JUNE 30th, JUNE 30th by Richard Brautigan

JUNE 30th, JUNE 30th

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In his fiction, Brautigan always seems to know more than turns out to be the case; in his poetry, less. And in poetry the chips, slivers, childishly innocent statements, and obvious repetitions of the style don't cloy as much as they do in the prose. In this journal of a trip to Japan, Brautigan wrote a poem almost every day. They're very short (two of the longer ones, ""Japanese Pop Music"" and ""Lazarus on the Bullet Train,"" happen to be the best in the book) and strictly parceled-out: one minor-key feeling to each. Brautigan was lonely, moony, lost, self-sorry, in love--it's all here in diary-fashion. Most are dreadful (""If there are any unattractive/ Japanese women/ they mint drown them at birth""--complete poem) and ephemeral; but some, given natural welcome by the delicacy of the very short poem, are very effective. ""Her lips are so red/ they make blood/ seem dull, a/ useless pastime."" If you can get past the first impression (which isn't easy), that this is a book of work so tiny that only a very popular writer could get it between boards--if you can get past that, there is every once in a while a testament to the variety and flexibility of poetry that's very refreshing.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1978
Publisher: Delacorte