The first thing you should know is that the man’s children may starve. If you watch
closely, you can soon see that a puddle is gathering beneath his feet. We’ve been
operating according to another system, another system entirely. If you had been paying
close enough attention to notice that the ripe ones float but the green ones sink and there
are two brown berries inside each one, then you might not be making wine merely in
order to convey electricity, day after day after day.
The second thing you should know is that the man in question has no children.
Despite appearances, this calls into question nothing of significance. Neither does it have
a religious dimension, that story of the single drop of rain that fell in the mouth of an
abandoned carpenter, who may or may not have been a sane man, notwithstanding. And
the first man who made clothing and tents by joining animal skins with the hair of saints,
which still grows after they have died, his concept of God is heavy and hard and he has
prepared it to be used for pounding.
The third and final thing you should know is that these absent children, the ones
with toughened skins, are sometimes put into a deadly machine. Some of them have
reasons for wanting to be crushed, but many of them are unaware of their fates. In such a
place, it is easy to study the erosion of empathy and pretty soon, there will remain no
confidence in benevolent metaphors whatsoever.
In the meantime, while we ponder the dilemma, the man in question continues
pounding and the missing children continue swimming into his wet guilty hands. Their
fat little bellies grow slick with seaweed and the ripe ones continue thumping repetitively
with salty machine dreams while the green ones grow heavier and heavier with the
burden of their promise, as if the ocean inside the man’s intentions were already theirs.
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.