Charles Brownson: I was born in South Dakota and earned my MFA from the University of Oregon in 1969. In 1972 I received an MLS from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked as an academic librarian in collection development and miscellaneous specialties until my retirement in 2005. I’ve written seven novels, a memoir, and a book on the detective as a cultural icon, but until recently most of this work went into my artists’ books, using my own handmade paper and artwork. In my will I’ve left instructions to be stuffed and given to the Smithsonian.
They were coming into town, past the casino and the rodeo grounds both sparkly as rhinestones, past the cemetery dark as death is, the espresso shop which closed at noon and the shop which sold homemade sausages and the Christian bookstore, all dark.
The men who don’t do it, don’t buy it. Do they talk about it? Proud as gods looking down on the people they say yes, we understand, we feel your anger and pain, we’ll just throw down some thunderclaps, smite a few people with some lightning, and we’ll all feel better?
That boy said it’s all monkey talk listen he said. I wasn’t to listen but Jake’s door was open because I was to. It’s what you do he said, how the thing is done is nothing but whispering in the library, the boy said you won’t. I’m not approved of Jake and you won’t stand up but that’s not how things are done is it Jake what am I supposed to do then?