Goblin Ore Blues

for Richard Brautigan

Smith and Wesson
.44 Magnum fallen on
the floor next to me.
I’m slowly
decomposing
alone in the dark-
the darkest place
in San Francisco-
Geary Street.

Forty-nine years old,
and the gun was
On loan. A sad and
pitiful end from
those love lorn
days of Haight and
Ashbury.

Walking through the streets-
just walking making
Chinese rhymes. They called me
the child voice of all
the hippies. Mesmerized
by Frank Lloyd Wright.

“Gonna jump off that
golden bridge one damn day.”
I blustered.

The happiness of Japan
too short, and the
desolation of America
too long.

I wished her away like
a child would a ghost.
The Pacific tormented
me from across the street
like a hummingbird with a
broken neck flying in
my window.

I shot
the TV,
my beloved phone,
and then my head.

This was written for dverse Poetics.  This is written from the perspective of one of my favorite poets- Richard Brautigan- who killed himself in 1984- hence the dedication.

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39 thoughts on “Goblin Ore Blues

  1. Well.. Matt.. a you are the 27th serial commenting spree victim for me.. tonight.. and as i go longer and longer.. the free associations do multiply at last..
    here..
    @least.. and ironically relief of joy to rest..
    and ironically more creativity to spread.. in non-sense of free association of what comes next..
    but back to poetry as i am focusing on now and nothing else now…i’ll read it and get back.. as i’m so tired i just started writing..and forgot to read..okay back from that..
    and suicide is truly the longest loneliest road.. as it’s often a journey that never ends…

    thank
    god..:)

  2. dang….i seriously would not mind shooting my phone on occassion
    the tv may be a close second….ha….with all that is on it…like news
    or what passes for news each day….a hippy might feel the despair
    as well of knowing they surely lost….grim piece…effective

  3. Wow, this is powerful write and the ending just gripped me with sadness ~ You captured the thoughts: dark, brooding, the despair and torment of the broken neck ~

    Thanks for sharing this Matt and wishing you happy week ~

  4. A very moving poem, Matt. And I like the way it builds to a crescendo and then ends with a ‘bang.’ Truly I had not realized that Richard Brautigan had committed suicide.

  5. oh dang…i visited haight ashbury when i was in san francisco… what a time… what a mix of people…the hope, the drugs, the music… sad when they go like this….

  6. Brautigan has been one of my favorite poets & authors; his perspective so unique, but his mental torment always evident in his words; sort of like Robin Williams, for when the demons rise up in rebellion within, some of us can only hold out for so long. By the by, a gun does not lay, it lies; or at least that is my Freshman English recall; really liked this piece. I wrote a similar one about Sylvia Path.

    • Brautigan has always been one of my favorite authors as well- I’ve read everything I could get my hands on. Thanks for the grammar help hate lay vs. lie- in the end I went with a different word completely. Interesting about you writing a similar piece regarding Sylvia Plath- I’d like to read it.

  7. Sometimes our disillusion with what is becomes too much to bear. I believe that I understand why people take their own lives even though I’ve never had the urge myself. My heart goes out to their suffering that swallows them up.

    • Disillusionment I think had a great deal to do with Brautigan’s suicide- that and a lifetime of battling many personal demons. My heart goes out to all who allow suffering to swallow them up as well.

  8. Matt, while I’d never want to commit suicide, I’d love to murder the TV sometimes (even though we don’t watch it much.) I thought your poem a fitting tribute to Brautigan, although I’m not familiar with his work, either. So perhaps I should have said a fitting tribute to someone who committed suicide under the conditions you described.

    janet

  9. it’s not surprising that writers often choose this path..they are by far the most sensitive souls and cannot take in the disillusionment…i like the use of image of the broken necked humming bird…impacted hugely…

    • Brautigan had a rough life, and once the sixties left his popularity behind him- things only got worse. I agree with you about writers often choosing the path of suicide because of their sensitive souls, and disillusionment being just to hard to bear. Thanks for the input in regards to the hummingbird with the broken neck.

  10. Oh my goodness. I’ve long loved Brautigan, and never dreamed he ended up killing himself. Even after reading your dedication, I thought you must be writing in the voice of some character in some book of his I hadn’t read…. Even when I thought I was reading of a fictional character, I felt you made him real and put me right there with him.

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