He Could Be Gathering


The man I am in the story goes into the supermarket and sees a woman and has an
unusual feeling about this woman. Not sex. Unusual. And he thinks, “It’s remarkable. It’s
outstanding. It’s poignant is what it is.”
The man is stunned. He sits down on a courtesy chair and tries to gather himself
back together.
He could be thinking. He could be meditating. He could be gathering shattered
parts of himself back together.
So then I sat there.
So then I sat there some more.
So then I got up and I did something, shattered as I was.
So then I did something to stop being like that. I don’t remember what it was, but it
was something I knew I could do.
Then I was at the party and nobody was asking about the dirty pictures so I didn’t
tell them. I was trying to be polite.
I said, “I think Hallmark Cards are wonderful. You don’t have to even figure out
what you’re feeling. You just read a bunch of them till you get to the one that’s like what
you think the person wants to hear and then you send it. Then what you were feeling can
be over and you can go on with your life.”
I tried to tell somebody at the party about my unusual experience. I talked about the
man in the story going into a supermarket and having an unusual feeling about a woman
and somebody said he was just horny. It was just sex. Just sex.
The nerve of some people.
But it was a woman who said that and I had the same feeling again. I had to admit
it was like sex. But it wasn’t sex.
I mean that’s what it was like but that’s not what it was.
So the man in the story goes back to the supermarket again and again, but he
doesn’t see the same woman and he doesn’t feel the same way. He feels some good things
and he learns how to choose better vegetables and he meets a woman who makes him
forget. And this time it really is sex.
But he never feels the same way again.
Not the man in the 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.