Photographs of Our Former Lives
Wading through snow, shackled with a camera, heavy clothing, and numb fingers,
we trudge a wavering path to the abandoned farm buildings. The jagged window of the
farmhouse door cuts a leaning profile, glass mountains against the sky, your offered
perspective to my monologue of wooden angles. Through the double frame of camera
and broken window, the frozen life of a rancher. The porch sags under the weight of time
and snow, and the brown shades of wood splinter into reds and grays. Our trail winds past
the chicken coop falling against the hillside, the snow opening one of its mouths to say
something we still haven’t understood.
Lichens cling to the hayrack over the barn door. Pigeons burst from the rafters. We
climb to the haymow, imagining our way into the past, warm smells drifting in warm
pockets of fresh hay, bodies sprawled in a first night stolen from neighboring families.
Light filters through the holes in the roof and lays bright patches of itself in the hay.
Through the camera’s one good eye a part of the past moves into my hands as you talk
about what we were like then.
Going home we keep coming back, trudging our way through the weight of
memories we have begun carrying out of private lives like provisions. The people we are
in photographs live with the gestures one clear moment found forever in them. Just
outside the picture someone is always foolishly alive.
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.