books/Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow


Thomas Pynchon

Excellent German Words

These are some of my favorites from




gasoline hallucination


pig-hero festival


purple substance


obedience factor


research institute, experimental station


primordial stuff


corpse-like obedience, i.e., slavish obedience




pure coffee

Rocket Limericks

(These are interspersed on pages 305-335)

There once was a thing called a V-2
To pilot which you did not need to-
You just pushed a button,
And it would leave nuttin'
But stiffs and big holes and debris, too.

Ja, ja, ja, ja!
In Prussia they never eat pussy!
There ain't hardly cats enough,
There's garbage and that's enough,
So waltz me around again, Russky!

There was a young fellow named Crockett,
Who had an affair with a rocket.
If you saw them out there
You'd be tempted to stare,
But if you ain't tried it, don't knock it!

There was a young fellow named Hector,
Who was fond of a launcher-erector.
But the squishes and pops
Of acute pressure drops
Wrecked Hector's hydraulic connector.

There once was a fellow named Moorehead,
Who had an affair with a warhead.
His wife moved away
The very next day-
She *was* always kind of a sorehead.

There was a technician named Urban,
Who had an affair with a turbine.
"It's much nicer," he said,
"Than a woman in bed,
And it's sure as hell cheaper than bourbon!"

There once was a fellow named Slattery
Who was fond of the course-gyro battery.
With that 50-volt shock,
What was left of his cock
Was all slimy and sloppy and spattery.

There was a young fellow named Pope,
Who plugged into an *os*-cillo-*scope*.
The cyclical trace
Of their carnal embrace
Had a damn nearly infinite slope.

There was a young fellow named Yuri,
Fucked the nozzle right up its venturi.
He had woes without cease
From his local police,
And a hell of a time with the jury

There was a young man named McGuire,
Who was fond of the pitch amplifier.
But a number of shorts
Left him covered with warts,
And set half the bedroom on fire.

There once was a fellow named Ritter,
Who slept with a guidance transmitter.
It shriveled his cock,
Which fell off in his sock,
And made him exceedingly bitter.

There once was a fellow named Schroeder,
Who buggered the vane servomotor.
He soon grew a prong
On the end of his schlong,
And hired himself a promoter.

There was a young man from Decatur,
Who slept with a LOX generator.
His balls and his prick
Froze solid read quick,
And his asshole a little bit later.