As a Weapon the Oar Is Useless


Suppose that the hunter who lives in the cave with his family needs all the land you
can see. Won’t another neighbor who needs all the land he can see want to take it away
from him?
As the years passed, there were more and more people in the world. Knowledge of
tools made their lives easier. Killing a neighbor with a bow and arrow instead of clubbing
him to death with a stick was easier too.
Soon we learned to make boats by sewing animal skins together into tight bags and
blowing them up with air. We spent a lot of time moving around on the water and we
discovered that some icebergs are very large. We thought we needed all the water we
could see. When we came back, we made bigger boats to travel further. We brought back
food for our families, which grew even larger and sometimes traveled with us. We killed
more distant neighbors more efficiently and discovered still larger icebergs. In this way
the years melted.
Eventually we needed even more than we could see. Countries became necessary
to keep each kind of killer in another place. A lot of time was spent moving borders.
We developed libraries and museums to keep the past safe from those who think like
another country.
In one of the museum displays a woman is standing on the shore as a man climbs
into a small boat that looks like a bloated cow. She has prepared a leather bucket and a
lamp. She has prepared a false conception of the future. The man is carrying an oar for
the sake of his family. He does not need the oar because he will follow the currents of the
ocean until he arrives at a new land he can claim. If no one stops him, he will lead the
natives into battle after battle until his new country reaches back to his old one and
swallows it. In this the oar is of no help, but it makes his first family feel safer because
they do not understand that if anyone at all returns, it will not be the same man.

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.