The Loved Ones


They had never been here before, and it was hard to find their way. They wanted a
small apocalypse for the feeble-minded, not realizing the feeble-minded would be
incapable of fully experiencing such an event. And they forgot to set boundaries that
determined who the feeble-minded really were. Then they wanted an explanation, so they
sat down to make one up. They said, “Eat this,” and then they ate it.
I told them not to take any risks. I told them they had to perform wisely. I told them
they were certainly going to sink and they would likely remain available for comment
and they wouldn’t have any. I told them they had to respond, carefully. I said, “Don’t
beat a dead puppy.” I said, “Clever is as clever does.” I said, “Can’t we give this away
without hurting ourselves?”
But the old guy, he was one of them, and he wanted a new sweater for the
apocalypse. He wasn’t feeble-minded, so we told him he couldn’t have one. The closet
was empty and the door was open. He turned the doorknob to the left. It fell off, so he
picked it up and put it back on and turned the doorknob to the left. He refused to eat.
Then it was now and the other guy, the big one, puts his cigarette to his left nostril
and sucks on a straw through his other one like it has something special to offer, like it’s a
secret tunnel to a jubilant world of well-deserved and surprisingly joyous correctional
facilities. He seems to be talking to his former convictions. He seems to be a veteran.
Old guy guts one of the fish. Scales fish. Eats fish. Maybe he fries it first, but he
eats it.
Big guy watches him. Watches him and watches him.
“They” don’t seem to like this, but they seem to be enduring it. Like the rest of us.
Whatever these events give out, they ignore it. Like me.
They can’t even name the illness.

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.

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