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Part 9 of Trout Fishing in America Analysis



Author: Poetry of Richard Brautigan Type: Poetry Views: 280

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story<font face="Times New Roman"><strong>SANDBOX MINUS JOHNDILLINGER EQUALS WHAT?</strong>Often I return to the cover of Trout Fishing in America. Itook the baby and went down there this morning. They werewatering the cover with big revolving sprinklers. I saw somebread lying on the grass. It had been put there to feed thepigeons.The old Italians are always doing things like that. Thebread had been turned to paste by the water and was squashedflat against the grass. Those dopey pigeons were waiting untilthe water and grass had chewed up the bread for them, sothey wouldn't have to do it themselves.I let the baby play in the sandbox and I sat down on a benchand looked around. There was a beatnik sitting at the otherend -of the bench. He had his sleeping bag beside him and hewas eating apple turnovers. He had a huge sack of apple turn-overs and he was gobbling them down like a turkey. It wasprobably a more valid protest than picketing missile bases.The baby played in the sandbox. She had on a red dressand the Catholic church was towering up behind her red dress.There was a brick john between her dress and the church. Itwas there by no accident. Ladies to the left and gents to theright.A red dress, I thought. Wasn't the woman who set JohnDillinger up for the FBI wearing a red dress? They calledher &quot;The Woman in Red. &quot;It seemed to me that was right. It was a red dress, but sofar, John Dillinger was nowhere in sight. my daughterplayed alone in the sandbox.Sandbox minus John Dillinger equals what?The beatnik went and got a drink of water from the fountainthat was crucified on the wall of the brick john, more towardthe gents than the ladies. He had to wash all those apple turn-overs down his throat.There were three sprinklers going in the park. There wasone in front of the Benjamin Franklin statue and one to theside of him and one just behind him. They were all turning incircles. I saw Benjamin Franklin standing there patientlythrough the water.The sprinkler to the side of Benjamin Franklin hit the left-hand tree. It sprayed hard against the trunk and knocked someleaves down from the tree, and then it hit the center tree,sprayed hard against the trunk and more leaves fell. Then itsprayed against Benjamin Franklin, the water shot out to thesides of the stone and a mist drifted down off the water. Ben-jamin Franklin got his feet wet.The sun was shining down hard on me. The sun was brightand hot. After a while the sun made me think of my own dis-comfort. The only shade fell on the beatnik.The shade came down off the Lillie Hitchcock Colt statueof some metal fireman saving a metal broad from a mentalfire. The beatnik now lay on the bench and the shade was twofeet longer than he was.A friend of mine has written a poem about that statue. God-damn, I wish he would write another poem about that statue,SO it would give me some shade two feet longer than my body.I was right about &quot;The Woman in Red, &quot; because ten min-utes later they blasted John Dillinger down in the sandbox.The sound of the machine-gun fire startled the pigeons andthey hurried on into the church.My daughter was seen leaving in a huge black car shortlyafter that. She couldn't talk yet, but that didn't make any dif-ference. The red dress did it all.John Dillinger's body lay half in and half out of the sand-box, more toward the ladies than the gents. He was leakingblood like those capsules we used to use with oleomargarine,in those good old days when oleo was white like lard.The huge black car pulled out and went up the street, bat-light shining off the top. It stopped in front of the ice-creamparlor at Filbert and Stockton.An agent got out and went in and bought two hundreddouble-decker ice-cream cones. He needed a wheelbarrowto get them back to the car.





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