Brautigan > The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster

This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's poetry collection The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster. Published in 1968, this collection of ninety-eight poems was Brautigan's fifth published poetry book. Publication and background information is provided, along with reviews, many with full text. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.

                     

Contents

The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster collects ninety-eight poems by Richard Brautigan. Of those, thirty-eight were not included in his previous poetry collections.
The remainder of the poems in this volume include Brautigan's The Return of the Rivers (May 1957), all nine parts of The Galilee Hitch-Hiker (1958, here coounted as one poem), and poems from previous collections, color coded as follows:
= One of 32 poems from All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (1967)
= One of 17 poems from The Octopus Frontier (1960)
= One of 9 poems from Lay The Marble Tea (1959)
= None of the Above

By default all of the poems are listed in ascending order of where they appear in the book. Use the checkboxes above to limit the list, to list the poems in alphabeical order, or to reverse the direction of the listing.

 


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.

Connections
This poem appears in the feature film The Sun Ship Game, a film about the competitions for placement in the 1969 National Soaring Championships in Marfa, Texas. The 1971 film, directed by Robert Drew, follows two competitors, George Moffat and Gleb Derujinsky. Moffat, an English lecturer, reads the poem to a class at the beginning of the film.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


     For the soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry who were killed at the Little Bighorn River and the passengers who were lost on the maiden voyage of the Titanic.
     God bless their souls.

Yes! it's true all my visions
have come home to roost at last.
They are all true now and stand
around me like a bouquet of
lost ships and doomed generals.
I gently put them away in a
beautiful and disappearing vase.

Textual References
"General Custer": Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) and the 264 men of the 7th Cavalry under his command were annihilated by an estimated 5,000 Sioux Indians on the banks of the Little Big Horn River in eastern Montana Territory, the morning of 26 June 1876.
"Titanic": The White Star liner RMS Titanic sank after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage, 14 April 1912.

Selected Reprints
A First Reader of Contemporary American Poetry. Edited by Patrick Gleason. Merrill, 1969, pp. 23-26.
Learn more

San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


First Published
The Octopus Frontier


First Published
Lay The Marble Tea


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.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Written mid-July, while Brautigan was staying at Pacaud's Sausalito apartment, 15 Princess Lane (apartment 5). Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


Oh, how perfect death
computes an orange wind
that glows from your footsteps,

and you stop to die in
an orchard where the harvest
fills the stars.


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

Background
A holograph broadside of this poem, written in ink by Brautigan on a sheet of 9" x 12" sketchbook paper, in 1967, is known. Allegedly, Brautigan was commissioned to produce a broadside poem and planned to execute it by hand. This broadside may have been a practice effort by Brautigan to enlarge his distinctively small handwriting. No other versions, practice, finished, or reproduced are reported.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


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?

Textual References
"Christopher Columbus": Italian navigator (1451-1506), considered the "Discoverer of America" during Brautigan's youth.

Selected Reprints
Just What The Country Needs, Another Poetry Anthology. Edited by James McMichael and Dennis Saleh. Wadsworth, 1971, pp. xii, 22-26, 185.
6.5" x 9.5", 190 pages
A poetry anthology collecting 124 poems by 30 poets, including Brautigan.
Includes biographical notes for each contributor and an introduction by X. J. Kennedy, who says, "Anyone who cares for poetry ought to encounter much to delight and startle him here. Among such gratifications for me was . . . Richard Brautigan, abruptly popular, whose best work (see "The Winos on Potrero Hill") moves with a beautiful transparency" (xii).

Reprints five poems by Brautigan: "The Winos on Potrero Hill," "The Quail," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "Discovery," and "Adrenalin Mother," all from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

The biographical note for Brautigan reads, "Richard Brautigan published several small books of poetry in limited editions and then collected them in one volume, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, published first by Four Seasons Foundation and them by Delacorte. He has also published three novels and a book of new poems, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Brautigan is 36 and has lived in San Francisco for many years."

San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 49, Dec. 24, 1968, pp 8-9.
Learn more


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


Oh, pretty girl, you have trapped
yourself in the wrong body. Twenty
extra pounds hang like a lumpy
tapestry on your perfect mammal nature.

Three months ago you were like a
deer staring at the first winter snow.

Now Aphrodite thumbs her nose at you
and tells stories behind your back.

Textual References
"Aphrodite": The Greek goddess of love.


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.

Textual References
"Emmett": Emmett Grogan, was one of the founders of the San Francisco Diggers in September 1966. Brautigan admired The Diggers for their services to the needy. Grogan included the poem in his autobiography, Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (Boston: Little Brown, 1972. 468-469) and thanked Brautigan.

Selected Reprints
Beatitude. no. 20, Mar. 1969.
Learn More.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


Every time we say good-bye
I see it as an extension of
     the Hindenburg:
that great 1937 airship exploding
in medieval flames like a burning castle
     above New Jersey.
When you leave the house, the
shadow of the Hindenburg enters
     to take your place.

Textual References
"the Hindenburg": LZ 129 Hindenburg, a German dirigible (blimp) named after the German general and president Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934). The Hindenburg exploded 6 May 1937 just short of a mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey, following its transatlantic flight.


There is a woman
on the Klamath River
who has five
hundred children
in the basement,
stuffed like
hornets into
a mud nest.
Great Sparrow
is their father.
Once a day
he pulls a
red wagon between
them and
that's all
they know.

Textual References
"Klamath River": A river in Southern Oregon.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


You've got
some "Star-Spangled"
     nails
in your coffin, kid.
That's what
they've done for you,
     son.

Textual References
"Star-Spangled Nails": "The Star-Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and adopted as the United States' national anthem in 1931.

Reprinted
12" x 18" broadside privately published: Berkeley, California, no date, circa 1970?
Printed in black lower case lettering on turquoise-colored construction paper with three red, five pointed stars above the poem. Brautigan's name appeared below, in lower case letters.

It is unclear whether Brautigan was involved in the production of this broadside. Five copies are known to exist. Three are held in university collections: one at the State University of New York in Buffalo, one at Ball State University, and one at Northwestern University. The other two are held in private collections.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


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.

Selected Reprints
Beatitude, no. 20, Mar. 1969.
Learn More.

Just What The Country Needs, Another Poetry Anthology. Edited by James McMichael and Dennis Saleh. Wadsworth, 1971, pp. xii, 22-26, 185.
6.5" x 9.5", 190 pages
Learn more

The biographical note for Brautigan reads, "Richard Brautigan published several small books of poetry in limited editions and then collected them in one volume, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, published first by Four Seasons Foundation and them by Delacorte. He has also published three novels and a book of new poems, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Brautigan is 36 and has lived in San Francisco for many years."

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


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.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Written mid-July, while Brautigan was staying at Pacaud's Sausalito apartment, 15 Princess Lane (apartment 5).Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


Driving through
hot brushy country
in the late autumn,
I saw a hawk
crucified on a
barbed-wire fence.

I guess as a kind
of advertisement
to other hawks,
saying from the pages
of a leading women's
     magazine,
"She's beautiful,
but burn all the maps
to your body.
I'm not here
of my own choosing."

Selected Reprints
Beatitude, no. 20, Mar. 1969.
Learn More.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


Every time I see him, I think:
Gee, am I glad he's not
     my old man.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


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.

Textual References
"M"; According the William Hjorstberg, "M" stands for Michaela Blake-Grand, whom Brautigan met in January 1967, and to whom he dedicated this erotic poem (Hjortsberg 284).

Blake-Grand appeared with Brautigan in the front cover photograph for Trout Fishing in America and with Brautigan and daughter Ianthe in the front cover photograph for Brautigan's first collection, Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar. Blake-Grand was formerly involved with Andy Cole, Brautigan's friend and roommate from October-December 1963.

"M"; Given the book's dedication, "M" might also signify Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, who appeared in the photograph on the front cover. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her and each bears her full name. Perhaps Brautigan used only the first initial given the nature of the poem, but perhaps he wanted to signify a different person, as Hjortsberg suggests.


With his hat on
he's about five inches taller
than a taxicab.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


2 A.M. is the best time
to climb the silver stairs
of Ketchikan and go up into the trees
and the dark prowling deer.

When my wife gets out of bed
to feed the baby at 2 A.M., she turns
on all the lights in Ketchikan
and people start banging on the doors
and swearing at one another.

That's the best time
to climb the silver stairs
of Ketchikan and go up into the trees
and the dark prowling deer.

Textual References
"Ketchikan": A town in Southeast Alaska, the first Alaskan port of call from the mainland United States.


For Marcia

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

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.


A piece of green pepper
     fell
off the wooden salad bowl:
     so what?

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


Saturday, August 25, 1888. 5:20 P.M.
is the name of a photograph of two
old women in a front yard, beside
a white house. One of the women is
sitting in a chair with a dog in her
lap. The other woman is looking at
some flowers. Perhaps the women are
happy, but then it is Saturday, August
25, 1888. 5:21 P.M., and all over.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Selected Reprints
This poem was reproduced as an interesting speciality publication. LEARN more >>>


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


For Michael

Turn a candle inside out
and you've got the smallest
portion of a lion standing
there at the edge of the
     shadows.

Textual References
"Michael": Michael McClure, poet and friend who said, "his poem 'For Michael' is beautiful . . .." (Michael McClure 38)


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.


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


First Published
The Galilee Hitch-Hiker


It's a star that looks
like a poker game above
the mountains of eastern
     Oregon.
There are three men playing.
They are all sheepherders.
One of them has two pair,
the others have nothing.


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


I was watching a lot of crabs
eating in the tide pools
of the Pacific a few days ago.

When I say a lot: I mean
hundreds of crabs. They eat
     ike cigars.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


For Marcia

I live in the Twentieth Century
and you lie here beside me. You
were unhappy when you fell asleep.
There was nothing I could do about
it. I felt helpless. Your face
is so beautiful that I cannot stop
to describe it, and there's nothing
I can do to make you happy while
     you sleep.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, 32, Aug. 28, 1968, p. 6.
Learn more


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


What a good time fancy!
like a leisure white interior
with long yellow curtains.
I'll take it to sleep with me tonight
and hope that my dreams are built
toward beautiful blonde women eating
     indirect popcorn.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


First Published
The Return of the Rivers. San Francisco: Inferno Press, May 1957.


First Published

Berkeley Review, vol. 1, no. 3, 1957, pp. 14-15.
Published 1921 Walnut Street, Berkeley, California, 1956-1957. Edited/published by William P. Barlow, Jr., George Huppert, and C. A. Tong.
Learn more

Selected Reprints
Poems Here and Now. Edited by David Kherdian. Greenwillow Books, 1976, pp. 13, 17.
LEARN more.


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


When he went out the door,
he said he wasn't coming back,
but he came back, the son-
ofabitch, and now I'm pregnant,
and he won't get off his ass.


A girl in a green mini-
skirt, not very pretty, walks
     down the street.

A businessman stops, turns
to stare at her ass
that looks like a moldy
     refrigerator.

There are now 200,000,000 people
     in America.

Selected Reprints
Shake the Kaleidoscope: A New Anthology of Modern Poetry. Edited by Milton Klonsky. Simon & Schuster, 1973, pp. 274-276.
Learn more


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


Driven by hunger, I had another
forced bachelor dinner tonight.
I had a lot of trouble making
up my mind whether to eat Chinese
food or have a hamburger. God,
I hate eating dinner alone. It's
     like being dead.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


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 drowned train just beyond a pile of Eskimo
               skeletons.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
Retitled "November 24" in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster table of contents, although the poem itself retains the original title.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


When you take your pill
it's like a mine disaster.
I think of all the people
     lost inside of you.

Textual References
"Springhill Mine Disaster": The disaster occurred in 1958 in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. A popular folk song, "The Springhill Mine Disaster," was written shortly afterward by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.

Selected Reprints
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: A Collection of Over 125 Poems. Edited by Frances Monson McCullough. Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1971, pp. 27, 130, 142. Learn more

Just What The Country Needs, Another Poetry Anthology. Edited by James McMichael and Dennis Saleh. Wadsworth, 1971, pp. xii, 22-26, 185.
6.5" x 9.5", 190 pages
Learn more

The biographical note for Brautigan reads, "Richard Brautigan published several small books of poetry in limited editions and then collected them in one volume, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, published first by Four Seasons Foundation and them by Delacorte. He has also published three novels and a book of new poems, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Brautigan is 36 and has lived in San Francisco for many years."

San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 49, Dec. 24, 1968, pp. 8-9.
Learn more

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


Oh, Marcia,
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsichord.
I want high school report cards
     to look like this:

Playing with Gentle Glass Things
     A

Computer Magic
     A

Writing Letters to Those You Love
     A

Finding out about Fish
     A

Marcia's Long Blonde Beauty
     A+!

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.

First Published
Unicorn Books of Goleta, California, [December 1967; see Darllington article below] or January 1968?
Broadside printed on tan newsprint paper with the additional title "The San Francisco Weather Report."
Learn more

Selected Reprints
Paris Review, no. 45, Winter 1968, p. 140.
Poem titled here "San Francisco Weather Report."
Learn more

Mentioned
"Please Plant This Page." Sandy Darlington. (San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 921, Mar. 1968, p. 5.) Article includes a photograph by Bob Seidemann of Brautigan sitting in a wicker chair. Darlington profiles Brautigan's Please Plant This Book, using it as an example of how authors release books to their readers. Says, of "Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Staring to Rain," "Last December, Richard Brautigan and his friends printed 2500 copies of a poem called The San Francisco Weather Report and handed them out in the financial district at noon. It hadn't rained in two weeks. A friend of his told him later of handing the poem to a secretary who began to read it out loud. After the title, the next line is Gee, You're so Beautiful That It's starting to Rain. As she read the line, raindrops started hitting the paper. She looked up at him, took a step backwards and just stared. There's so many ways to say hello."

San Francisco Express Times was published weekly from 24 January 1968 (vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press.

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.


First Collected
The Octopus Frontier


The day they busted the Grateful Dead
rain stormed against San Francisco
like hot swampy scissors cutting Justice
into the evil clothes that alligators wear.

The day they busted the Grateful Dead
was like a flight of winged alligators
carefully measuring marble with black
     rubber telescopes.

The day they busted the Grateful Dead
turned like the wet breath of alligators
blowing up balloons the size of the
     Hall of Justice.

Textual References
"Busted the Grateful Dead": Several members of the popular San Francisco rock band, "The Grateful Dead," were arrested for drug possession on 2 October 1967. On 4 October the band held a press conference to protest the arrest.

Selected Reprints
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: A Collection of Over 125 Poems. Edited by Frances Monson McCullough. Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1971, pp. 27, 130, 142.
Learn more

San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 49, Dec. 24, 1968, pp. 8-9.
Learn more


Torn apart by the storms of love
and put back together by the calms
     of love,

I lie here in a harbor
that does not know
where your body ends
and my body begins.

Fish swim between our ribs
and sea gulls cry like mirrors
     to our blood.

Selected Reprints
Beatitude. no. 20, Mar. 1969.
Learn More.

Seven Watermelon Suns: Selected Poems of Richard Brautigan. University of California at Santa Cruz, 1974.
Learn More.


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.

Textual References
"Stonehenge": An assemblage of upright stones on the Salisbury Plain in Southern England.
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.
"Beethoven": Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), a German composer.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 49, December 24, 1968, pp. 8-9.
Learn more


First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea


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

First Published
San Francisco: Free City News, no. 1, October 1967.
A broadside poem, included in an anthology of ten poems, each published as broadsides by the Diggers. Also issued separately.
Learn more

Brautigan originally titled this poem part of "Three Poems to Celebrate the History of Marcia" in reference to Marcia Pacaud. Later, it was collected and retitled "Boo, Forever" in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Express Times, vol. 1, no. 49, Dec. 24, 1968, pp. 8-9.
Learn more

Recorded
"Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one. LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

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