January 24, 2003

A Brautigan Friday

the following three poems are from Richard Brautigan's 1978 book, June 30 June 30. All poems were written while Brautigan was in Japan in June 1976.

The American Fool

a few weeks ago a middle-aged taxi driver
started talking to me in english. his english
was very good.
I asked him if he had ever been to america.
wordlessly, poignantly he made a motion
with his hand that was not driving the streets
of tokyo
at his face that suddenly looked very sad.
the gesture meant that he was a poor man
and would never be able to afford to go to america.
we didn't talk much after that.

A Short Study in Gone

When dreams wake
life ends.
Then dreams are gone.
Life is gone.


A Mystery Story

Every time I leave my hotel room
here in tokyo
I do the same four things:
I make sure I have my passport
my notebook
a pen
and my English --
Japanese dictionary.
The rest of life is a total mystery.

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