Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cover Et Al


Book will land in Panda's lap late August. ORDER NOW! if you are among the first 25 to order you will get a copy of Last Days of May, a CD compilation of hypergiant world music scenarios by Latex Menagerie featuring early spoken word recordings by Clevelanders Bree, Christopher Franke, and Russell Vidrick. and who knows, maybe a Panda goodie or two. (def a Panda goodie or 2).

the book is $10, plus $3 for (US) shipping. send cash/check to green panda press/3174 berkshire rd/cleve. hts. oh 44118 or PayPal

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Rainbow Sweater

forthcoming is the Cleveland poet Bree's the Rainbow Sweater & My Mother, two memoirs in a single volume centering around LSD, marriage, karma, sex, chronic pain & Buddhism. follow this blog to hear of its release and to find out how you can own a copy! look for it in very late Summer 2011...enjoy a few chapters until then....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chapter One


to learn is a thing of beauty.
once you know, it becomes
your duty to do a thing right,
every time, please do it quick!

(o, do it quick)

because to learn is a genuine
diamond, with a hardness
im finding hard to resist,

with my hands in a fist
i cant take your gifts,
o, teacher wont you school me?

please dont be cruel to me,
so much is new to me,
all i knows what i see

i cant remember,
what i hear ill soon forget.
when you show me with
your hands, like that,
youll find im not so thick

because to learn is a thing of beauty
and youre it it it it it.



there was this time i got myself blue. it was a series of times over years, really. beginning with an acid trip, it continued until i cooked fine dining, then it weaned. i lived behind a bank at first, in a virtually free sunroom with maybe four or five roommates. i stayed in exchange for cooking the occasional family style dinner and did odd light-housework.

i did acid a few times before i moved in, but after, i did it lots. one time was the day before i had to go and ‘pass’ high school. i needed to present to members of the faculty a finishing paper summing up my experience shadowing someone in their field for two weeks, tell the admin what i gleaned, and turn in a final paper. on the acid i later ate, i thot, ‘i dont need a piece of paper, some document, to tell me i passed; made it through high school.’ a typical thot, i imagine, had on acid, the eve of graduation.

before those thoughts id spent the afternoon at the library using the free computer to print out my final paper. we are talking about the day before it was due. quite a pretty piece, if a last-minute one, on how sometimes in a field of the arts a person must do a job they also have passion for but pays the bills too. an almost equal passion, maybe. in the best case scenario, anyhow. until it isnt necessary to perform both passions.

i had shadowed a folk musician. i made flyers for him, and helped build a PR kit; sent a press release or two. and he did what i interpreted to be Buddhist things, Zen things along the way, but which turned out to be stoned present stranger. his second passion was plants.

landscaping paid his bills and things. among other things wed gone plant-shopping. he and i were mutually enmeshed in an unsavory crowd who delighted each other, stoned or unstoned, playing music or discussing aerodynamics, in and around a coffeeshop.

there was a guy from the coffeeshop who walked the surrounding streets, all May, in a rainbow sweater, down to his knees, wearing pink Lennon glasses and a shaved head. he had a sheet and began by selling it, and ended by giving it away, tiny cube of blotter paper at a time. when he started giving it away he was calling it Life.

it was rumored he quit his engineering job.

"wanna eat Life, today?" hed ask. anyone. who looked friendly.

so when i got in from the library, some of us ate Life, and Rainbow Sweater was there and most of us actually hadnt eaten, but were killing time before going to various jobs in the hospitality industry. but i had eaten. and because it was day, and i didnt have to work, and had no partners in crime, i climbed myself up on one of those Cleveland Heights bookshelves, the kind built-in that grow about two-and-a-half-feet short of the ceiling.

i brot my poetry stack with me, and curled myself in the nook it made. and i read the stack, my mind flashing, really feeling the acid. music clumb behind the words as my brain listened to my brain recite me.

Rainbow Sweater came over and stared up at my perch, asked me what i was doing.

“hey funny girl. and you are….” he rolled his hand as if encouraging the flow of traffic. his voice curled up to SNL sarcastic.

"im just reading some of my poems, to try and memorize."

i looked him in the eyes.

he walked away to the kitchen, and returned to shake something small in his hand up-at-me.

"what do you have there?" i asked him.

"food coloring," he said, and tossed it to me.

i caught it clean.

he looked cryptic, in the face. i was wondering, also, i knew better than to rest my mind anyplace too long, on acid.

i examined the vial in my hand.

"what am i supposed to do with this?" i asked.

he shrugged, and said, "put it on."

"ha!" i laughed, and put a little in the palm of my hand.

i rubbed it in my hands like lotion. it was gorgeous. every shade of blue, depending on how viscous the source, and how far it spread. i colored my arms blue. i went for the face next, removing my derby, a Dobbs a homeless man in a three-piece-suit sold me for three dollars, that looked to be new at the time.

i decided, after my ears and face were covered, i mays well do my neck.

Rainbow Sweater interrupted my blueness, "so you write poems," he said, "what makes you think you can write poems?"

"they come to me, and i write them down," i explained.

"im a poet," i added, as it seemed this wasn't enough.

"they pop in my head."

"you think you have the authority to call yourself a poet?"

"its not authority," i started.

but i couldnt finish. Rainbow Sweater made his way on the floor beneath me to the living room. i looked at the poem on top of my stack: ‘The Dust Catcher’.

“I am the Dust Catcher, Mother.
I am Woman. I surround you.
Let me be your eyes, your womb, your
canvass, your plaything, your tomb.
I purify the stray, lick cock
for the damned, lead your pen,
guide your brush, bend
your step that you might hush
in my eternal love, forgiven.”

‘um, yeah,’ i thot to myself. ‘thats cocky.’

i looked at the next poem. it was about a wolf fucking the moon as a great apology.

‘like i know anything about the moon!’ i chastised myself.

and i rumpled the poems.

thats when i decided not to want to rely on things paper.

then Sean came in, awake and smiling, sunshine positively cascading from the top of his forehead in ringlets and rays. well, maybe sunlight didnt really. Sean hadnt been there when the LSD got passed. he was the reason i had the sunroom, a friend id made fast, since he also had what he thot was a book of poems, 'in the editing phase', and had only just been cheated on, like me.

he said, "Bree, isnt tomorrow your turn-in day for that paper?"

and i said, "yeah, but i think im going to tear that paper up."

and he pointed to the pile of paper, what to me appeared to be steaming and blue, down under my shelf.

"is that what this mess is about?"

he went on, "and why are you and it blue?"

Chapter Two


Brian and i spent hours today, just driving from place to place, looking for sugar gum. for many years now, when i wake from a couch nap it is with an awful yuck taste in my mouth. a sour, earthy taste that will not be cowed by mouthwash or tooth brushings.

i eat some  raw cauliflower, to scrape what of the yuck i can from my teeth, at least, and drink any number of liquids, but the taste persists. since i have been steadily on the early day shift now, i am all the more prone to couch naps, and as determined to battle the taste.

i happen meanwhile, to loathe mint. plus, i am allergic to artificial sweeteners, so a good, mint-free sugar gum is my bet. 

we looked today many places for Big Red: spicy, and free of Asperteme, hell, Big Red might just burn the taste out. except, no place had Big Red. there were so many gums, rows and rows everyplace we shopped.

i found Juicyfruit but when i showed it to Brian he just said, “you hate Juicyfruit.”

one guy working at CVS told me he had never heard of Big Red.

Chapter Three


one night of the sunroom i ate LSD because no one was around to entertain, or to entertain me. i put on Nina Simone. then, as almost a second thought, i followed with my strappy floor length red velvet graduation dress.

i looked at myself in the dress. it needed contrast. i decided, it needed blue. i got the food coloring vial and went to town. i dyed just the parts of me what showed through the red dress. and then my feet got to itchin, and i left the apartment building, with no shoes.

there was no one on the streets. the occasional car was seemingly all that even moved about.

it was nearing three in the morning, a still time i had been awake for lately. supercharged with Nina Simones 'Sinnerman' blaring in my tripping brain, i moved on towards the parking garage, where acoustics were fine and privacy was sure.

except it didnt end up being sure.

i was singing my head off with the walls sending it back in low, lovely increment. clapping in time, i almost didnt catch the cautious footsteps of the cop who entered and neared.

i stopped singing.

i looked at him.

i smiled my best. but i didnt get up. i stayed perched on the steps, a bit self-conscious about the blue and no shoes, my voice and my red dress.

the cop tipped his hat and said, "good evening, Maam."

"how are you, tonight?" i managed, with stilted dignity.

the cop was on the young side of thirty. a sturdy blond, not unattractive, i wondered that id not seen him before, seeing how id lived and walked the neighborhood for years.

"i am well. i am more worried about you," the cop said.

"what are you doing?"

"oh, im singing!" i told him, as my foot began a tap of its own.

he stood on the landing below the stair. he ignored my tap.

"i heard," he said, "you sounded pretty good!”

the conversation didnt fit my nervousness, so i relaxed a notch. that is when my toes curled themselves sound as a hedgehog, and stayed still.


"the acoustics are so good in here, is why i came," i offered.

“theres been recent calls about purse snatchings in this parking garage," the cop warned me.

he kept one hand below his back, as if clearing passage for anyone who came by.

"oh, i dont have a purse!" i exclaimed, showing my empty blue hands.

"i guess youre right about that!" shyly and sweetly, the cop laughed agreement.

"well, be careful, at any rate.”

“you never know just who will come in here," he sagely said.

and with a tip of the hat the cop walked back to his patrol car and drove off, his tires making the least amount of noise as if thotful of the gravel, twigs and other dreck beneath.

a few beats for the irony to sink in, and i got up as well; walked away, not singing.

as i walked i forgot my surroundings, so wrapped up in how he didnt ask my name! or how old i was, and at 18, i did not look 18, buddy. and where were my shoes? i was wrapped up in having got away with. something about the blue and LSD like a sheath had held me in, impervious.

Chapter Four


Sean began picking up my rumpled blue poems.

“this doesnt look like a paper,” he remarked.

“Bree, what did you do?”

“oh, those?” i said. “thosre my so-called poems, garbage, really.”

“oh my god,” Sean said, and took the crumpled papers gingerly in his arms. he carried them into his room.

he came back over to the bookcase.

all serious in the eyes now, “im keeping those until you want them back.”

“keep them forever,” i said, not feeling what i said.

i climbed down from my perch. i went to get a smoke but Sean grabbed my arm.

“Breanna, where the hell is your paper?”

Bree is not short for anything. Sean always called me Breanna when he was serious or excited, or mad at me. i liked it.

“its right here,” i said, “relaxxx. its just words typed out. they dont deem being turned over to the authorities.”

in my head i mused on the word ‘author’ being in the word ‘authorities’.

“none of us are so authorized.”

and with that i tore my paper into strips.