A Decision to Have More Children


You’re in prison and they’ve given you hammers. They’re the ones who put you there
and they’ve called your mother to the center of the confusing event. They’ve awarded you
You know what they want, but you don’t know how they want it. It’s not a game.
It’s your antecedent finally revealed.
Whistle it home, or just chew on the eggshells?
Your daughter’s a stoolie. Or is she just another hammer? She has too much to say,
but you’re not sure if she says it.
“Forget the past,” you tell yourself, thinking about it.
Whose overzealous oven folded your sex kitchen? A setting of hammered bread
and suicide access. The “accidents” burning the numbers off your wrist. The signal for
one stroke, no blood.
Just when you think it’s safe to abandon safety, here comes the Warden’s Surprise.
They let you out. It’s still a prison. But not a single visible hammer. You call your
mother. You tell her you’re ready to pay the price. You forget to pick up the steaks.
Meanwhile your daughter the stoolie closes the century alone, but alive. “It’s the
future,” you say to yourself, and it is, but the future’s its own prison.
You pick up the maiden sticks.
One stroke. Two strokes.
No one knows how you want it.
It hurts now and you want more.
The sticks are not alone but have no one to tell them apart.
It’s not a game. The hammer fits.
If there’s a house here, it’s unfinished.
No one who lives here can find the right nail.
It’s only a rumor, but it could be true.
The door whispers and whispers. You can’t understand what it says, but you think
you know what it means.
It’s enough to make you question your convictions.

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.

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