Really, I Don’t Want To
Someplace close there are mountains growing. Children know such things. An odor
of anticipation. You can make it smell like honeysuckle or sweat. You can sleep with it.
You can embrace it.
And then a pigeon of a man with a large and empty head, two feet shaped like
gourds, the toes grown together and the skin nearly orange. He sells liver and cheese and
he traps muskrats. He has not been released from the mind of the child he lives in.
Someone is sewing together the clouds. Children know this. It’s the beginning of
religion. It makes their undergarments whisper.
It was wartime. A young boy was marching with a broken stick. Three younger
girls in dirty summer dresses were following him. He turned and embraced them all at
once and they giggled happily. It was wartime.
The dusty smell of rain on the way.
The sidelong fish grin of a man who has forgotten himself. To some it’s more
attractive. To some it’s who he really is.
The arroyo sloped down, then up and away into the moonlight.
In childhood it’s always wartime.
Because we do not know how to control our flight, we reach out to park benches, to
cafe tables, to unnecessary purchases, to the sides of buildings, to each other.
One of the girls put a gunnysack over her head and started shouting and pointing.
Her heat was choking itself. A limpid breeze tried to object and failed.
Her hair smelled like smallpox. If you weren’t supposed to touch it, it became
sacred. A suitcase full of toads. A creature melting into the garden. Anything sharp.
Whatever you can’t take back, a button for on and no button for off. Whatever you can’t
And the young boys become young men, the children they were like a tattered
blanket. It’s the blanket between them and the real moonlight. They have no reason to
eat in the dark.
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.