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Poetry > The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster


Limited First Edition
San Francisco, California: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
Limited First Edition of 50 copies, each signed by Brautigan
108 pages
Hard Cover; Issued without dust jacket
Light brown paper-covered boards with a dark brown cloth backstrip
Binding by Schubeth Bookbindery
The phrase "Writing 20" on the opening page indicates placement in publisher's writing series edited by Donald Merriam Allen

Regular First Edition
Front cover San Francisco, California: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
Regular First Edition
108 pages; 5.5" x 8"; Library of Congress Card Catalog #68-20131
Printed pictorial wrappers
Front cover photograph by Edmund Shea of Marcia Pacaud, of Montreal, Canada. Several of the poems collected in this book are dedicated to her.
No back cover illustration or photograph
The phrase "Writing 20" on the opening page indicates placement in publisher's writing series edited by Donald Merriam Allen

Dedication
Dedication reads:
This book is for Miss Marcia Pacaud of Montreal, Canada.
Several poems in this collection are also dedicated to Marcia Pacaud.

First published in 1968, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, a collection of ninety-eight poems, was Brautigan's fifth collection of poetry; his seventh poetry book publication.

In addition to thirty eight previously uncollected poems, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster included The Return of the Rivers (May 1957), all nine parts of The Galilee Hitch-Hiker (1958), nine poems from the Lay The Marble Tea (1959), seventeen poems from The Octopus Frontier (1960), and all thirty two poems from All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (1967).

The reference to "The Springhill Mine Disaster" in the title comes from the 1958 mining disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. A popular folk song, "The Springhill Mine Disaster," was written shortly afterward by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.

The front cover photograph was taken early in 1968, in a excavation site for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), at the corner of New Montgomery and Market Streets, in San Francisco (William Hjortsberg 377).

A copy inscribed to Donald Merriam Allen
This copy is for Don Allen
Richard Brautigan
April 17, 1969
No specific dedication
Richard Brautigan
March 18, 1969

Signed and dated by Brautigan.
Edition inscribed is the Four Seasons first edition paperback, 1968
From the collection of Gregory Miller. Used by permission.
No specific dedication
Richard Brautigan
San Francisco
December 28, 1979

Signed and dated by Brautigan.
Edition inscribed is the Delta edition paperback, 14th printing
From the collection of Gregory Miller. Used by permission.

UK front cover London: Jonathan Cape, 1970
128 pages; ISBN 0-224-61933-0; First printing 5 November 1970
Hard cover, with dust jacket
First United Kingdom Edition
Front dust jacket featured the same photograph that appeared on first American edition
Concurrently released as a paperback, with printed wrappers

Proof Copy
Front cover Proof cover, with pasted on cover label
Front cover New York: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1969
5.75" x 8.5"; 112/108/138 pages; ISBN 0-385-28787-9; First printing January 1969
Hard cover, with dust jacket.
Collects, as facsimile reprints, Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar in the manner of their original editions, including front cover photographs and title pages. This is one of several collections of Brautigan's works.
Front cover New York: Dell Publishing, 1969
5.5" x 8"; 108 pages; ISBN 0-385-28787-9; First printing 1 January 1969
Printed wrappers
A subtitle, "The Selected Poems 1957-1968," added to back cover
Front cover New York: Dell Publishing, 1973
108 pages
Printed wrappers
First printing: August 1973
Second printing: March 1974
Front cover New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1989
5.5" x 8.25"; 112/108/138 pages; ISBN 0-395-50076-1
First printing 1 March 1989
Reprint of 1969 DelacortePress/Seymour Lawrence edition
Collects, as facsimile reprints, Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar in the manner of their original editions, including front cover photograph by Erik Weber of Brautigan and Michaela Blake-Grand which first appeared on the front cover of the first edition of Trout Fishing in America. This is one of several collections of Brautigan's works.

Ano, rybí hudba: Básne z Let 1958-1968. Trans. Olga S pilarová. Praha: Volvox Globator, 1996.
Front cover Il Pleut en Amour: Poèmes Choisis des Recueils [It's Raining in Love: Selected Poems and Works]. Trans. Frédéric Lassaygues and Nicolas Richard. Aubervilliers [Paris]: L'Incertain, 1991.

Selected poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
Poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster include, in order of their appearance
  • "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster"
  • "The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Part 1"
  • "A Baseball Game, Part 7"
  • "The American Hotel, Part 2"
  • "The Flowerburgers, Part 4"
  • "The Hour of Eternity, Part 5"
  • "Salvador Dali, Part 6"
  • "Insane Asylum, Part 8"
  • "The Nature Poem"
  • "Poker Star"
  • "Mating Saliva"
  • "Oranges"
  • "December 30"
  • "Discovery"
  • "The Postman"
  • "Sonnet"
  • "Albion Breakfast"
  • "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace"
  • "The Day they Busted the Grateful Dead"
  • "Man"
  • "Yes, The Fish Music"
  • "Kafka's Hat"
  • "Haiku Ambulance"
  • "November 3"
  • "Star Hole"
  • "Linear Farewell, Nonlinear Farewell"
  • "Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4"
  • "General Custer Versus the Titanic"
  • "Your Departure Versus the Hindenburg"
  • "Your Necklace is Leaking"
  • "I've Never Had It Done So Gently Before"
  • "Adrenalin Mother"
  • "Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain"
  • "The Harbor"
  • "Automatic Anthole"
  • "The Quail"
  • "The Horse That Had a Flat Tire"
  • "I Live in the Twentieth Century"
  • "Lovers"
  • "Hey! This Is What It's All About"
  • "My Nose Is Growing Old"
  • "To England"
  • "I Lie Here in a Strange Girl's Apartment"
  • "It's Raining in Love"
  • "A Candlelion Poem"
  • "Cyclops"
  • "The Chinese Checker Players"
  • "Alas, Measured Perfectly"
  • "The Wheel"
  • "Map Shower"
  • "'Star-Spangled' Nails"
  • "The Pumpkin Tide"
  • "Love Poem"
  • "The Fever Monument"
  • "The Winos of Potrero Hill"
  • "The First Winter Snow"
  • "San Francisco"
  • "Widow's Lament"
  • "A Boat"
  • "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem"
  • "The Beautiful Poem"
  • "Private Eye Lettuce"
  • "The Garlic Meat Lady From"
  • "Boo, Forever"
Tu es si Belle qu'il se met à Pleuvoir. Aubervilliers [Paris]: L'Incertain, 1991.
Selected poems from Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork
Une Tortue à son Balcon [A Turtle to his Balcony]. Trans. Frédéric Lassaygues. Paris: L'Incertain, 1989.
Selected poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork
Le Castor Astral editions
Il Pleut en Amour: Poèmes Choisis des Recueils [It's Raining in Love: Selected Poems and Works]. Trans. Frédéric Lassaygues and Nicolas Richard. Bordeaux: Le Castor Astral, 2000.

Selected poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.

Reviews
Romagne, Thierry. "Richard Brautigan—Une Torture à son balcon." Quinzaine Litteraire (546) 1 Jan. 1990: 24.
Front cover Die Pille Gegen das Grubenungluck von Spring Hill und 104 Andere Gedichte [The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and 104 Other Poems]. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Reinbek by Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag (rororo 13111), 1995.
136 pages; ISBN 3-499-13111-0
Printed wrappers

Contains all poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and others from Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
Front cover Die Pille Gegen das Grubenungluck von Springhill und 104 Andere Gedichte [The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and 104 Other Poems]. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn Verlag, 1987.
135 pages; ISBN 3-821-80155-7
Printed wrappers
Cover illustration by Henri Schmid

Contains all poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and others from Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
Die Pille Gegen das Grubenungluck von Spring Hill und 104 Andere Gedichte [The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and 104 Other Poems]. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. München: Ohnemus, 1980.
141 pages; ISBN 3-921-89506-5
Printed wrappers

Contains all poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and others from Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
Piru tai Supuringuhiru Kozan jiko. Trans. Susumu Mizuhashi. Tokyo: Chusekisha, 1988.
Originally published in 1982 as a private edition
At head of title: "Richado Burotigan shishu"
Front cover Lotfan In Ketab Ra Bekarid [Please Plant This Book]. Trans. Mehdi Navid and Leila Samadi. Tehran, Iran: Rokhdad-e-No, 2009.
190 pages; ISBN: 978-964-293-5109
Printed wrappers
Front cover illustration by Farhad Fozouni
No translator's preface or other front matter

Reprints 45 poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, all poems from Please Plant This Book, all poems from The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, 15 poems from June 30th, June 30th, 47 poems from Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, and 12 poems from Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Specific contents are listed below.

The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster
"The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem"
"Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4"
"San Francisco"
"Xerox Candy Bar"
"Discovery"
"Widow's Lament"
"The Pomegranate Circus"
"Love Poem"
"At the California Institute of Technology"
"A Lady"
"The Pumpkin Tide"
"Adrenalin Mother"
"Map Shower"
"December 30"
"The Way She Looks at It"
"Man"
"Your Necklace is Leaking"
"Haiku Ambulance"
"A Candlelion Poem"
"Cyclops"
"It's Raining in Love"
"Poker Star"
"To England"
"Hey! This Is What It's All About"
"I Live in the Twentieth Century"
"The Castle of the Cormorants"
"Lovers"
"Star Hole"
"Albion Breakfast"
"November 3"
"Milk for the Duck"
"The Return of the Rivers"
"A Good-Talking Candle"
"Kafka's Hat"
"Nine Things"
"Mating Saliva"
"Automatic Anthole"
"The Symbol"
"Your Catfish Friend"
"December 24"
"The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster"
"Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain"
"The Nature Poem"
"In a Cafe"
"Boo, Forever"
Please Plant This Book
"California Native Flowers"
"Shasta Daisy"
"Calendula"
"Sweet Alyssum Royal Carpet"
"Parsley"
"Squash"
"Carrots"
"Lettuce"
The Galilee Hitch-Hiker
"The Galilee Hitch-Hiker" Part 1
"The American Hotel" Part 2
"1939" Part 3
"The Flowerburgers" Part 4
"The Hour of Eternity" Part 5
"Salvador Dali" Part 6
"A Baseball Game" Part 7
"Insane Asylum" Part 8
"My Insect Funeral" Part 9
June 30th, June 30th
Introduction: "Farewell, Uncle Edward, and All the Uncle Edwards"
"Strawberry Haiku"
"A Short Study in Gone"
"Romance"
"A Study in Roads"
"Floating Chandeliers"
"Japanese Women"
"Sunglasses Worn at Night in Japan"
"Chainsaw"
"Day for Night"
"The Alps"
"Worms"
"Things to Do on a Boring Tokyo Night in a Hotel"
"Taxi Driver"
"What Makes Reality Real"
Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork
CROWS AND MERCURY
"It's Time To Train Yourself"
"Two Guys Get Out of a Car"
"Crow Maiden"
"Information"
"January 4 3"
"They Are Really Having Fun"
"We Meet. We Try. Nothing Happens, But"
"Finding Is Losing Something Else"
"Impasse"
"Ben"
"For Fear You Will Be Alone"
"War Horse"
"'Good Work,' He Said, and"

LOVE
"Everything Includes Us"
"What Happened?"
"I'll Affect You Slowly"
"At The Guess of A Simple Hello"
"Fuck Me Like Fried Potatoes"
"Flowers For A Crow"

SECTION 3
"Have You Ever Been There?"
"I Don't Want To Know about It"

GROUP PORTRAIT WITHOUT THE LIONS
    available light
"Maxine"
"Robot"
"Fred Bought a Pair of Ice Skates"
"Calvin Listens to Starfish"
"Liz Looks at Herself in the Mirror"
"Doris"
"Ginger"
"Vicky Sleeps with Dead People"
"Betty Makes Wonderful Waffles"
"Claudia/1923-1970"
"Walter"
"Morgan"
"Molly"
"'Ah, Great Expectations!'"

GOOD LUCK, CAPTAIN MARTIN
"Good Luck, Captain Martin"
"People Are Constantly Making Entrances"
"The Bottle"
"Small Craft Warnings"
"Famous People and Their Friends"
"Carol the Waitress Remembers Still"
"Put the Coffee On, Bubbles, I'm Coming Home"

FIVE POEMS
"1 / The Curve of Forgotten Things"
"4 / The Shadow of Seven Years' Bad Luck"

MONTANA / 1973
"Night"
"Nine Crows: Two Out of Sequence"

P. S.
"Nobody Knows What the Experience Is Worth"
Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt
"The Memoirs of Jesse James"
"15%"
"Romeo and Juliet"
"Jules Verne Zucchini"
"All Girls Should Have a Poem"
"30 Cents, Two Transfers, Love"
"Please"
"The Moon Versus Us Ever Sleeping Together Again"
"Color as Beginning"
"All Secrets of Past Tense Have Just Come My Way"
"As the Bruises Fade, the Lightning Aches"
"Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt"
"Love Poem." Golestaneh 45. 2002.
Trans. Saeed Tavanaiee. Published in Tehran, Iran.
Kolaahe Kafka [Kafka's Hat]. Trans. Alireza Behnam. Tehran, Iran: Nashre Meshki, 2006.
32 pages; ISBN: 964-876-511-1
Front cover illustration by Saaed Meshki
Reprints 25 poems selected from All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Lay the Marble Tea, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Please Plant This Book, and Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. The poems, in alphabetical order
  • "15%" (Rommel)
  • "At The California Institute of Technology" (Machines)
  • "Boo, Forever" (Pill)
  • "Color as Beginning" (Rommel)
  • "Deer Tracks" (Rommel)
  • "Discovery" (Pill)
  • "Gee, you're so beautiful that it's starting to rain" (Pill)
  • "Haiku Ambulance" (Pill)
  • "Hinged to Forgetfulness like a Door" (Rommel)
  • "Just Because" (Rommel)
  • "Kafka's Hat" (Marble)
  • "Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4" (Machines)
  • "Love Poem" (Machines)
  • "Man" (Pill)
  • "My Nose Is Growing Old" (Machines)
  • "Romeo and Juliet" (Rommel)
  • "San Francisco" (Machines)
  • [unknown]
  • "The First Winter Snow" (Pill)
  • "To England" (Marble)
  • "Xerox Candy Bar" (Pill)
  • [unknown]
  • "California Native Flowers" (Plant)
  • "Squash" (Plant)
  • "Calendula" (Plant)
Front cover Lovlya Foreli v Amerikye. St. Petersburg: Azbuka, 2002.
Limited edition of 7,000 copies
320 pages
Hard Cover with printed dust jacket

Collects Trout Fishing in America, A Confederate General from Big Sur, Please Plant This Book, and fifty-eight of the ninety-eight poems from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.
The forty poems not included are: "General Custer versus the Titanic," "Oranges," "Xerox Candy Bar," "The First Winter Snow," "The Wheel," "Map Shower," "The Double-Bed Dream Gallows," "December 30," "The Sawmill," "I've Never Had It Done So Gently Before," "Our Beautiful West Coast Thing," "Man," "Hollywood," "Your Necklace is Leaking," "It's Going Down," "Hey, Bacon!," "The Rape of Ophelia," "A CandleLion Poem," "Flowers for Those You Love," "It's Raining in Love," "I Lie Here in a Strange Girl's Apartment," "My Nose Is Growing Old," "Crab Cigar," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "Indirect Popcorn," "Albion Breakfast," "The Postman," "A Mid-February Sky Dance," "The Quail," "Milk for the Duck," "Nine Things," "Sit Comma and Creeley Comma," "Automatic Anthole," "I Cannot Answer You Tonight in Small Portions," "Your Catfish Friend," "December 24," "Horse Race," "After Halloween Slump," "Gee, You're so Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain," and "The Garlic Meat Lady from."

Unless noted, poems first published in this volume in the order listed below.
Follow links below for additional information about previously published or collected poems.

"All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Horse Child Breakfast"
Horse child breakfast,
what are you doing to me?
with your long blonde legs?
with your long blonde face?
with your long blonde hair?
with your perfect blonde ass?

I swear I'll never be the
     same again!

Horse child breakfast
what you're doing to me,
I want done forever.

Interesting Connection
Album Front Cover This poem appears in the feature film The Sun Ship Game, a film about the competitions for placement in the 1969 National Soaring Championships in Marfa, Texas. The 1971 film, directed by Robert Drew, follows two competitors, George Moffat and Gleb Derujinsky. Moffat, an English lecturer, reads the poem to a class at the beginning of the film.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"General Custer Versus the Titanic"
     For the soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry who were killed at the Little Bighorn River and the passengers who were lost on the maiden voyage of the Titanic.
     God bless their souls.


Yes! it's true all my visions
have come home to roost at last.
They are all true now and stand
around me like a bouquet of
lost ships and doomed generals.
I gently put them away in a
beautiful and disappearing vase.

Textual References
"General Custer": Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) and the 264 men of the 7th Cavalry under his command were annihilated by an estimated 5,000 Sioux Indians on the banks of the Little Big Horn River in eastern Montana Territory, the morning of 26 June 1876.
"Titanic": The White Star liner RMS Titanic sank after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage, 14 April 1912.

Selected Reprintings
A First Reader of Contemporary American Poetry. Ed. Patrick Gleason. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill, 1969. 23-26.
Included eight poems by Brautigan: "In a Cafe," "The Wheel," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "The Fever Monument," "Horse Race," "Our Beautiful West Coast Thing," and "The Pomegranate Circus," and "General Custer Versus the Titanic."

San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"The Beautiful Poem"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Private Eye Lettuce"
First Published
The Octopus Frontier
"A Boat"
First Published
Lay The Marble Tea
"The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem"
For Marcia

Because you always have a clock
strapped to your body, it's natural
that I should think of you as the
     correct time:
with your long blonde hair at 8:03,
and your pulse-lightning breasts at
11:17, and your rose-meow smile at 5:30,
     I know I’m right.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Written mid-July, while Brautigan was staying at Pacaud's Sausalito apartment, 15 Princess Lane (apartment 5). Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Oranges"
Oh, how perfect death
computes an orange wind
that glows from your footsteps,

and you stop to die in
an orchard where the harvest
fills the stars.
"San Francisco"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Xerox Candy Bar"
     Ah,
you're just a copy
of all the candy bars
I've ever eaten.

Background
A holograph broadside of this poem, written in ink by Brautigan on a sheet of 9" x 12" sketchbook paper, in 1967, is known. Allegedly, Brautigan was commissioned to produce a broadside poem and planned to execute it by hand. This broadside may have been a practice effort by Brautigan to enlarge his distinctively small handwriting. No other versions, practice, finished, or reproduced are reported.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"Discovery"
The petals of the vagina unfold
like Christopher Columbus
taking off his shoes.

Is there anything more beautiful
than the bow of a ship
touching a new world?

Textual References
"Christopher Columbus": Italian navigator (1451-1506), considered the "Discoverer of America" during Brautigan's youth.

Selected Reprintings
Front Cover Just What The Country Needs, Another Poetry Anthology. Eds. James McMichael and Dennis Saleh. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1971. xii, 22-26, 185.
6.5" x 9.5", 190 pages
A poetry anthology collecting 124 poems by 30 poets, including Brautigan.

Includes biographical notes for each contributor and an introduction by X. J. Kennedy, who says,
Anyone who cares for poetry ought to encounter much to delight and startle him here. Among such gratifications for me was . . . Richard Brautigan, abruptly popular, whose best work (see "The Winos on Potrero Hill") moves with a beautiful transparency. (xii)
Reprints five poems by Brautigan: "The Winos on Potrero Hill," "The Quail," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "Discovery," and "Adrenalin Mother," all from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

The biographical note for Brautigan reads:
Richard Brautigan published several small books of poetry in limited editions and then collected them in one volume, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, published first by Four Seasons Foundation and them by Delacorte. He has also published three novels and a book of new poems, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Brautigan is 36 and has lived in San Francisco for many years.
San Francisco Express Times 1(49) December 24, 1968: 8-9.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eleven poems by Brautigan: "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "The Day they Busted the Grateful Dead," "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "Discovery," "At the California Institute of Technology," "Boo, Forever," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "The Flowerburgers Part 4," "A Baseball Game Part 7," "December 24," and "The Garlic Meat Lady."
"Widow's Lament"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Pomegranate Circus"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Winos of Potrero Hill"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"The First Winter Snow"
Oh, pretty girl, you have trapped
yourself in the wrong body. Twenty
extra pounds hang like a lumpy
tapestry on your perfect mammal nature.

Three months ago you were like a
deer staring at the first winter snow.

Now Aphrodite thumbs her nose at you
and tells stories behind your back.

Textual References
"Aphrodite": The Greek goddess of love.
"Death Is a Beautiful Car Parked Only"
For Emmett

Death is a beautiful car parked only
to be stolen on a street lined with trees
whose branches are like the intestines
     of an emerald.
You hotwire death, get in, and drive away
like a flag made from a thousand burning
     funeral parlors.

You have stolen death because you're bored.
There's nothing good playing at the movies
     in San Francisco.

You joyride around for a while listening
to the radio, and then abandon death, walk
away, and leave death for the police
     to find.

Textual References
"Emmett": Emmett Grogan, was one of the founders of the San Francisco Diggers in September 1966. Brautigan admired The Diggers for their services to the needy. Grogan included the poem in his autobiography, Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (Boston: Little Brown, 1972. 468-469) and thanked Brautigan.

Selected Reprintings
Beatitude (20) Mar. 1969.
Published by City Lights Books, San Francisco, California.
Included four poems by Brautigan: "The Harbor," "The Double-Bed Gallows," "Adrenalin Mother," and "Death is a Beautiful Parked Car Only."

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"Surprise"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"Your Departure Versus the Hindenburg"
Every time we say good-bye
I see it as an extension of
     the Hindenburg:
that great 1937 airship exploding
in medieval flames like a burning castle
     above New Jersey.
When you leave the house, the
shadow of the Hindenburg enters
     to take your place.

Textual References
"the Hindenburg": LZ 129 Hindenburg, a German dirigible (blimp) named after the German general and president Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934). The Hindenburg exploded 6 May 1937 just short of a mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey, following its transatlantic flight.
"Education"
There is a woman
on the Klamath River
who has five
hundred children
in the basement,
stuffed like
hornets into
a mud nest.
Great Sparrow
is their father.
Once a day
he pulls a
red wagon between
them and
that's all
they know.

Textual References
"Klamath River": A river in Southern Oregon.
"Love Poem"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Fever Monument"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"At the California Institute of Technology"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"A Lady"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"'Star-Spangled' Nails"
You've got
some "Star-Spangled"
     nails
in your coffin, kid.
That's what
they've done for you,
     son.

Textual References
"Star-Spangled Nails": "The Star-Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and adopted as the United States' national anthem in 1931.

First Published
12" x 18" broaside privately published: Berkeley, California, 1970?
Printed in black lower case lettering on turquoise-colored construction paper with three red, five pointed stars above the poem. Brautigan's name appeared below, in lower case letters.

It is unclear whether Brautigan was involved in the production of this broadside. Five copies are known to exist. Three are held in university collections: one at the State University of New York in Buffalo, one at Ball State University, and one at Northwestern University. The other two are held in private collections.
"The Pumpkin Tide"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"Adrenalin Mother"
Adrenalin Mother,
with your dress of comets
and shoes of swift bird wings
and shadow of jumping fish,
thank you for touching,
understanding and loving my life.
Without you, I am dead.

Selected Reprintings
Beatitude (20) Mar. 1969.
Published by City Lights Books, San Francisco, California.
Included four poems by Brautigan: "The Harbor," "The Double-Bed Gallows," "Adrenalin Mother," and "Death is a Beautiful Parked Car Only."

Front Cover Just What The Country Needs, Another Poetry Anthology. Eds. James McMichael and Dennis Saleh. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1971. xii, 22-26, 185.
6.5" x 9.5", 190 pages
A poetry anthology collecting 124 poems by 30 poets, including Brautigan.

Includes biographical notes for each contributor and an introduction by X. J. Kennedy, who says,
Anyone who cares for poetry ought to encounter much to delight and startle him here. Among such gratifications for me was . . . Richard Brautigan, abruptly popular, whose best work (see "The Winos on Potrero Hill") moves with a beautiful transparency. (xii)
Reprints five poems by Brautigan: "The Winos on Potrero Hill," "The Quail," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "Discovery," and "Adrenalin Mother," all from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

The biographical note for Brautigan reads:
Richard Brautigan published several small books of poetry in limited editions and then collected them in one volume, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, published first by Four Seasons Foundation and them by Delacorte. He has also published three novels and a book of new poems, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Brautigan is 36 and has lived in San Francisco for many years.
Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"The Wheel"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"Map Shower"
For Marcia

I want your hair
to cover me with maps
of new places,

so everywhere I go
will be as beautiful
as your hair.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Written mid-July, while Brautigan was staying at Pacaud's Sausalito apartment, 15 Princess Lane (apartment 5).Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.
"A Postcard from Chinatown"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"The Double-Bed Dream Gallows"
Driving through
hot brushy country
in the late autumn,
I saw a hawk
crucified on a
barbed-wire fence.

I guess as a kind
of advertisement
to other hawks,
saying from the pages
of a leading women's
     magazine,
"She’s beautiful,
but burn all the maps
to your body.
I'm not here
of my own choosing."

Selected Reprintings
Beatitude (20) Mar. 1969.
Published by City Lights Books, San Francisco, California.
Featured four poems by Brautigan: "The Harbor," "The Double-Bed Gallows," "Adrenalin Mother," and "Death is a Beautiful Parked Car Only."

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"December 30"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.
"The Sawmill"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"The Way She Looks at It"
Every time I see him, I think:
Gee, am I glad he’s not
     my old man.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"Yes, the Fish Music"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"The Chinese Checker Players"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"I've Never Had It Done So Gently Before"
For M

The sweet juices of your mouth
are like castles bathed in honey.
I've never had it done so gently before.
You have put a circle of castles
around my penis and you swirl them
like sunlight on the wings of birds.

Textual References
"M"; According the William Hjorstberg, "M" stands for Michaela Blake-Grand, whom Brautigan met in January 1967, and to whom he dedicated this erotic poem (Hjortsberg 284).

Blake-Grand appeared with Brautigan in the front cover photograph for Trout Fishing in America and with Brautigan and daughter Ianthe in the front cover photograph for Brautigan's first collection, Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar. Blake-Grand was formerly involved with Andy Cole, Brautigan's friend and roommate from October-December 1963.

"M"; Given the book's dedication, "M" might also signify Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, who appeared in the photograph on the front cover. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her and each bears her full name. Perhaps Brautigan used only the first initial given the nature of the poem, but more likely, he wanted to signify a different person, as Hjortsberg suggests.
"Our Beautiful West Coast Thing"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Man"
With his hat on
he's about five inches taller
than a taxicab.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"The Silver Stairs of Ketchikan"
2 A.M. is the best time
to climb the silver stairs
of Ketchikan and go up into the trees
and the dark prowling deer.

When my wife gets out of bed
to feed the baby at 2 A.M., she turns
on all the lights in Ketchikan
and people start banging on the doors
and swearing at one another.

That's the best time
to climb the silver stairs
of Ketchikan and go up into the trees
and the dark prowling deer.

Textual References
"Ketchikan": A town in Southeast Alaska, the first Alaskan port of call from the mainland United States.
"Hollywood"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Your Necklace is Leaking"
For Marcia

Your necklace is leaking
and blue light drips
from your beads to cover
your beautiful breasts
with a clear African dawn.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.
"Haiku Ambulance"
A piece of green pepper
     fell
off the wooden salad bowl:
     so what?

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"It's Going Down"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Alas, Measured Perfectly"
Saturday, August 25, 1888. 5:20 P.M.
is the name of a photograph of two
old women in a front yard, beside
a white house. One of the women is
sitting in a chair with a dog in her
lap. The other woman is looking at
some flowers. Perhaps the women are
happy, but then it is Saturday, August
25, 1888. 5:21 P.M., and all over.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"Hey, Bacon"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Selected Reprintings
This poem was reproduced as an interesting speciality publication. LEARN more >>>
"The Rape of Ophelia"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"A Candlelion Poem"
For Michael

Turn a candle inside out
and you've got the smallest
portion of a lion standing
there at the edge of the
     shadows.

Textual References
"Michael": Michael McClure, poet and friend who said, "his poem 'For Michael' is beautiful . . .." (Michael McClure 38)
"I Feel Horrible. She Doesn't"
I feel horrible. She doesn't
love me and I wander around
the house like a sewing machine
that's just finished sewing
a turd to a garbage can lid.
"Cyclops"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"Flowers for Those You Love"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Galilee Hitch-Hiker"
First Published
The Galilee Hitch-Hiker
"It's Raining in Love"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Poker Star"
It's a star that looks
like a poker game above
the mountains of eastern
     Oregon.
There are three men playing.
They are all sheepherders.
One of them has two pair,
the others have nothing.
"To England"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"I Lie Here in a Strange Girl's Apartment"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Hey! This Is What It's All About"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"My Nose Is Growing Old"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Crab Cigar"
I was watching a lot of crabs
eating in the tide pools
of the Pacific a few days ago.

When I say a lot: I mean
hundreds of crabs. They eat
     ike cigars.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," Brautigan reads sixteen poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"The Sidney Greenstreet Blues"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"Comets"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"I Live in the Twentieth Century"
For Marcia

I live in the Twentieth Century
and you lie here beside me. You
were unhappy when you fell asleep.
There was nothing I could do about
it. I felt helpless. Your face
is so beautiful that I cannot stop
to describe it, and there's nothing
I can do to make you happy while
     you sleep.

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(32) August 28, 1968: 6.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eight poems by Brautigan: "General Custer Versus the Titanic," "The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem," "Xerox Candy Bar," "Horse Child Breakfast," "Crab Cigar," "I Live in the Twentieth Century," "Alas, Measured Perfectly," and "The Way She Looks at It."
"The Castle of the Cormorants"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"Lovers"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Sonnet"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"Indirect Popcorn"
What a good time fancy!
like a leisure white interior
with long yellow curtains.
I'll take it to sleep with me tonight
and hope that my dreams are built
toward beautiful blonde women eating
     indirect popcorn.
"Star Hole"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Albion Breakfast"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Let's Voyage into the New American House"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"November 3"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Postman"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"A Mid-February Sky Dance"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Quail"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"1942"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"Milk for the Duck"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Return of the Rivers"
First Published
The Return of the Rivers. San Francisco: Inferno Press, May 1957.
"A Good-Talking Candle"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"The Horse That Had a Flat Tire"
First Published

Berkeley Review 1(3) 1957: 14-15.
Published 1921 Walnut Street, Berkeley, California, 1956-1957. Edited/published by William P. Barlow, Jr., George Huppert, and C. A. Tong. Published only one volume (with three issues) from Winter 1956 through 1957.

Featured two poems by Brautigan: "The Return of the Rivers" (page 14) and "The Horse That Had A Flat Tire" (page 15). Both collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

Also featured work by Walter Ballenger, Adrian Stoutenberg, Barbara Cochran, May Swenson, Robert Beloof, Samuel Menashe, Donald Gutierrez, David Cornel DeJong, John Tagliabue, Anthony Ostroff, Richard Wilbur, Richard Eberhart, and Robert Horan.

According to Keith Abbott, Brautigan, in early 1968, inspired by the collaboration between his poet friend Michael McClure and Janis Joplin on the song "Mercedes Benz," gave Joplin a copy of "The Horse That Had Flat Tire" and "She Sleeps This Very Evening in Greenbrook Castle" hoping she would use it as the basis for a song (Abbott 71). Joplin's song "Mercedes Benz," although drawing from McClure's line "Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz," was actually written in collaboration with Bob Neuwirth, road manager for Bob Dylan during the English tour filmed in "Don't Look Back," and was included on Joplin's album Pearl, released in 1971, post-humously, following her death in 1970. Michael McClure collaborated with Bobby Womack to write the song "Trust Me," included on the same album.

Selected Reprintings
Poems Here and Now. Ed. David Kherdian. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1976. 13, 17.
Includes two poems by Brautigan: "The Chinese Checker Players" and "The Horse That Had a Flat Tire."
"Kafka's Hat"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"Nine Things"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Linear Farewell, Nonlinear Farewell"
When he went out the door,
he said he wasn’t coming back,
but he came back, the son-
ofabitch, and now I'm pregnant,
and he won’t get off his ass.
"Mating Saliva"
A girl in a green mini-
skirt, not very pretty, walks
     down the street.

A businessman stops, turns
to stare at her ass
that looks like a moldy
     refrigerator.

There are now 200,000,000 people
     in America.

Selected Reprintings
Shake the Kaleidoscope: A New Anthology of Modern Poetry. Ed. Milton Klonsky. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973. 274-276.
Included six poems by Brautigan: "To England," "November 3," "A Mid-February Sky Dance," "Mating Saliva," "Romeo and Juliet," and "As the Bruises Fade, the Lightning Aches."
"Sit Comma and Creeley Comma"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"Automatic Anthole"
Driven by hunger, I had another
forced bachelor dinner tonight.
I had a lot of trouble making
up my mind whether to eat Chinese
food or have a hamburger. God,
I hate eating dinner alone. It's
     like being dead.
"The Symbol"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"I Cannot Answer You Tonight in Small Portions"
I cannot answer you tonight in small portions.
Torn apart by stormy love’s gate, I float
like a phantom facedown in a well where
the cold dark water reflects vague half-built
               stars
and trades all our affection, touching, sleeping
together for tribunal distance standing like
a drowned train just beyond a pile of Eskimo
               skeletons.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"Your Catfish Friend"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"December 24"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.
Retitled "November 24" in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster table of contents, although the poem itself retains the original title.
"Horse Race"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster"
When you take your pill
it's like a mine disaster.
I think of all the people
     lost inside of you.

Textual References
"Springhill Mine Disaster": The disaster occurred in 1958 in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. A popular folk song, "The Springhill Mine Disaster," was written shortly afterward by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.

Selected Reprintings
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: A Collection of Over 125 Poems. Ed. Frances Monson McCullough. New York: Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1971. 27, 130, and 142.
Included three poems by Brautigan: "To England," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," and "The Day They Busted the Grateful Dead."

Front Cover Just What The Country Needs, Another Poetry Anthology. Eds. James McMichael and Dennis Saleh. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1971. xii, 22-26, 185.
6.5" x 9.5", 190 pages
A poetry anthology collecting 124 poems by 30 poets, including Brautigan.

Includes biographical notes for each contributor and an introduction by X. J. Kennedy, who says,
Anyone who cares for poetry ought to encounter much to delight and startle him here. Among such gratifications for me was . . . Richard Brautigan, abruptly popular, whose best work (see "The Winos on Potrero Hill") moves with a beautiful transparency. (xii)
Reprints five poems by Brautigan: "The Winos on Potrero Hill," "The Quail," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "Discovery," and "Adrenalin Mother," all from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

The biographical note for Brautigan reads:
Richard Brautigan published several small books of poetry in limited editions and then collected them in one volume, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, published first by Four Seasons Foundation and them by Delacorte. He has also published three novels and a book of new poems, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Brautigan is 36 and has lived in San Francisco for many years.
San Francisco Express Times 1(49) December 24, 1968: 8-9.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eleven poems by Brautigan: "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "The Day they Busted the Grateful Dead," "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "Discovery," "At the California Institute of Technology," "Boo, Forever," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "The Flowerburgers Part 4," "A Baseball Game Part 7," "December 24," and "The Garlic Meat Lady."

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"After Halloween Slump"
First Collected
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
"Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain"
Oh, Marcia,
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsichord.
I want high school report cards
     to look like this:

Playing with Gentle Glass Things
     A

Computer Magic
     A

Writing Letters to Those You Love
     A

Finding out about Fish
     A

Marcia’s Long Blonde Beauty
     A+!

Textual References
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.

First Published
Unicorn Books of Goleta, California, [December 1967; see Darllington article below] or January 1968?
Broadside printed on tan newsprint paper with the additional title "The San Francisco Weather Report." Printed by Graham Mackintosh for free distribution. A second printing was offered in 1969.

2,500 copies were distributed free in San Francisco's financial district on 26 January 1968 (Notes From A Revolution: Com/co, the Diggers & the Haight. New York: Foggy Notion Books, 2012. 170.) or during December 1967 (Darlington article, below).

Front Cover Paris Review 45 (Winter) 1968: 140.
Poem titled here "San Francisco Weather Report." The spelling "harpsicord" is corrected to "harpsichord." The Paris Review, published in New York, City 1953-1974 was founded by novelist Peter Matthiessen and Harold Hume and was one of the great literary magazines of the latter half of the twentieth century.
In addition to Brautigan's poem, this issue also featured poetry by Jim Carroll (of the rock group Traffic), Tom Clark, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Frank O'Hara, Jim Brodey, and others. Also included was an interview with John Updike, a journal by Edward Hoagland titled "Notes from the Century Before," fiction by Joy Williams, Austin Wright, Tom Veitch, and others.

Mentioned
"Please Plant This Page." Sandy Darlington. (San Francisco Express Times 21 March 1968 Vol. 1, No. 9: 5.) Article includes a photograph by Bob Seidemann of Brautigan sitting in a wicker chair. Darlington profiles Brautigan's Please Plant This Book, using it as an example of how authors release books to their readers. Says, of "Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Staring to Rain,"
Last December, Richard Brautigan and his friends printed 2500 copies of a poem called The San Francisco Weather Report and handed them out in the financial district at noon. It hadn't rained in two weeks. A friend of his told him later of handing the poem to a secretary who began to read it out loud. After the title, the next line is Gee, You're so Beautiful That It's starting to Rain. As she read the line, raindrops started hitting the paper. She looked up at him, took a step backwards and just stared. There's so many ways to say hello.
READ the full text of this article.

San Francisco Express Times was published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, No. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, No. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press.

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
"The Nature Poem"
First Collected
The Octopus Frontier
"The Day They Busted the Grateful Dead"
The day they busted the Grateful Dead
rain stormed against San Francisco
like hot swampy scissors cutting Justice
into the evil clothes that alligators wear.

The day they busted the Grateful Dead
was like a flight of winged alligators
carefully measuring marble with black
     rubber telescopes.

The day they busted the Grateful Dead
turned like the wet breath of alligators
blowing up balloons the size of the
     Hall of Justice.

Textual References
"Busted the Grateful Dead": Several members of the popular San Francisco rock band, "The Grateful Dead," were arrested for drug possession on 2 October 1967. On 4 October the band held a press conference to protest the arrest.

Selected Reprintings
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: A Collection of Over 125 Poems. Ed. Frances Monson McCullough. New York: Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1971. 27, 130, and 142.
Included three poems by Brautigan: "To England," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," and "The Day They Busted the Grateful Dead."

San Francisco Express Times 1(49) December 24, 1968: 8-9.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eleven poems by Brautigan: "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "The Day they Busted the Grateful Dead," "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "Discovery," "At the California Institute of Technology," "Boo, Forever," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "The Flowerburgers Part 4," "A Baseball Game Part 7," "December 24," and "The Garlic Meat Lady."
"The Harbor"
Torn apart by the storms of love
and put back together by the calms
     of love,

I lie here in a harbor
that does not know
where your body ends
and my body begins.

Fish swim between our ribs
and sea gulls cry like mirrors
     to our blood.

Selected Reprintings
Beatitude (20) Mar. 1969.
Published by City Lights Books, San Francisco, California.

Featured four poems by Brautigan: "The Harbor," "The Double-Bed Gallows," "Adrenalin Mother," and "Death is a Beautiful Parked Car Only."

Seven Watermelon Suns: Selected Poems of Richard Brautigan. The Cowell Press: University of California at Santa Cruz, 1974.
A speciality press collection of seven works by Brautigan, each printed as a separate 6" x 8.5" broadside with embossed color etchings by Ellen Meske. One of the seven poems reprinted was "The Harbor."
"The Garlic Meat Lady from"
We're cooking dinner tonight.
I'm making a kind of Stonehenge
     stroganoff.
Marcia is helping me. You
already know the legend
     of her beauty.
I've asked her to rub garlic
on the meat. She takes
each piece of meat like a lover
and rubs it gently with garlic.
I've never seen anything like this
     before. Every orifice
of the meat is explored, caressed
     relentlessly with garlic.
There is a passion here that would
drive a deaf saint to learn
the violin and play Beethoven at
     Stonehenge.

Textual References
"Stonehenge": An assemblage of upright stones on the Salisbury Plain in Southern England.
"Marcia": Marcia Pacaud, from Montreal, Canada, appeared in the photograph on the front cover of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Several poems in this collection are dedicated to her.
"Beethoven": Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), a German composer.

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(49) December 24, 1968: 8-9.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eleven poems by Brautigan: "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "The Day they Busted the Grateful Dead," "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "Discovery," "At the California Institute of Technology," "Boo, Forever," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "The Flowerburgers Part 4," "A Baseball Game Part 7," "December 24," and "The Garlic Meat Lady."
"In a Cafe"
First Collected
Lay The Marble Tea
"Boo, Forever"
Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a
     top,
I'm haunted by all
the space that I
will live without
     you.

First Published
San Francisco: Free City News (1) October 1967.
A broadside poem, included in an anthology of ten poems, each published as broadsides by the Diggers. Also issued separately.
8.5" x 14" white construction-like paper of various colors; Ten leaves (broadsides) plus illustrated front and back wrappers.
Many leaves (but not Brautigan's) were printed on both sides with illustrated poems and prose pieces and news commentary. All were anonymous.
Artwork by Stanley Muse.
Brautigan's poem, without title, was centered on the page, framed by an Egyptian-style erotic illustration and a numbered listing of Kama Sutra sexual positions. The poem was untitled and so is often cited by its first line: "Spinning Like a Ghost."

Brautigan originally titled this poem part of "Three Poems to Celebrate the History of Marcia" in reference to Marcia Pacaud. Later, it was collected and retitled "Boo, Forever" in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster

Selected Reprintings
San Francisco Express Times 1(49) December 24, 1968: 8-9.
Published weekly from 24 January 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 1) to 24 December 1968 (Vol. 1, no. 49) as San Francisco Express Times. Continued after as Good Times. Published at 15 Lafayette Street, San Francisco by the Trystero Company. Printed by Waller Press. Included eleven poems by Brautigan: "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "The Day they Busted the Grateful Dead," "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "Discovery," "At the California Institute of Technology," "Boo, Forever," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," "The Flowerburgers Part 4," "A Baseball Game Part 7," "December 24," and "The Garlic Meat Lady."

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan." Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, titled "The Telephone Door That Leads Eventually to Some Love Poems," Brautigan reads twelve poems collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, including this one.

LISTEN to Brautigan read these poems.
In addition to the specific reviews detailed below, reviews of this book may also be included in General Reviews of Brautigan's work and his place in American literature, or reviews of his Collections.

Anonymous. "Poetry: Combatting Society With Surrealism." Time 93(4) 24 January 1969: 72-76.
Reviews His Toy, His Dream, His Rest by John Berryman; White-Haired Lover by Karl Shapiro; The Body by Michael Benedikt; Shall We Gather at the River by James Wright; Breaking Camp by Marge Piercy; Coming Closer by Helen Chasm; The Residual Years by William Everson; Bending the Bow by Robert Duncan; The Back Country by Gary Snyder; Incarnations: Poems, 1966-1968 by Robert Penn Warren; Cables to the Ace by Thomas Merton; and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster by Brautigan. Notes the potential for success in Brautigan's unusual poetic approach.

READ the full text of the reference to Brautigan.
Bokinsky, Caroline J. "Richard Brautigan." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 5: American Poets Since World War II. Ed. Donald J. Greiner. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1980. 96-99.
Critical comments on The Return of the Rivers, The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Lay the Marble Tea, The Octopus Frontier, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, and June 30th, June 30th. Also provides some biographical and bibliographical information. Says The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster confirms Brautigan's "magical power of transforming an image into something else."

READ the full text of this review.
Brownjohn, Alan. "Absorbing Chaos." New Statesman 4 December 1970: 772-773.
Reviews The Complete Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Snapshopts of a Daughter-in-Law by Adrienne Rich, The Fire Screen by James Merrill, In the Early Morning Rain by Ted Berrigan, Lion Lion by Tom Raworth, Scantlings by Gael Turnbull, Lucidities by Elizabeth Jennings, In Focus by Jeremy Robson, Thunder of Grass by John Moat Barrie and Jenkins, Expostulations by Teddy Hodge, The Wooden Muse, Part One by Alec Pope, and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster by Brautigan.

The complete text referring to Brautigan reads:
Richard Brautigan's novels are highly praised. His poems are minor adjuncts to his prose: more coherent and funny than [Ted] Berrigan's [In The Early Morning Rain also reviewed], but with the dreadful, characteristic soft-centredness: "I want your hair/ to cover me with maps/ of new places, so everywhere I go/ will be as beautiful/ as you hair."
Front cover
Malley, Terence. Richard Brautigan. New York: Warner, 1972.
First printing October 1972.
The first critical survey of Brautigan's work through 1971. Chapter 1, "Magic Up and Down," deals with The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. One of several reference books focusing on Brautigan.
Nilsen, Don L.F., and Allen Pace Nilsen. "An Exploration and Defense of the Humor in Young Adult Literature." Journal of Reading 26(1) October 1982: 58-65.
Says humor draws teenage readers to writers like Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Roth, John Irving, Joseph Heller, and Richard Brautigan. Argues that despite the importance of humor, little attention has been paid to what teenagers think is humorous. Reports on a study undertaken by the authors which finds choices by teenage readers "not quite as appalling as we had first thought."

Recommends, in a note at the end of the article, A Confederate General from Big Sur, In Watermelon Sugar, and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster as "recommended humorous books."

The full text of the reference to Brautigan reads
Richard Brautigan also surprises readers with innocent sounding grossness. For example, he explains the title of his novel [sic] The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster: "When you take your pill it's like a mine disaster. I think of all the people lost inside you."
Porter, Peter. "Dazzling Landscapes." The Observer 3 January 1971: 30.
Reviews The Complete Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Collected Poems by Alan Dugan, Snapshots of A Daughter-In-Law by Adrienne Rich, The Fire Screen by James Merrill, In the Early Morning Rain by Ted Berrigen, and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster by Brautigan.

The full text of the reference to Brautigan reads
I didn't enjoy Richard Brautigan. Liberated jokes and instant mysticism—his poems turn everything to favour and prettiness. Try 'December 30':—
At 1.03 in the morning a fart
smells like a marriage between
an avocado and a fish head.
I have to get out of bed
to write this down without
my glasses on.
Warsh, Lewis. "Out of Sight." Poetry March 1970: 440-446.
Reviews Stones by Tom Clark, Instructions for Undressing the Human Race by Fernando Alegria, and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and In Watermelon Sugar by Brautigan. Says, of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster:
Brautigan has learned from Jack Spicer about the limits and the possibilities of humor, of how far you can go in your own head while still remaining in control of the poem. The delicateness of this balance leads to an intensity which, when successful, overshadows the sometimes self-indulgent choice of subject matter. . . . Brautigan's poems exist to give pleasure to anyone who wants to go along.
READ the full text of the reference to Brautigan.

Reprinted
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 3. Ed. Carolyn Riley. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1975. 86-90.
Williams, Hugo. "Strolling across the Bridge." London Magazine (10) February 1971: 81-84.
Reviews In the Early Morning Rain by Ted Berrigan, Lion Lion by Tom Raworth, Loss of Two Anchors by Pete Morgan, and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster by Brautigan. Calls Brautigan's poetry "sugary, predigested and schoolgirlish" and concludes "He deserves a sucky medal with a picture of himself on it for his own personal sweetness."

READ the full text of the reference to Brautigan.