Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Strange Energies Of The Twentieth Century

We would be driving along and spot a Christmas tree lying perhaps in the front yard of somebody’s lovely house in Pacific Heights or beside an Italian grocery store in North Beach. We would suddenly stop and jump out and rush over to the Christmas tree and start taking pictures from every angle.

The simple people of San Francisco probably thought that we were all completely deranged: bizarre. We were traffic stoppers in the classic tradition.

199, 215, 227, 233, 245.

We met the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti out walking his dog on Potrero Hill. He saw us jump out of the car and immediately start taking pictures of a fallen Christmas tree lying on the sidewalk.

277, 278, 279, 280, 281.

As he walked by, he said, “Taking pictures of Christmas trees?”


I said, “I wonder
what happened to the photos
of the Christmas trees?

One time Brautigan
and a photographer friend
did a whole series

but I’ve never heard
that anyone did a book
of the images.”


Someone made a face.
“Old hippie photos?” they asked.
“And why would I buy

a book of photos
taken by two old hippies
of old Christmas trees?”


I said, “Don’t pretend.
You’d buy it because you’d love
to throw it away.”

A Postscript To
Strange Energies Of The Twentieth Century

The first draft of this
was about Walter Cronkite
but that didn’t work.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Tokyo-Montana Express
at Brautigan.net


Machines Of Loving Grace

It Shall Be So Madness Must Unwatched Go

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