My lineage is made up of many things, most of all experience, the experience of the ugly side of humanity. I was born to parents who cared little for me. They handed me off to one seemingly well meaning relative to the next, until there were none left to take me. None were left in my own bloodline who had any use for me. So I was passed on to friends of the family, and then to friends of friends of the family, until I landed in foster care, the worst fate of all. In my experienced opinion, the worst fate that can befall a child is to be raised solely by society. I learned to read when I was 3 years old, no thanks to my parents, only to my brothers and sister. I followed them around, with book in hand, begging them to read to me. It was the same book each time, a Chip ‘n Dale and Donald Duck Little Golden book with the cover torn off. I knew the letters on the pages had meaning. I could recognize the letters when written, and I knew that once they were strung together they made words. But I just couldn’t make out what those words were. I reasoned that if I could hear the those words enough times, I could unlock their code, and I did.
The Literary Linage of Breezy Kiefair
One magical day, after haring a book a million times,
and knew the words of it by heart as I knew my ABC’s
the letters suddenly transformed before me,
and somehow, magically I could read!
From that moment on, I began to devour books to escape
from my childhood which was unfolding grimly before me.
I was subject to all kinds of abuse
Physical abuse (I was beaten to within an inch of my life more times than I care to count!)
Pedophilia, manipulation, penetration, endless mind fucks – (that hurt more than fists)
were toyed with
and twisted with tautological terror,
until I had been taken down a peg one too many times and all that was left was a trifle!
I was a child given over to society to raise,
yet the only civility I found was in books – books I devoured with an insatiable appetite.
Learning my ABC’s served me well.
The author mattered not, whether it was fiction or nonfiction was irrelevant,
all that mattered was having a book before my face
so I didn’t have to deal with the ugliness of man.
I read of Archaeology and Alice in Wonderland
of Bibles and Biology, of castles and clichés,
of dictionaries and dinosaurs, of epochs and ecology,
of fiction and fact, of Greek Gods and Gatsby,
of hobbits and Howl, of idiocy and intelligence,
of journalism and jurisprudence, of knowledge and knights, of Kafka and Kerouac,
of love (which I dreamed about experiencing, but didn’t really understand)
of mysteries and molecules,
of narcotics (I got a very different education as an adult known as being street-wise)
and National Geographic
I read of oblivion and observance, oppression and orators, orchestras and overtures, of outer space, owls and the orient!
I read of pagans and pageants,
painters (and the whole field of visual arts, with which I began to experiment)
and paleontology, palindromes and pantomimes,
papacy and paperbacks, parables and parchment,
Paris and particle accelerators, passion and pacifism,
patents and plagiarism, patriotism and patronization
peace and the parvenu people
the power of pens, pencils, petitions and philosophy,
of pixies and plagues, planets and the profound,
pleasure and plots, plumage and posterity,
poetry and prose (I began to experiment with these almost immediately)
politics and pollution,
posthumous publishing, prayer and pride
primates, princes and princesses, pirates and probability,
persecution and protest, pseudonyms and the psychedelic,
psychiatry (foster care gave me an intimate enough knowledge of this) and pogroms,
and of publication (which I became mildly obsessed with attaining)
I read of queens and questions (all varieties…
the quaint, and the quixotic, the quality and the quarrelsome, all the quiet queries of man)
I read of races and racism, of radar and the radical,
realism and reverence, redemption and redundancy,
relativity and remorse, resilience and responsibility.
Revolutionary as well as routine ideas entered me through books.
Slowly I began to realize the sadism of the name
so salaciously supplied by those who sired me,
and words that symbolized “Me” began to seem sardonic in sound,
so I simply sacrificed it, and my new signification saved my sanity.
Outside the tales, my talents and tested “genius” withering in the wind.
All I am was continuously trampled on an left in tatters,
teaching me the inescapable cruelty of time.
Until I grew to be a teenager full of temerity teetering tumultuously.
My tenacity (and my nose in any book available) the only things
tenderly holding me back from terminating my own terrible tale
in tall tenement housing and government dorms.
Ubiquitous ugliness, ulterior ultimatums, umbrage un-abbreviated,
and umpteen unchangeable underhanded unjustifiable uproots,
let me know I was undesirable, un-lovable and would remain forever unknown,
despite my dreams
I was valedictorian – very nearly
(my GPA was the highest,
but the powers that be chose
to give the honor
to those among them
who had attended the school the full 4 years)
I valiantly struggled for my honor, but all in vain
so after graduation I voyaged.
wanderlust then took my feet, and I was on my way
wanting to wade into all that wonder I had found within the worlds
not wanting to wallow in the waste that my life had been thus far,
wanting so desperately to prove myself worthy of any literary lineage.
Much later, with Xanadu unattained,
I settled into xerothermic xyloid adulthood and obscurity.
YY chromosome grew within me,
yet as a young yearling he perished,
ever yoking sorrow wit me
a year later I fell ill, my youth gone,
illness making me old before my time,
yet I carry on, for a reason known to Yahweh.
I am no Zealot
(though I continue writing zealously)
My writing is the zeitgeist of my own soul.
My zenith my come if ever I am included in part of
someone elses literary lineage.
perhaps then I will finally be worthy of having a literary lineage.
written by Breezy Kiefair at Naropa
November 10, 2007
poem post resurrected from: https://www.greenpassion.org/index.php?/topic/19229-poem-the-literary-linage-of-breezy-kiefair/
- 2011-11-05 “Howl” By Allen Ginsberg remixed by Breezy Kiefair with video reading (breedheenorilleykeefer.com)
- The Origin of Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers as told by Fat Freddy (breedheenorilleykeefer.com)