note:    richard brautigan was an american poet and writer. he is best known for his novels trout fishing in america and in watermelon sugar. he was much more than a poet/writer and some considered him the voice of a generation in san francisco.  tragically richard took his own life in 1984 while standing in his living room, looking out over the pacific.  the exact date of his death is not known because his body was not discovered for weeks afterwards.  this is my telling of his story, in his honor.



in the afternoon
i read richard’s poems
topped off by little books with big ideas
trout fishing in america and in watermelon sugar

both were like some decadent dessert
too small to cause harm but too big to have a second helping

most margins were filled with illegible scribbling
printed words crossed out and rewritten

today i am older than then
days roll like gentle ocean waves to become months
before retreating and coming in again as years;
the measured metamorphosis so slow

but i am going nowhere
in our rush to get from here to there we fail
and so many things in our lives are pushed aside
to make room for new things to be pushed aside

i’m still yearning for a phone booth
where i can make a call for a dime.

i’ll always wonder if maybe
someone called richard but he never answered
there was no need
his answer had already preceded the question