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Part 5 Of Trout Fishing In America - Poem by Richard Brautigan


Worsewick Hot Springs was nothing fancy. Somebody put some

boards across the creek. That was it.

The boards dammed up the creek enough to form a huge

bathtub there, and the creek flowed over the top of the boards,

invited like a postcard to the ocean a thousand miles away.

As I said Worsewick was nothing fancy, not like the

places where the swells go. There were no buildings around.

We saw an old shoe lying by the tub.

The hot springs came down off a hill and where they flowed

there was a bright orange scum through the sagebrush. The

hot springs flowed into the creek right there at the tub and

that' s where it was nice.

We parked our car on the dirt road and went down and took

off our clothes, then we took off the baby's clothes, and the

deerflies had at us until we got into the water, and then they


There was a green slime growing around the edges of the

tub and there were dozens of dead fish floating in our bath.

Their bodies had been turned white by death, like frost on

iron doors. Their eyes were large and stiff.

The fish had made the mistake of going down the creek too

far and ending up in hot water, singing, "When you lose your

money, learn to lose."

We played and relaxed in the water. The green slime and

the dead fish played and relaxed with us and flowed out over

us and entwined themselves about us.

Splashing around in that hot water with my woman, I began

to get ideas, as they say. After a while I placed my body in

such a position in the water that the baby could not see my


I did this by going deeper and deeper in the water, like a

dinosaur, and letting the green slime and dead fish cover me


My woman took the baby out of the water and gave her a

bottle and put her back in the car. The baby was tired. It was

really time for her to take a nap.

My woman took a blanket out of the car and covered up the

windows that faced the hot springs. She put the blanket ontop

of the car and then lay rocks on the blanket to hold it in place.

I remember her standing there by the car.

Then she came back to the water, and the deerflies were

at her, and then it was my turn. After a while she said, "I

don't have my diaphragm with me and besides it wouldn't

work in the water, anyway. I think it's a good idea if you

don't come inside me. What do you think?"

I thought this over and said all right. I didn't want any

more kids for a long time. The green slime and dead fish

were all about our bodies.

I remember a dead fish floated under her neck. I waited

for it to come up on the other side, and it came up on the

other side.

Worsewick was nothing fancy.

Then I came, and just cleared her in a split secondlike

an airplane in the movies, pulling out of a nosedive and sail-

ing over the roof of a school.

My sperm came out into the water, unaccustomed to the

light, and instantly it became a misty, stringy kind of thing

and swirled out like a falling star, and I saw a dead fishcome

forward and float into my sperm, bending it in the middle.

His eyes were stiff like iron.

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