Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
Kalamazoo. Say it. What does it make you think of? Rolling hills covered in trees as thick as time, maybe. A mist-covered valley or two, filled with busy industry, perhaps. If you're particularly imaginative, you might think it sounds like something out of a fairy tale, with monsters and heroes. And you'd be right. Kalamazoo has trees hidden away in it that remember the arrival of the first dark-skinned Americans. Businesses fill the valleys the town was built in, but not everyone is ready, or able, to see places like the Forgotten Bar, stuck between real Kalamazoo and imagined Kalamazoo. And the city is something out of fairy tales. It has the monsters, and a few heroes, like any fairy tale. But mostly it has the blood. Because Kalamazoo is an old story, from when fairy tales were there to warn people of the things that'd happen to you if you didn't do what you were supposed to. Kalamazoo is a reminder that, no matter what people think, the old things in woods, with their sharpened teeth and bloodied claws, are still out there. Some of them might have put on human faces, but they still want nothing more than to pull you off of the trail and into the darkness, so they could suck your skin hollow, and wear it until they find another victim.
One of those things has killed April, a stripper at the local topless bar, and Roger, the city's Detective, a sort of supernatural peacekeeper and straightener of mystical messes, has to find out who did it. April's quite insistent about it. Being dead will do that to a person. Not that Roger's in the mood. He's just killed his favorite god, and dealing with a murder that could wind up being part of some god's little cry for attention is hardly at the top of his list of things to do.
Arbogast, Jason, "Playing Kazoo: Scales" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12150.