More Than You Think
All winter long the tracks in the road bled. Wet and dripping in the afternoon and
solid again at night. Little Nonsense grew tired of milking Vladimir’s goats and he said
“Build your ballroom out of water,” said a sleazy imitation of the wet Russian
wind. No visible means of support. Busy little flutterhands. Advice worth exactly what
you pay for it.
“If I were a gentleman, I’d offer you cupcakes.” And with that, Peasant Pigboy
brushed the flies off Peasant Suzie’s back and prepared to go to market. He huffed and he
puffed. He itemized the inventory. He pointed Little Nonsense in the right direction.
The bleeding road was not his only means of egress.
Little Nonsense had cooked and cooked. The sprouted Nebraska beanbuns proved
not to be a popular item, but the hotcakes sold like hotcakes and maple syrup flowed like
lazy water. Little Nonsense was homesick and Little Nonsense began to leak.
The farmer, the shoemaker, the shepherd and the thief; these were the mistaken
saints visiting the nosebleed and they offered homespun remedies, commiseration, and
the milk of saintly kindness in return for the milk of Vladimir’s goats. Little Nonsense
witnessed his own miraculous recovery and Peasant Pigboy transcribed its haunting air.
“Once when the sun was high and the whole world was on fire, a wise man spoke
to me,” whispered the sleazy imitation of the wet Russian wind and fell strangely silent.
Poor Little Nonsense. No more nosebleeds apparently meant no more goats’ milk
and no more goat’s milk meant no more wild desire. A remedy that had proved as
debilitating as the illness. Sadness and more sadness and Peasant Pigboy’s tasteless
cupcakes hardening on the table.
Nothing left but the bag balm sliding across all the misguided congratulatory
handshakes. And the wet Russian wind whispering uselessly. A glut of sprouted
Nebraska beanbuns. More homespun remedies with more unfortunate side effects.
It’s simple, they all said. If you feel like peace and quiet in a foreign land, you shut up.
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.