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Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork
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Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  578 ratings  ·  25 reviews
First published 1976, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, a collection of ninety-four poems, was Brautigan's seventh collection of poetry; his ninth poetry book publication.

This collection was unique in that the poems were grouped in eight titled sections and featured the crow as a dominant figure throughout.
ebook, 127 pages
Published 1976 by Simon and Schuster
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Laurie Neuwirth
I thought Brautigan was original and funny with strokes of genius - I had a professor who thought Brautigan's stuff was junk. Was sad that he ended up in a bad way - alcohol and suicide but his poems reflect a love for love and search for meaning and a good breakfast (fried potatos on the most beautifully hungry morning of my....)
Sabra Embury
I swear you could read this entire collection in fifteen minutes doing some sort of standing exercise by a lamp in a dark room past midnight, say meh to the majority of it and love the hell out of at least five of the bite-size poems inside. Here are a few of my favorites:


At 85 miles per hour an insect splattered
like saffron on the windshield
and a white cloud in a blue sky above the
-----speed-curried bug


There are days when that is the l
I can't say Im generally a particular fan of poetry. Mostly when it comes to nowadays modern poets i quiet often just don't get the point.
However stumbling over the collection of Richard Brautigan poems was a rather joyful thing. I sort of would describe my relationship with the author as a love hate thing. Loved Watermelon sugar, quite hated Trout fishing in America.
However I haven't smiled quite this much in a while. Just very nice simple life poems. That often have a interesting point to the
Well, it's short; we can all agree on this. Despairing thoughts of the everyday life, his life — but our life, my life, too.

The image of the crow appears every now and then — does it mean death, or the supreme being? Grief versus the sacred. Probably both. Brautigan says, "I mean: Can you forgive yourself / all those crimes without victims?" but he also says, "God-forsaken is beautiful, too."

My favourite, and perhaps the one I will take and think about for days and days:
Finding is Losing Someth
"Fuck Me Like Fried Potatoes"

Fuck me like fried potatoes
on the most beautifully hungry
morning of my God-damn life.
Let me start by saying that I am on a Richard Brautigan "kick" and intend to read everything that he wrote that I actually own and/or can find at a library by the end of the year. I love Brautigan, though I am not sure I can explain why, exactly. His poetry and prose are simple, humble and humorous with underlying hints of deep wisdom.

I must admit that my first read of Loading Mercury With A Pitchfork was ambivalent. Having received insightful comments from the Poetry Book Club on his work, Romm
I’ve been a fan of Richard Brautigan for a long time. I’ve read all his novels and as many of his short stories and poems that I can lay my hands on. He never disappoints. Some works are better than others but when you’re caught up reading him you’re too busy enjoying the moment to think about how many stars you’re going to give the book. This rule holds true for all his novels and stories but especially his poems because all the ‘story’ has been removed and all you’re left with are moments of p ...more
Apr 21, 2013 Dean rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I was working in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1986 when I noticed my co-worker had a copy of this book. The title intrigued me. Since he only read it at work, I asked him if I could borrow it each evening and return it each morning. He said yes. I read it and loved it so much that I tried to buy a copy, only to find it was out of print. This is how much I loved this book: Since the book only had a few sentences per page, I wrote the whole book out, page-for-page, and later, (this is pre-computer era) ...more
This book gave me an idea for a zine. Stay tuned.
Judy Lindow
Some good ones, some sloppy ones, some sweet, some simple, and probably a few written while drinking beer, or whatever.
I love to reread this collection, oh say, every 15 to 20 years. Brautigan will always be a part of my life. However, this reread made me appreciate his longer works more.
Brautgan's writing oscillates between interesting-at-its-worst and brilliant-at-its-very-best, and this book is no exception. This is pictorial storytelling, the kind that you get from flipping open a photo album. Detail is sparse, the context inferred, and the moments all too brief. It's too easy to read his books cover-to-cover in a single sitting. I constantly have to remind myself to slow down, reread, and take time to pick apart how each piece is constructed. It's worth the time spent mulli ...more
Pretty quotable. I haven't been that interested in poetry. I really enjoyed this. I plan on tracking down more of his work. He's funny, wise and naughty.


Any thought I have right now
isn't worth a shit because I'm totally
fucked up.


For fear you will be alone
you do so many things
that aren't you at all.


Fuck me like fried potatoes
on the most beautifully hungry
morning of my God-damned life.

Edmund Davis-Quinn
I love the directness of Brautigan's work.

Short poems can pack a punch.

Or just be hilarious.

Like "This is the biggest Big Dipper I have ever seen. - Pine Creek, Montana Evening, October 4th." Evocative and simple. Big sky country. Amazing.

Or "Impasse": "I talked a good hello/ but she talked an even/better good-bye." Awesome.

The power of simple language and short poems.

Highly recommended. Going to get more Brautigan.
I first read this book in the mid-1990's. I last read it a few months ago.

Not every poem is great, but some of them are amazingly, profoundly awesome. They're like little booby traps that lie in wait in the back of your brain, waiting to spring out and grab you.

Here's one:

Fuck me like fried potatoes
On the most beautifully hungry morning
Of my god-damned life.

I love this guy.
i'm gonna get tattoed something from this book, so, yeah, KIND OF GOOD, YA KNOW.
I knew that many of Brautigan's books were prose, but even knowing that, this collection of his poetry was not what I was expecting. Many of the poems are short and proselike. If it were me, I probably would have only kept a handful of them, but that handful was quite good.
Compared to the other collections I've read, these are mostly terrible, mundane observations. There are a few great ones tossed in, so it gets an extra star.
not such a huge fan of some of the poems - some of them are really wonderful ones though! super simple, super beautiful! i really enjoy his sense of humour.
Brautigan is one of my favorite writers and I've read most of his work, but this is definitely the weakest, most trite of his works.
This book appeared in the window of a bookshop in Hyde Park for me. It's still my favorite behind Trout Fishing in America.
Michael Gossett
The best Brautigan I've read; those poems are still too goddamn short.
What can I say, I like Richard Brautigan. Wildly uneven, but his great is very.
Robin Guest
Maybe the best book of poems.
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goodreads entry error 2 9 Mar 08, 2013 10:01AM  
  • You Can't Catch Death
  • Bluebird and Other Tattoos
  • Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan
  • War All the Time
  • Coeur de Lion
  • Odes to Opposites
  • Almost Invisible: Poems
  • What Have You Lost?
  • Selected Poems and Two Plays
  • News of the World
  • Questions About Angels
  • News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness
  • Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries
  • Splinter Factory
  • Revolutionary Letters
  • The Conference of the Birds
  • Mercy
Richard Brautigan was a 20th century American writer. His novels and stories often have to do with black comedy, parody, satire, and Zen Buddhism. He is probably best known for his novel Trout Fishing in America. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1984.

More about Richard Brautigan...
Trout Fishing in America / The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster / In Watermelon Sugar In Watermelon Sugar Trout Fishing in America The Abortion The Hawkline Monster

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“Finding is losing something else.
I think about, perhaps even mourn,
what I lost to find this”
“I’ll affect you slowly
as if you were having a picnic in a dream.
There will be no ants.
It won’t rain.”
More quotes…