I Couldn’t Remember Your Name


I’ve been trying to think of the name of someone to take her home from this story,
from the story in which she lives, which is not, on some less desirable level, possible.
This is not the real story either, but the story in the hands of the man on the bus
watching as he passes, just as we watch the man and the story and the bus passing.
There’s more.
There’s this: If I let you, you would kill her. You would do this in order to feel.
You would do this to be more alive. I might give you some detail about her life that
would help you justify your actions and maybe believe they were for some other reason,
but that would not be true. It would make your job in the story easier, but it would not be
“I missed you,” she said, before you got home. She was practicing.
And there’s this: These are the right things to do, these things we are doing.
These are the things that will someday mean something. Someday they will, these right
This is not going to be the name of the person who is going to take her home from
the story, but it will have to do for someone who is not that person. “Bob” arrived when
she was practicing and she almost said it to him, almost said, “I missed you,” to this other
man because she was practicing and didn’t mean it anyway.
Then she slept with Bob and Bob left and this other guy whose name I can’t think
of because I don’t know it since it’s yours came home and she told him, “I missed you,”
only now it was true because she hadn’t liked Bob very much.
And there’s this: It was thrilling, looking at her. While she was doing those things
to him. You’ve already been thinking about this, haven’t you?
If you care, I could stop the other guy from saying, “I adore you,” but wouldn’t it
help you get motivated? He’s a bit sappy, but he means it and she’s going to try to use him
to kill her ex-lover, the annoying one before the one before you, who still won’t leave her
alone, and her father too, who won’t let go of his money before he dies.
And there’s this: You didn’t know what to say, so you didn’t say anything. You
didn’t know what to do, either, but you couldn’t do nothing, could you? You couldn’t let
the story stop.
She just opened up and you didn’t find what you thought you’d find there and it
happened and it was easy. Not like sex. Not like the deeper emotional wound she
Not much of anything at all really.
And it stayed like that.
Now finish your story.

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.