Mandy sat hunched over a cup of chocolate her father had prepared, to drive off
the chill because things are almost never what they appear to be. My new roommate
glared at my stuffed animal collection. I was no closer to resolution than I had been this
The misery swoons over damp tropical rain forests and dry northern plains. The
eggs are carried great distances and hatch quickly. The larvae feed on undergraduate
textbooks and inspirational gift cards. They infect tree boles containing fresh rainwater.
It takes almost no warmth at all to hatch them.
Billy the Roommate’s heart jumped the domestic tracks and came to rest in a
“You used to carry your life around like a bomb?” said Mandy. “What happened?”
She was speaking to the window behind Billy’s shoulder. So Billy answered.
“I went off,” said Billy.
“It’s not funny,” continued Billy after an appropriate silence, “I left pieces of me in
“Have you ever knelt around a ten-foot circle? Have you ever really questioned
your relationship to primitive ritual?” queried Mandy.
“In one record year, nearly two hundred children under age twelve were arrested
for drunken driving in one part of the country alone,” said Billy.
Mandy and I continued watching while Billy poked holes in his sister’s bathing
cap. He continued slurping Mandy’s hot chocolate. Then he looked up at us looking at
him and said, “While this is true, it is not too soon to start revitalizing our taste buds.
Because I was once a God, I know how to savor a moment.”
We called this movement “Machinery.” We had seen it before. We ate Brazil nuts
and planned a strategy. We expected resistance. We were in agreement and we were not
about to give in.
We were diligent. We were young. We were about to become statistics.
Almost no warmth at all.
Sixty-three stuffed animals. That was when I was counting them.
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.