Henry Owens, Called Snake
By Jenny Craig
Seattle, Washington: Notta Pixie Press, 2009. Edition of 38.
13.5 x 19.75" broadside. Letterpress printed with found wood type on Magnani Acqueforti paper. Wood cuts printed repeatedly on a Vandercook press.Linseed oil based ink.
Jenny Craig: "Old man Snake lived down the road from me when I was a kid. He seemed ancient to me, and we'd see him wandering down the road every now and again. He dropped by on Christmas morning one year when I was very young, and I remember him telling me a story. He said that he had never worked a day in his life - he won all his money at the casinos. I don't know if that's true. He had a little cabin which you could see from the road, down on some land right next to the dump. The mesquite is swallowing it up, now, bushes growing all around and through it. I asked about Snake when I went home to visit last year and one of the other neighbors said he'd been gone for years. She said he always used to give her 'that good old slovacek sausage' in thanks because she'd make sure he had enough to eat on a regular basis. They called it snake sausage around her house.
"This print is a bit of a memorial, in the sense that if I don't remember him, I'm not sure who else will. It's also just a reaction to the beauty of that cabin being returned to the landscape. In my head, too, it's not like he had a firm death or leaving date. He was there in the background and then at some point, he was not. I like to think maybe he shed that body and has gone off into the weeds as an old black snake. I think he might have been ok with that."
Old man snake he lived up by the dump he never worked a day in his life gambling's good enough for an old black snake.