved Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan than you are officially my brother from another mother.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 25, 2006 at 9:30 AM  

  • Hearts-
    You're preaching to the choir--I'm trying to convince her to write more. She's working on a novel right now, though.

    I haven't read Apathy and Other Small Victories. Sounds like I have to give it a shot!

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 25, 2006 at 6:11 PM  

  • ok, so in my defense, working on a novel, in the middle of christmas retail hell, and attempting to have a marriage and a very small child.

    I'll see y'all again in January, unless somebody really pisses me off at work during the season. Which is a very large likelihood.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At November 25, 2006 at 7:48 PM  

  • LMAO...ok..put him on my favorite list....thanks for sharing that..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 26, 2006 at 2:23 PM  

  • Will you be my Literature professor? I’m loving your choices so far…

    He reminds me of Vivian Stanshall


    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At November 28, 2006 at 10:59 AM  

  • Puss-
    Thanks! I was afraid I was boring everybody.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 30, 2006 at 9:26 PM  

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