Quote Of The Month, September 2012

I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.”
Mark Twain.

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Richard Brautigan Quotes and Poems.

For no reason other than the fact I feel like it, and possibly for the need to have some beauty in my life, here is a collection of lines from the writings of Richard Brautigan.  He is quite possibly one of the main reasons I am such a sentimental fool….

I’m haunted a little this evening by feelings that have no vocabulary and events that should be explained in dimensions of lint rather than words.
Ive been examining half-scraps of my childhood.  They are pieces of distant life that have no form or meaning.  They are things that just happened like lint.”
From Lint, in Revenge of The Lawn.

I will be very careful the next time I fall in love, she told herself. Also, she had made a promise to herself that she intended on keeping. She was never going to go out with another writer: no matter how charming, sensitive, inventive or fun they could be. They weren’t worth it in the long run. They were emotionally too expensive and the upkeep was complicated. They were like having a vacuum cleaner around the house that broke all the time and only Einstein could fix it.
She wanted her next lover to be a broom.
From Sombrero Fallout.

Hinged to forgetfulness like a door,
she slowly closed out of sight,
and she was the woman that I loved,
but too many times she slept like
a mechanical deer in my caresses,
and I ached in the metal silence
     of her dreams.
From Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt.

Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a
top,
I’m haunted by all
the space that I
will live without
you.”

———–

The Beautiful Poem”

I go to bed in Los Angeles thinking
about you.

Pissing a few moments ago
I looked down at my penis
affectionately.

Knowing it has been inside
you twice today makes me
feel beautiful.”

———–

Once upon a valley
There came down
From some goldenblue mountains
A handsome young prince
Who was riding a dawncolored horse
Names Lordsburg.

I love you
You’re my breathing castle
Gentle so gentle
We’ll live forever

In the valley
There was a beautiful maiden
Whom the prince drifted into love with
Like a New Mexico made from apple thunder and long
glass beds.

I love you
You’re my breathing castle
Gentle so gentle
We’ll live forever

The prince enchanted
The maiden
And they rode off
On the dawncolored horse
Named Lordsburg
Toward the goldenblue mountains.

I love you
You’re my breathing castle
Gentle so gentle
We’ll live forever

They would have lived
happily ever after
if the horse hadn’t had
a flat tire
In front of a dragon’s
House.”
All from The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.”
From All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace.

Beautiful, sobbing
high-geared fucking
and then to lie silently
like deer tracks in the
freshly-fallen snow beside
the one you love.
That’s all.
Deer Tracks.

A Gift, From Me To You.

A conversation I was having with a chap on Twitter this evening inspired me to make a list of 5 books that I think you may enjoy.  Books that I love and treasure, and ones that I think everyone should love and treasure.  Call it a wee gift, from me to you.  They are in no particular order, though the first book is the one I recommended on Twitter this evening, and the one that prompted this post.  I hope you enjoy them.  This may, or may not, become a regular feature.

Fup, by Jim Dodge.
Fup, is quite simply a wonderful little book.  It has a duck, a boar, a gentle giant making fences, and an immortal grandfather who spends his days distilling Ole Death Whisper whiskey.  I first read this book on the train between Glasgow Central and Wemyss Bay, and devoured it in less than 45 minutes.  It’s a book I haven’t read in a while due to giving all my copies away – they don’t come back – but it still has me smiling like a loon just thinking about it.

Sombrero Fallout, by Richard Brautigan.
Richard Brautigan is one of my very favourite authors.  I think it is tragic he is seemingly not very well known.  Sombrero Fallout is unlike anything you will have ever read.  It is surreal, absurd, profound, concise, bittersweet, and quite beautiful.  It is the tale of a writer’s lost love, and of an ice cold sombrero that falls to earth bringing chaos to a small town in America.  Brautigan has a style all of his own, short sentences that deserve to be read out loud for the pleasure they bring as they trip off the tongue.   All of his books are fabulous, but this is my personal favourite.

The Good Fairies Of New York, by Martin Millar.
This is a book that took me by surprise.  It was sent to me by a good friend of mine in Scotland, a guy who I would think the last person to recommend fairy stories.  But this is a fairy story with a difference.  It’s a story about two kilted, punk fairies on the run from their clans in the UK, who end up in New York.  There is sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, fighting, and more crazy fairies than you can shake a stick at.   With one of the most memorable opening pages I have ever read, this is another book that made me laugh out loud, a lot.

Slaughterhouse 5, by Kurt Vonnegut.
Kurt Vonnegut is quite possibly my favourite writer, and Slaughterhouse 5 is probably his most famous book.  It is a satirical black comedy, with a dash of sci-fi, and personal memoir thrown in.  It is ostensibly about Vonnegut’s experiences as a prisoner of war in Dresden at the end of World War Two, but it is also very much more than that.  This is a book both funny and disturbing, horrific and humane, serious and surreal, which should be required reading for armchair generals everywhere.

Hunger, Knut Hamsun.
This is an incredibly intense and powerful book about the travails of a desperately poor writer trying to make enough money from day to day in order to live.  Rarely have I had such an emotional involvement in a character.  Here is man who’s pride leads him to the very edge of starvation, a starvation that is somehow made palpable for the reader.  The test of a good book, for me, is in it’s memorability.  I have only read this book once, about ten years ago, an ex-girlfriend has my copy, and I can still remember the emotional rollercoaster it put me on as if it was yesterday.  And by no means is this an irredeemably bleak book, it has many humorous episodes too.

Stop That Brain!

For the last couple of days I have been re-reading Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut.  A theme of this book is mankind evolving to have smaller brains, because big brains as we currently have them are just more trouble than they are worth.  Big brains are nothing but the “irresponsible generators of suggestions”.  I can dig that.

Take tonight, for instance.  I spend a couple of merry hours this evening researching for an epic blog post I was working on about the London 2012 Olympic Games.  But after a brief digichat with an ex-girlfriend my big brain became distracted.  The epic blog post became harder and harder to concentrate on, and took longer and longer to write.  About half an hour ago my big brain made me delete a whole evenings work, probably five or six hundred words worth.  Fuck you, brain!

Mind you, I have always been easily distracted.  My Mum still has my school report cards that say exactly that on them.  It was a girl called Mhairi then.  Not that I ever actually spoke to the lass.  She lived near me, and I remember I would do anything to get on the same bus as her.  I shudder to think what her big brain suggested to her about me, the strange boy in braces who loved her from a distance, without the gumption to actually say or do anything about it.  Though I did get myself the belt once for throwing a brick in a puddle and splashing her.  My brain thought it would impress her.  I was 12 or 13 or thereabouts.

Of course, I’m nearly 40 now, and my days of throwing bricks in puddles to splash lassies are over.  Age has caught up with me, any bricks I throw now I only splash myself.

Word of advise, if you ever get an awesome woman in your life, and I mean A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Woman, don’t fuck it up.  It’s harder than giving up fags fur fox sake.  I’m trying to find consolation in the fact it’s my brain’s fault, not mine.

PS – Epic Olympic Blog Post Coming Soon 😉

Lonesome No More!

Everyone should have a new middle name.  And everyone should read Lonesome No More.
Get your own new middle name here
My new name under Kurt Vonnegut’s Lonesome No More! scheme is:-
John Hollyhock-17 Robb

Hullo there fellow Hollyhocks and Seventeens.  Now “Go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.  Go take a flying fuck at the moooooon.”