Piece after Richard Brautigan – turned into a poem which may go in the pamphlet

Posted: February 24, 2013 in Home

We have been playing with taking the style of Richard Brautigan in ‘Trout fishing in America’ and making it our own. Because he uses a strange mixture of extremely plain statements and elaborate metaphors it is almost beyond pastiche. However, after I wrote it I decided I quite liked some of my metaphors so I turned it into a poem

After Richard Brautigan

Friday was the last day they missed the turn off the auto route to their hotel at Mollet del Vallès. The day was a blind furnace. The sun sizzled along the tarmac with a graceless light and the road boomed through the open windows of the car.

They drove to the garden called Pinya de Rosa where cacti, as fat and round as barrels, displayed their sharp porcupine hulks. The sky was as blue as death. He took photographs of agaves because he said, “These are a definitive collection”.

She darted from one sorrowful pool of shadow to the next. She closed her eyes and the world span. The staggered hillside, starred with the leather rosettes of agave after agave, disappeared.

“Good,” she thought and she had a vision of grey skies, drizzle, and smiled.

They ran down the steps together into the deep valley’s throat and found a rectangular pool, where classical statues struck attitudes in the silent green water. Trees black as despair crowded at their backs.

Owner or Gardener of Pinya de Rosa saw their red faces and turned a tap. The fountains sprung up and thousands of glass splinters leapt and spangled before them, the air was full of mist. Owner or Gardener of Pinya de Rosa had given them permission to be cool.

When they drove back to the hotel they missed the turn off the auto route to their hotel for the last time. On Saturday they drove to the airport and flew across the other countries to their home.


Our hotel was always fugitive; we missed
the exit from the autoroute each time until
we found there was a slip road on but not
a slip road off at  Mollet del Vallès

Every day was a blind furnace; the sun
sizzled along the tarmac with a graceless light.
The Pinya de Rosa cactus garden was studded
with the unkind spheres of  ‘stepmother’s cushions,

‘mother in law’s pillow’, ‘Golden Barrel’. In Latin,
Echinocactus grusonii,  We say – say what you see,
phonetics.  Fat as porcupines they bristle with stiletto
spines. Don’t fall. One pool of shadow to the next.

And this is a definitive collection. Leather rosettes.
Sky blue as death. The world spins on a staggered
hillside starred with agaves.  I close my eyes
and, smiling, think of grey skies, drizzle.

We run together down the valley’s throat.
Statues preen in green water; black trees
at their backs. Now our faces glow with sweat.
Red. Hot. Someone turns a tap.

A thousand shards of glass leap from
fountains;we have been given  permission
to be cool. Tomorrow we will fly over parched
countries to the chill of home.


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