"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



I Lie Here In A Strange Girl’s Apartment (After Brautigan)

I lie here in a strange girl’s apartment, reading
a poem called ‘I Lie Here in a Strange Girl’s Apartment’,
written by an American man called Richard Gary Brautigan
who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the year 1984.
And you have to realise that I didn’t plan it this way. Not at all.
I mean, you have to realise that this is a case of purest serendipity at play.
I simply opened the book (first published in New York City 41 years ago),
turned over the page, and there it was; 14 lines long
and printed on paper now slightly mottled with age.
Lying here in a strange girl’s apartment while she takes a shower,
I find myself listening to the sound of the running water, and imagining that
it’s the sound of the Pacific ocean that I can hear coming from the other room.
I imagine the black-green kelp. I imagine the seagulls shrieking overhead.
Richard Gary Brautigan’s ‘I Lie Here in a Strange Girl’s Apartment’
is dedicated to a woman called “Marcia”. But what I don’t know,
and probably never will, is whether or not this Marcia
is the same Marcia as the Marcia who Brautigan
dated for a time, and who turned out to be the last person
he ever spoke to (on the telephone), before pointing
a loaded .44 Magnum at his troubled and quixotic head.
That Marcia, so the story goes, tried calling back later,
but repeatedly got Brautigan’s answer-machine instead.
“Hello, as you can probably tell, I’m not here right now,
but you can leave a message for when I am here,
after the beep” are the words which Marcia heard.
Over, and over, and over again.

Richard Brautigan page at 'Old Poetry Dotcom'