Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Naked Lunch On the Road In Watermelon Sugar

One of the best periods of literary discovery for me was in the early 1990's when I was introduced to the Beat Writers of the 50's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_Generation. It was here that I first read Brautigan, Kerouac and Burroughs. It was such a diversion from any other kinds of writing that I had seen. Incredibly refreshing and different. Very unconventional as well. It led to reading Hunter S. Thompson who, albeit over the top at times (one would say, most times), was my first foray into Gonzo Journalism.

I remember distinctly in Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America where he describes a trout stream and uses phone booths as units of measure. Wild, crazy, fun, beautiful stuff. I intend to get back into some of those old books, prose pieces and poetry, as they are incredibly inspiring for me.

Granted most of them were drug addicts, alcoholics, and depressives, but in part that's what fueled their creativity. There's something to be said to living hard, expressing yourself the way they did and then going out in a fiery crash. Beats the safe, "civilized" monotonous lives that some of us live.

Anyhow, the whole beat poet thing inspired me to write the poem below. Good bad or otherwise, here it is in it's raw, unedited form.

Brautigan’s Cubicle


If Richard Brautigan had done all of his writing

from inside fabric-covered cubicle walls,

how different it might have been.

In Watermelon Sugar might have read

like a battery charger user manual,

or the back of a ketchup bottle.

Trout Fishing in America

like a home therapy remedy for rickets,

or the possible side effects for Cialis.

Willard and His Bowling Trophies

might have been sketched out on Post-Its,

and accidentally tossed away by the cleaning staff.

Revenge of the Lawn

may have been about fertilizer application,

and its effect on water quality.

He might never have written past 4:30 PM

or drank port wine on the job,

and his life, not his death, would have been the real tragedy.

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