Brautigan was born January 30th, 1935 in Tacoma, Washington.
Little is known about his childhood except that it was a troubled
one. It was something he didn't discuss. It's rumored that he
didn't know who his father was and that his father wasn't aware
that Brautigan was his son until the announcement of his death.
It's also rumored that at around the age of twenty, he threw
a rock through a police station window and as a result was committed
to Oregon State Hospital where he was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic
and given shock therapy treatments.
He moved to San Francisco, California
in 1955 where he became part of the Beat movement almost immediately.
The Second Kingdom, his first known poem, was published
in 1956 and his first book, "Lay the Marble Tea", a
collection of 24 poems, was published in 1959. These two publications
"bookended" his marriage to Virginia Dionne Adler in
Reno, Nevada, June 8, 1957
In the late 1960s Brautigan's
work was gaining popularity and was the period when he published
some of his most well-known works, such as "Trout Fishing
in America" and "In Watermelon Sugar". In 1972,
he moved to Pine Creek, Montana, just north of Yellowstone National
Park, where he allegedly refused to give lectures or interviews
for eight years.
In December of 1979, at a meeting
of The Modern Language Association in San Francisco, Brautigan
participated in a panel discussion concerning Zen and Contemporary
Poetry with Gary Snyder, Philip
Whalen, Robert Bly, and Lucien Stryk. He published his last
book, "So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away", in 1982.
On October 25, 1984, friends
broke into Brautigan's house in Bolinas, California to find his
body next to a bottle of alcohol and a .44 caliber gun. It was
assumed that he had committed suicide.
Wait ( Top of Page
off her mouth
and put them
into a dawn-colored vase
was worth it.
The Moon Versus Us Ever Sleeping
Together Again ( Top of Page
I sit here, an arch-villain of romance,
thinking about you. Gee, I'm sorry
I made you unhappy, but there was nothing
I could do about it because I have to be free.
Perhaps everything would have been different
if you had stayed at the table or asked me
to go out with you to look at the moon,
instead of getting up and leaving me alone with
I Live in the Twentieth Century ( Top of Page )
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 hopeless. Your face
is so beautiful that I cannot stop
to describe it, and there's nothing
I can do to make you happy while