Because I know the feeling, even if I don't feel it now.

by Richard Brautigan

I don't know what it is,
but I distrust myself
when I start to like a girl
      a lot.

It makes me nervous.
I don't say the right things
or perhaps I start
       to examine,
       what I am saying.

If I say, "Do you think it's going to rain?"
and she says, "I don't know,"
I start thinking: Does she really like me? 

In other words
I get a little creepy. 

A friend of mine once said,
"It's twenty times better to be friends
      with someone
than it is to be in love with them." 

I think he's right and besides,
it's raining somewhere, programming flowers
and keeping snails happy.
      That's all taken care of.

if a girl likes me a lot
and starts getting real nervous
and suddenly begins asking me funny questions
and looks sad if I give the wrong answers
and she says things like,
"Do you think it's going to rain?"
and I say, "It beats me,"
and she says, "Oh,"
and looks a little sad
at the clear blue California sky,
I think: Thank God, it's you, baby, this time
       instead of me.

[Stuck in my head tonight: "Act Naturally" by The Beatles.]


  1. I love everything Richard Brautigan has written, ever. This is a delightful poem. Where's it from?

  2. thanks - perfect for a rainy day in the bk.

  3. After some quick research...
    First published in: Hollow Orange 4.
    Then collected in: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.
    And reprinted in: The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster.

    The straight dope: http://www.brautigan.net/machines.html#10 (You'll notice right off that the poem is improperly formated in my post...I'm just about to fix it.
    Be sure to scope out this rad, limited-edition book he self-distributed in 1968, as well: http://www.brautigan.net/plant.html

  4. Sorry the links are not clickable, but only copy+pastable. I gotta figure out how to put working links in comments.

    And by the way, if you haven't watched the video I linked to for The Beatles' song yet, please do. It's wonderful.