Eating Pizza with a Spoon is a biography of my brother, John Mark Brooks, who took his own life, July 28th, in Nashville, Tennessee. Musician, writer, businessman, comedian, cross-dresser, biographer, economist, he was a remarkable presence in our lives.
Eating Pizza with a Spoon
Famous Lost Words is a compilation of quotations from famous people who might have had a temporary loss of memory and were forced to invent new ways of saying what they were famous for saying.
Famous Lost Words
Silhouettes is a collection of definitions as one might find in an online search, exploring the origin and uses of everyday language.
Practically Advice is a collection of phrases, lines, and aphorisms. It follows Never Mind, Gertrude Stein in that regard.
Savage Amusement The Autobiography of a Semi-Unknown Semi-Genius - A Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist in San Francisco in 1975.
Savage Amusement Introduction
The Boy Who Named Himself is a fable, written in Lucknow, India, in early 1992 and performed for a small group of delightfully indifferent people from around the world on the lawn of the Carlton Hotel. One older woman said, at the time, “You may think this story will change the world, but it won’t.” She was right, of course. The world does or does not change itself.
The Boy Who Named Himself
Café Life is a character study of the “third place.” Not home and not work, it is the café, coffeehouse, neighborhood bar, old style candy store or soda fountain. It is the modern equivalent of the town square or the watering hole where all the animals come.
Café Life is a partial gallery of the characters of one such place, The Owl and Monkey Café, on Ninth Avenue, on the NJudah trolley line, in San Francisco, during January of 1981, just as the Reagan Presidency was about to begin, not long after John Lennon had been shot, but it could be any year in any similar place, where people gather around a watering hole or a fire to warm themselves or refresh themselves, to find themselves, or to avoid themselves.
Such a café is a clearing in the woods that’s safe and unsafe at the same time. Some people will stay too long, and some people will stay away. Eventually, almost everyone will show up. I made a decision to sit still, in one place, for as long as I could, to stop running, to see who would come to me if I didn’t move. Over several years, I met literally thousands of people. This collection chronicles a few of them.
I’ll be forever grateful to The Owl and the Monkey Café and places like it. They are wonderful places, and I celebrate their existence. I’ve been writing, happily, in cafés for nearly forty years.
Millie the Mermaid is a fictional story, written in the 90s, of sexual abuse, alcoholism, friendship, abandonment, love and fear. “I don’t know who these people are, and I can remember nothing in my life that parallels this story, but both of these characters came to life for me, and I cared for them as long as they were with me.”
Taking Care of Gladys was written in ’03-’04, when I was taking care of my mother, during the last year of her life. She was an imposing figure in my life and the lives of my two brothers.
Taking Care of Gladys
The Awakening is a chronicle of the immediate aftermath of 22 years of drinking. Every such change is a kind of death, and every survival is a kind of rebirth, when something has died, and something, if anything, is born. It is also the furthering chronicle of the life of a poet. The Awakening ’85 is the third in a trilogy of journalese autobiographies along with Savage Amusement ’75 and Dear Nadja ’82, in the book, A Poet in San Francisco.