Ornamental

02/23/17

She lost her thimble. She lost her shoes. She lost a dear one in the forest. She lost
her understanding of the fragile thread of reality holding together the fiber of modern
civilization.
She thought maybe her little brother had been playing with her chainsaw, but her
mother said she lost it. Susie knew better. Susie had been tricked before. Susie was a
practiced victim.
Then such a time there was. Susie complained and petitioned and whined and
pleaded and cajoled and belatedly turned her father in for prenatal abuse and distorted
and manipulated and bit her mother right under the arm where she carried her little
brother.
Finally the doctor said, “I shouldn’t say this because I’m a man and might be
perceived as biased by my gender, but I think Susie’s a very sick young woman.”
So Susie’s mother took Susie to the hospital for an operation. Susie left something
at the hospital and then Susie went home and played with the other abused children.
Susie’s mother missed saying, “Susie is ill and she cannot eat,” but there it is. It has
to be dealt with. It’s true all the same. Susie was partaking of a limited bounty. Susie was
substantially inadequate to Susie.
Ah, but Susie’s shiny collection of panties were on the radiator again, so Susie’s
mother could say, as she did in the old days, “Susie is on detention and she cannot play,”
and that was almost as good, even if it was sure to fail.
But soon Susie was pushing her fresh plate back again. Could it be said that the
operation had failed?
Finally the doctor said, “I shouldn’t say this because I’m a man and might be biased
by the opposite gender, but I think she’s pregnant.”
That’s when Susie just lost it.
So Lucifer, Susie’s overly ambitious boyfriend, took her to find something lost in
the forest and there in that very same forest were a thimble and two pairs of open-toed
shoes and Susie’s shiny panties and a rusty old chainsaw.
But the forest was gone. And in its place was a lawn ornament that only looked like
a deer, but to some of the neighbors was endearing nonetheless. Because this is a true
story and trailer parks do, indeed, exist nearly everywhere.
Of course, despite overwhelming limitations, Susie’s daughter grew up to be a
doctor and purchased a particularly challenging lawn ornament. And she didn’t lose
things, as her diesel mechanic husband claimed, she just gave them away. And her little
baby boy was no deer-in-the-forest-following hillibilly, nosir. He progressed beyond his
lineage and ascended to the throne of the kingdom, a chainsaw empire of depleted
resources and whining environmentalists.
And all daughter Susie’s new little doctors with their truly unique lawn ornaments
were very busy indeed. And it was, sadly enough, the children of the children themselves
who had lost their understanding of the fragile thread of reality holding together the fiber
of modern civilization.
Which made Grandma Susie look damn solid indeed. Not a loose hair on her
thinking, nosir.
So then the story goes skiing in Aspen and begins therapy at group rates because,
hey, we could all use a little help, and if it’s really okay to live like this, how come you
didn’t?
That’s what I want to know.


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.