for Richard Brautigan

Two weeks dead
and no one missed you.
Shooting at things,
the newspapers said.
A mustard jar, pretzels,
a bowl of potatoes,
the liquor store calendar,
what the hell--
your head.


Of course there will be cancer, of course
you'll sip your wine alone, not fail to mention
the trees that fell down on your roof,
your dog dying by the side of the road,
your two divorces, broken cars, careers,
dishwashers, one or two things
you should have told us years ago,
one or two you never should have--
of course there will be sick children,
broken arms, romance, lawyers,
candles, your heart, of course,
broken and no we don't wish
to look inside or feel it with its bumps
and open holes on oxygen the rest of its life,
of course there will be at least one
phosphorescent moon among us,
one cold river, drunken night, placid lake,
dark graveyard, all shades of green,
any amount of wind, small g god,
butterflies, heat, eagles, kisses, mistakes,
war, rank alley smells, blue claw crabs,
words that begin with x, mammograms,
swimming pools, pina coladas, fines
and parking tickets, of course there will be
begonias, trees deciduous and otherwise,
graduations, money in the bank and often not,
of course there will be Beethoven, Lennon,
bleeding, winning, wall sconces, elections,
legislation, mildew, neighbors of course
and meals, seashells, orchards before harvest
and after, constellations, work, vacations,
babies, computers, sweet lemon balm,
sweat, churches, highways of course
and mountains white with rock, fanned
with giant pines, pfisteria outbreaks on fish,
chances missed, chances found, bluejays,
warblers, doves, recordbreaking snow, heat,
waves, justice, prizes in your cereal box,
bananas of course, berries in spring, jets,
millionaires, islands, discovery, crashes,
insults, awards, newspapers, much to do
of course, in little time, none of this imperative,
blaring, necessary, remarkable, expected,
acceptable, true, important; imperative,
blaring, necessary, remarkable, expected,
acceptable, true, important, all of it.

                                                Susan Cavanaugh

Jerseyworks home  contents  paintings   timeplay  Lake-poetry  Shelly Power interview 
Gerald Stern review  fiction-Sterling Brown  Laszig-poetry 
interview-Sypniewski  poetry-Campbell  photos-Belgium