A Pleasure and a Wound
I can go to my husband, a man of tepid passions, and say, “The streams are still
angry that you woke them.” A bit of loose hurricane fluff might catch in his voice when
he answers, but he probably won’t say, “Thine wind betokens an anxious heart.” He’s
more the “Maybe you should go for a walk” type.
We dust off one of our carefully polished conversations, the kind where you’re
working your way back to the sun but you never get there. You want to mean it. You
want to unfold your carefully stored pleasures from the corner cabinet. You want a bushel
of kittens in the laundry basket.
Sometimes you get angry enough to do something. But you don’t have to. You
don’t even have to account for your ragged misdirected passions. No need to misplace
him. Let his uncertainty do it.
Another reminder begins scavenging the dark for rain. It’s like that when the great
thirst arrives unannounced, the shroud of a gesture still clinging like an old damp
It’s like the mother of eight you met who decided her life contained too many
obscure references. You were cruising for a nutritious and stinking unsolved mystery of
an escape. You had difficulty recognizing yourself.
The thing of it was, you didn’t want another delivery of late afternoon silences or
mere recognition of an intelligence grand enough to fail. You wanted a funky little
wiener dog twirling by his teeth from a clown’s rope. You wanted a festering polyester
romance. You wanted an emissary of treetops.
And if you settled for perfumed underwear? Some kind of alien symbol burnt into
the grass? A few stringy perfectionist’s proclivities?
I couldn’t imagine myself larger than myself. I couldn’t do that yet. A diet of
curdled socks and green talk. Lakes and moons and sad cartoons.
I told mother I was happy. I pulled the wagon to the grocery store. I couldn’t
believe we lived this way.
Fiction. Modern Abstract Fables.
(First edition, hardcover with dustjacket, 524 pages, $36.50 USD.)
Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days draws from fairy tales, a condescending of a 1938 Social Studies reader for 6th grade, an 1890 handbook on marital compatibility, numerous annoying educational advancement studies, the myths and legends of third-world countries and minority peoples, pulp fiction, a history of carnival side shows, folktales, frequent conversations with Crows, Owls and a wide variety of underground inhabitants, insects and the people who collect them, Joseph Cornell, Günter Eich, Russell Edson, the French Surrealist poets, the Quay Brothers, letterpress printing, and the author’s inability to channel his imagination linearly.
Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.