A 50th Anniversary Reinterpretation of Richard Brautigan’s
Please Plant This Book
Featuring Poetry & Art by Francis Daulerio & Scott Hutchison
with a Foreword by Ianthe Brautigan
Available exclusively through The Head & The Hand Press.
A reinterpretation of Richard Brautigan’s original 1968 release, this new collection of Francis Daulerio’s poetry and Scott Hutchison’s art has been printed on high quality, resealable seed packets and filled with eight varieties of heirloom, GMO-free seeds. Each bundle includes Cherokee Purple Tomato, German Chamomile, Berlicum Carrot, Detroit Dark Red Beet, Tokyo Long White Onion, Lemon Bee Balm, Genovese Basil, and Henry Wilde Sunflower. Save seeds from these plants and grow them again each year. The collection includes a foreword by Ianthe Brautigan, and all proceeds go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Praise for Please Plant This Book:
“One of the superpowers of the artist is the ability to speak with the dead, to braid the voice of a departed beloved in with their own. In this collection, Francis Daulerio and Scott Hutchison have captured that bit of essential magic, braiding their unique collaboration with the spirit of Richard Brautigan’s seminal 1968 Please Plant This Book.
– Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf
“The best poetry collections invite us to read and reread, taking away some new sweetness each time we revisit the work. Please Plant This Book does that and more—it invites us not only to savor these poems, but to share them in the most tangible of ways, in ‘places full of bright, growing life.'”
– Kelly Davio, author of It’s Just Nerves
“Francis has written a beautiful collection of poems about a subject I would do well to immerse myself more fully in. Of all the superlatives I could proffer, I am stuck on but one. It is the perfect read for a 30-degree and cloudy Monday morning. A book that encourages a thoughtful and positive approach to the beginning of something new.”
– Richard Edwards, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset
“Francis Daulerio is a masterful poet, but more so, a callus-handed gardener, slowly peeling back the layers of the simple and often unseen beauty of the human experience.”
—Gregory Alan Isakov, The Weatherman
“With poems like “German Chamomile” and “Berlicum Carrot,” plant names that are poems themselves, this book is a beautiful companion to Richard Brautigan’s 1968 original: spare, relaxed, wise, and true. What is this feeling washing over me as I read these poems? My god, it’s happiness. I’d almost forgotten it. As Daulerio writes, in “Henry Wilde Sunflower”: “There is still room for us here. // Do not let your eyes adjust / to the darkness.” I’m grateful to this book for the light it’s shining. Just imagine what will grow in that light.”
—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
Start these indoors. Drop a few seeds into a small starter pot filled with good dirt, cover gently with more good dirt, water, and fashion a lid with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Make sure the rubber band is yellow. Place on a sunny windowsill, preferably facing south, and go make some soup. It should take about a week for them to wake up. When they do, take off the wrap and keep them watered, but not drowned. After the sprouts develop a second set of leaves, thin them down to one per pot. Once the danger of frost is gone, plant it outside in different but still good dirt. I like to dig the hole extra deep and bury some fish heads/bones underneath each tomato plant. Put some more dirt between the fish and the bones. The roots will eventually get down to it and, man oh man, will they love you for the nitrogen. Oh and they need to grow inside a cage. They’re weak-spined like their father.
These seeds, which yes, resemble dust, love sunlight. Plant as much of this as you can! Thin new seedlings to allow them enough room to stretch, but not so much that they get bored. Pop off fully opened blooms with your hands and let them dry indoors. The more you pull, the more it will grow. Once fully dried, steep in hot water and share with a friend you’ve not talked to in some time. Talk about something other than politics – birds, maybe.
Plant these in rows and cover lightly. Make sure the soil is loose and free of rocks. Plant more seeds every few weeks to ensure a summer full of carrots (this is called succession planting). Grow these until it snows again and eat soon after pulling, greens and all. Avoid making the rabbit jokes. They’re over it.
Detroit Dark Red Beet
Plant these outside in the next 45 minutes or so. They prefer loose soil. Each seed is actually a pod full of seeds, so you’ll need to do some thinning once they sprout otherwise your beets will be skinny and not very beetlike at all. The greens taste delicious, so be a dear and eat them, too. You’ll need to do some light digging to get them out of the ground, so make sure to eat some protein the night before and go to bed early. Whistle that Spanish song your cousin used to sing as you dig.
Tokyo Long White Onion
Plant these outside immediately in long rows only slightly covered with dirt that understands your intentions. Fully grown, they resemble thin leeks, but don’t tell them that. Remember the succession-planting thing? Again here. Cook them in everything or eat them raw with a bit of salt while writing a dirty haiku about that tree outside that smells like your brother’s bedroom.
Lemon Bee Balm
Start these inside, but do not cover. Gently press the seed into moist dirt and then go do something else. These are heavy sleepers, so don’t feel bad if it takes them a long time to pop. When you’ve had a long talk and think they’re ready to head out, transplant them somewhere with space to move. They spread like mint, but they’ll never admit it. The bees like this stuff. Tell them I said hi.
Start these inside. Hell, keep them inside if you want to. The seeds all look alike, so make sure to give each one a unique name so you can tell them apart. Cover them exactly like you just covered the tomatoes, but use a red rubber band this time. Pop the top when the sprouts sprout and get them something to drink. Harvest them to keep them growing, but not too much. Don’t let them get leggy. Have some respect.
Henry Wilde Sunflower
Wait until it’s warm enough for your neighbor to walk to the mailbox without his shirt on, then plant these somewhere with headroom. They get tall. Like that scraggly shelter dog you rescued, they won’t ask much of you and are just happy to be included. When they get nice and big, cut them back and give the blooms to your sister. Keep some for yourself, too. You’ve earned it.