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Review of June 30th, June 30th
These poems represent a verse scrapbook of Richard Brautigan's 1976 trip to Japan, and, as such, contain pieces that — as the author is good enough to admit — do not deserve publication, but which serve to flesh out, pad, and complete this slim volume. To the traveler used to Brautigan's offhand style, or familiar with the scenes he depicts, these glimpses of another country will at times prove hauntingly accurate; to others, perhaps, the book will seem a bore not worth its price. The major theme here — not surprisingly, since Brautigan knows no Japanese — is loneliness, and the book is darkened by an advance nostalgia contributed by the fact of a known departure date. That date, the book's title, is part of the custom's stamp from a page of Brautigan's passport that forms the cover design. Loss and absence are never far from the poet's thoughts. This is, in summary, an often good book, one that would be served well by the winnowing process that will eventually take place. Right now, it is fare for the ardent fan, primarily.
December 1978: 1364-65