Excerpt from Fanny Says: Pepsi

Below is an excerpt from Fanny Says entitled Pepsi, written and read by Nickole Brown. San Francisco Chronicle Best Poetry Book of 2015 Library Journal Best Book of 2015 NewPages Editor’s Pick for 2015 An “unleashed love song” to her late grandmother, Nickole Brown’s collection brings her brassy, bawdy, tough-as-new-rope grandmother to life. With hair teased to Jesus, mile-long false eyelashes, and a white Cadillac… You can purchase the entire audiobook here, and the print from BOA Editions here. Enjoy!



Because she thought even fish said something about class.

Catfish, for example—mud-blooded, fried up only by men who mow lawns and scrape shingles and make their living shoveling dirt under their nails—

but bass? Bass were wild, wide-mouthed, pink throats hooked
by men with enough money for a boat, flashy catch with heads to be taken by the working man who works the other men.

And trout? We heard about men who ate a fish called rainbow,
but they were freezing their nuts off up north, hip-deep in icy water, reciting poetry, casting houseflies across a stream.

So why should soda be any different?

RC, that’s for overall-wearing kids with runny eyes,
a once-a-month Moon-Pie treat after borrowing the family’s one pair of shoes and huffing five miles to the general store.

And Coke? Chugged by the common freckle-face gal across the river in Indiana—a Hoosier who hived her hair and squeezed
all she could please into polyester skirts—
Lord, look at her in her Sunday best; she actually thinks she looks good.

Pepsi though? Well, Pepsi was enough for Joan Crawford,
Pepsi was a bitch who knew how to ash with two taps from a two-inch filter, not one nicotine stain on her manicured hands.

Pepsi knew how to stroll in Italian heels, how to pin a hairpiece
at her crown and let it waterfall into an aerosol nest
of natural, how to glue a strip of lashes to her you-got-that-right wink, knowing just how easy it is to get a man
and just how hard he is to keep.


Get the audiobook here…


Nickole Brown grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. She is the author of Sister, a novel-in-poems, and Fanny Says, now an audiobook from Talking Book. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife Jessica Jacobs.