Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Word Garden Word List #12 (Richard Brautigan)


Hello everyone, it's me with your weekly word list poetry prompt. This time our source is Richard Brautigan, best known for his novel Trout Fishing In America (1967). 

However, this week's list is taken equally from two of his volumes of poetry; The Pill Vs. The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968) and Rommel Drives Deep Into Egypt (1970). I have selected 10 words from each, with emphasis on words the author uses more than once. 

Richard Brautigan was the son of a waitress and he says he only met his father once. His childhood was hard, with periods of abandonment, hunger, and poverty. In 1955, he threw a rock through the window of a police station, hoping to be arrested and fed. All of this belies his whimsical, magical style of writing. His poems, in particular, are often very short, and have a conversational tone, albeit a conversation with a trippy bent. 

The Athens Messenger said about Brautigan "There's not a more exciting, more challenging writer working in America today."

Time magazine said, "His poems are, by turns, brutally realistic or surrealistically witty." 

Brautigan enjoyed only a very brief window of success and fame, from the late 60's into the early 70's. He is described by a friend as "a very odd guy." He was an alcoholic and suffered from depression, finally ending his own life at age 49 in 1984. 

Even so, his poetry is very often light and breezy, although he does delve in to societal and relationship issues in a sort of snapshot way. I don't include the work of any source poet in these posts because our goal here is to use their words as a springboard to our own poetry, not to copy theirs. What we do here is simple: write a new poem using at least 3 of the 20 words on the list provided below, then link up, and visit others. One additional thing: in honor of Brautigan's brief poetic style, if you'd like to write two or three very short poems (all in the same post, and please, no haiku) that's cool. It's up to you! Prompt stays "live' through Friday. 

And now, your list:



  1. Good morning Shay & everyone! I totally love this list of words Shay and I have heard of the author/poet, but am unfamiliar with his poetry. I love the background story on these poets. It opens up a whole new world. I will have to take a look at his poetry. May be over a day before I am back, but I do hope to get my act together this week. :-)

    1. I am very pleased if I can open up new worlds for someone! Now, get those quackers in a row, Carrie!

  2. As you know, I've read a lot of Brautigan back in the day, probably more than any of the other poets of that(my) generation, and he is brilliant, enigmatic, and elusive, impossible to pin to any genre, and his style is completely his own.I love this challenge and the words you've chosen, Shay. I also appreciate the chance to write short poems, which he did so well.

    1. Okay, so maybe I wrote four. ;_)

    2. Heavens to betsy, a rebel! I'm delighted you wrote four, Joy. Every one of them shines.

  3. Replies
    1. well, i had a lot going on this week and never really got a chance to play with these words, and next week looks the same, sorry shay. but i did enjoy all the poems posted. i will try to get back here soon

    2. I was hoping you'd get in under the wire, but I understand. Your seat here is reserved and will be here when you are ready for it. ;-)

  4. Since I didn't get it up until noon, it put me behind on everything. I immensely enjoyed writing to this wordlist.

    1. I know how that goes! Many's the time I have put all else aside to work on a poem. I'm so glad you did--we get the benefit!

  5. Love you used a quote from the Athens Messenger ... I know it well. My late brother-in-law chaired the department of Journalism at Ohio University back in the 70s. Lots of interaction with the newspaper. I've had the pleasure of 'shooting the bull' with more than several of their reporters ... opinions and dialogue flying fast and furious.

  6. I am not responsible for my post. Possible that a possum entered the house at night, walked on my keyboard, and hit the publish button. Hard to imagine, but it is the only explanation.

  7. Great list! I was glad to find it for inspiration! Thank you!


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