Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork” as Want to Read:
Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  700 Ratings  ·  33 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Laurie Neuwirth
Sep 27, 2009 Laurie Neuwirth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2011 Sabra Embury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 09, 2010 Cassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Fuck Me Like Fried Potatoes"

Fuck me like fried potatoes
on the most beautifully hungry
morning of my God-damn life.
Dec 16, 2007 Ave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2012 T. rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, ebooks
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
Feb 15, 2010 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me an idea for a zine. Stay tuned.
Sep 09, 2012 A.M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 09, 2013 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 04, 2013 Edmund Davis-Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, poetry
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.
Oct 16, 2007 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 11, 2015 Greta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that definitely has its little gems.



It takes a secret to know a "secret."
Then you have two secrets that know
each other. Just
what you always wanted, they stand
there looking at each other with their
pajamas on.
Oct 16, 2015 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A very short collection of very short poems. However, still most enjoyable. I really liked "Willard and his Bowling Trophies" quite a bit. This was in the same vein.

A quick read for a long day with nothing to think about. 5/5
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.
Sep 12, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 17, 2009 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: richard
This book appeared in the window of a bookshop in Hyde Park for me. It's still my favorite behind Trout Fishing in America.
Jan 31, 2017 Suean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still love Brautigan's uniqueness. His poetry is so strange and so wonderful.
Raine Gregus
This one was a little more cryptic than the two that I had previously read. I still like his style but I prefer Rommel or the pill.
Tom Romig
If you like the occasional dose of whimsy, Brautigan is your man. Try these, and if they leave you cold search elsewhere!

The Necessity of Appearing in Your Own Face

There are days when that is the last place
in the world where you want to be but you
have to be there, like a movie, because it
features you.

Right Beside the Morning Coffee

If I write this down now, I
will have it in the morning.
The question is: Do I want
to start the day off with

The Amelia Earhart Pancake

I have been unable to find a
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
Robin Guest
Sep 27, 2009 Robin Guest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-owned
Maybe the best book of poems.
Nov 25, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say, I like Richard Brautigan. Wildly uneven, but his great is very.
Jan 17, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discordian, poetry
A great read. Delightfully mind-bending -- vintage Brautigan.
Jan 06, 2014 Rebeca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i'm gonna get tattoed something from this book, so, yeah, KIND OF GOOD, YA KNOW.
Chris Jackson
for his poetry. Got from library 1/5/2015. Good read. Buy cheap copy if found.
Sep 23, 2015 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's odd to have connected so strongly with verse as short and (generally) more prose-like than not as this, and yet here we are. Highly recommended.
Michael Gossett
The best Brautigan I've read; those poems are still too goddamn short.
Feb 07, 2013 Maureen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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.
Frederic Levesque
like a wise figment of imagination setting up pranks in the emotion chambers of your subconscious
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
goodreads entry error 2 9 Mar 08, 2013 10:01AM  
  • You Can't Catch Death
  • Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan
  • The Bat-Poet
  • Where Water Comes Together with Other Water: Poems
  • Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present
  • Baby Geisha
  • Captain Maximus
  • If I Were Another: Poems
  • Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years
  • Bluebird and Other Tattoos
  • Triumph of Achilles
  • Honey and Salt
  • Selected Poems and Two Plays
  • War All the Time
  • Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries
  • Young Americans
  • A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems
Richard Brautigan was an American novelist, poet, and short-story writer. Born in Tacoma, Washington, he moved to San Francisco in the 1950s and began publishing poetry in 1957. He started writing novels in 1961 and is probably best known for his early work Trout Fishing in America. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1984.

More about Richard Brautigan...

Share This Book

“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…