Richard Brautigan: The Lost Works

June 13, 2008

For only a few minutes I watched him flying a kite of all things in Washington Square. It sounded like something he would do. But then again he looked amazingly awkward holding the reel of string and watching the yellow box kite dance and dip against the blue California sky.

He was dressed like on his book covers in a button up vest and round top western hat. He appeared from my vantage point to be arguing with a girl as he waved his free hand to illustrate some point he was trying to make. She would look away, slowly shake her head but remained beside him as his free hand moved in wilder arcs.

Minutes later, she broke the spell and walked away. He starred at her for only two or three steps and let go of the string—never looking back, never looking up. Positioned in a clump of trees, Ben Franklin stood in bronze sunlight knowing the truth about kites.

I watched him leave in the opposite direction as the kite rose to great heights disappearing from my view like a roman candle shooting skyward in broad daylight.
Not knowing if it went to God or fizzled out behind the trees, I wondered how many poems were lost in those last five minutes.