Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days- Burrow Guide


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.

  *        Acknowledgments

  0        Prologue


  1        In Preparation for Setting a Watch
  2        Architecture
  3        Morning Landscape with Camembert
  4        The New Mayor of Italian Stones
  5        Torn Shirt
  6        Probably Not Dangerous
  7        Speculations Concerning the Source of Certain Unidentified Manuscripts
  8        The Man Who Believed in Magic
  9        Temporarily Overcome by Exhaustion
10        The Happiness of Children
11        Tall Tales
12        The End of the Road
13        Wrong
14        I’m Using the Towel
15        Shouldn’t You Be More Specific?
16        The Suspect Was Observed Entering the Reservoir
17        Misery
18        Territorial Imperative
19        A Temporary Loss of Personal Identity
20        The Lad from the Isle of Skye
21        Delinquent
22        It’s Not Fair, But We’re Related
23        A Self-Guided Tour of Jonathan
24        You’re Not Here Yet. Come In.
25        A Feeling of Loss
26        Don’t Do It in Public
27        A Decision to Have More Children
28        Previously Unavailable for Comment
29        Illumination Stone
30        A Dinner Guest
31        Recent Studies Have Shown


  1        Without Her Children
  2        Which Side Are We On?
  3        Several of These Could Make a Lamp
  4        Dirty Hands
  5        Photographs of Our Former Lives
  6        Salesman
  7        For a Friend After a Long Absence
  8        An Exercise
  9        On Recent Investigations into the Character and Habits of the
             Common Mole
10        The First Person, Plural
11        The Loved Ones
12        Men of Science
13        A Mining Incident
14        More Than You Think
15        Lipstick
16        I Couldn’t Remember Your Name
17        Perhaps There Will Be Something Left
18        He Could Be Gathering
19        Letter Home
20        Nor Rain
21        A Pleasure and a Wound
22        Historical Significance
23        Ornamental
24        Unavoidable
25        Stefan’s Big Chance
26        The Woods Are Lovely
27        The Sculptor’s Method
28        The Truth About Cowboys
29        Revolutionary


  1        Notes Toward Voluntary Self-colonization
  2        An Absence of Clouds
  3        A Theory of Relativity
  4        The Preservation of Children
  5        Are You Planning to Take Part in the Dark?
  6        Concerning the Story I Wrote About the Story I Read
  7        Cloud Formations
  8        Holy Land
  9        A Visit to Holland
10        The Disappearance of the Common Farmer
11        A Conspicuous Absence of Fathers
12        Early Psychology
13        Absence of a Devil; An Assertion
14        Sophie
15        A Simple Folk Remedy
16        What World Do You Live In?
17        Not Just a Breakfast Food
18        Scottish Ancestors
19        Traditional Values
20        Really, I Don’t Want To
21        How to Talk to Children
22        Bob’s New Boat
23        Contract for a Small Dish of Seeds
24        Evaporation
25        Long Overdue Criticism of Edna
26        Rehabilitation
27        My Sick Friend Yellows. I Spill the Horse.
28        And Prepare for Battle
29        Could Have Been the Ocean, Could Have Been the Sea
30        Medea
31        As a Weapon the Oar Is Useless


  1        Success
  2        How I Became President of The Boeing Aircraft Corporation
  3        A Map of Her Life with a Small Woolen Garment at the Center
  4        A Tiny Wooden Cage
  5        His Speech Mistaken for Tapping
  6        Hat Full of Fog
  7        A Light in the Window
  8        There’s Got to Be a Little Rain Sometimes
  9        Hangdog the Carpenter
10        Sorrow
11        Adolescence
12        Patra Düldig’s Galoshes
13        Hangdog the Hunger Artist
14        An Ex-Confessional Poet’s Notes on Theology
15        Gustave Flaubert and the Broken Bicycle
16        Replete with Idle Tongues
17        Clowntime Is Never Over
18        Little Brown Dream Coats
19        Large Marbled Sphere of Unknown Origin
20        An Error in Judgment
21        A New Jacket
22        Poetry and Domestic Life
23        Secret Lives of the Hatless
24        Primitive Instincts
25        The Love Scene
26        A Mobile Home
27        What the Critic Didn’t Say
28        Two Sisters Fail to Die Tragically in Freak Accident
29        Parental Concerns
30        Gifts


  1        As Soon As You Know
  2        Thank You for Asking
  3        Fame
  4        Only the Free Man Knows He’s a Slave
  5        The Day Before the River Returned
  6        The Other Woman
  7        The Moment of Impact
  8        Proof Reading
  9        One Tomato
10        Blind Wife
11        Late Night Conversation Between Bullfrogs
12        A Few Positive Aspects of a Common Disorder
13        Anticipatory
14        Nail Soup
15        Discrete Events
16        Heart, Eyes
17        Caution; Do Not Touch Grounded Bats
18        Creation
19        Is It Still Kidnapping?
20        An Invitation
21        A New Religion
22        Anonymous Applicant
23        How to Have a Successful Relationship
24        First Night
25        Another Spiritual Friend
26        A New Embrace
27        Her Poem Before the Rain
28        Question at Low Tide
29        The Man Who Juggled Eyes
30        Don’t Leave Me Here
31        Calamari


  1        Impatient
  2        I Will Not Be Accepting, I Shall Not Attend
  3        How Many Belong?
  4        If Alfred Is the Father
  5        Some of My Selves Treat Me Badly
  6        A Chair, a Dog, Two People and Flies
  7        Divergence
  8        Reluctant
  9        A Science Kit
10        Sundays at the Zoo
11        Complicity
12        True Stories
13        Who
14        Innocent
15        Strong Bones and Healthy White Teeth
16        Why Can’t We Be Farmers?
17        Dull, Needy and Almost Available
18        A Substantially Delayed Consideration of Responsibilities
19        Stagecoach Diorama with Unreasonably Protruding Antlers
20        Her Boyfriend
21        Another Genesis
22        The Memory of Fruit
23        A Life of Crime
24        A Political Action
25        Toad
26        Old Cotter
27        Adrift in the Temple
28        Home to Her Island
29        Witness
30        Please Deny You Took Part in This


  1        That Which May Survive Us
  2        This Guy Harvey’s Delusions
  3        Family Tree
  4        Odd Farmer
  5        Never Any Doubt
  6        Button Baby’s Response to the Mysteries of Life
  7        No Longer in Residence
  8        What We Know About Ancient Religion
  9        Sometimes It Whistles
10        Dewlap
11        A Stranger in the Mirror
12        Several Undocumented Instances
13        A Successful Businessman Takes Up Needlepoint
14        An Irrational Fear of Milking
15        The Legend of Kudzu Cottongloves
16        Heritage
17        An Explanation of and Justification for the Salary Increase
             of Class II Engineers Following the August Sixth
             Amtrak Derailment Near Sioux City, Iowa
18        Who the Hell Does He Think He Is?
19        Visitors
20        My Response to Your Response
21        A Story About Water and Light
22        Wounded Landscape with Recovery Figure
23        Ars Poetica
24        Safety
25        The Gospel of Bees
26        The Miracle of the Grapes
27        Who Gazes at the Stars Raises God from His Shoulders
28        Waking
29        Notes for a Folktale
30        Cultural Bias
31        Ripples in the Glass


  1        It Could Make You a Little Sick
  2        Enough
  3        Don’t Tell
  4        A Long Uneven Row of Delicious Beetles
  5        We Lost But We Still Live Here
  6        Separation
  7        Occupant
  8        Getting Religion
  9        His Finger Eaten by a Pig
10        Yes, I’m Still Here
11        An Unidentified Enclosure Containing Two Occupants
12        Little Clarence Whistles a Mysterious Tune
13        Not Yet
14        The Angle of the Moonlight
16        Eventually, I Began Raining
17        Practical and Nearly Transparent
18        Miss Direction Addresses Her Wayward Goat
19        A Factory Located Inside the Transparent Sphere Used to
             Restrain the Literal-Mindedness of Children
20        A Vacation
21        I’ll Take Care of You
22        Implement for the Aerial Distribution of Aquatic Spiders
23        Impulsive
24        The Same River Once
25        Which Crime?
26        Chilled
27        Grasshoppers
28        Split Wood and Earthworms, an Erotic Tale
30        Ransom; An Italian Folktale


  1        Excess
  3        Food
  4        Odd Little Funerals
  5        Masked in a White Stocking Thick Enough to Blind Her, She Leans
             Forward into the Wind Like a Boat’s Figurehead
  6        The Happy Old Man Goes to the Market
  7        The Caretakers
  8        An Arrow Beyond the Target
  9        Small Daisy Tied Around a Finger Like a Ring
10        Bad Bag of Romance
11        A Dog Barking at the Wind
12        A Bowl of White Roses
13        Alas, the King Becomes You
14        It Was a Monday So Everyone Seemed to Be
             Starting Something New
15        A Migration of Tiny Cottonwoods
16        The Shorter Path That Goes Through the Garden Takes
             More Time Than the One That Goes Around It
17        That’s Just the Way I Stop Talking
18        The Pursuit of Happiness
19        So I Told Her
20        A Compulsion to Empty the Container
21        The Body’s Legends
22        Poverty
23        Crying the Mare
24        As If the Moment
25        A Spiritual Dilemma
26        Against Illusion
27        Why He Refused to Discuss It
28        Why She Refused to Discuss It
29        Temporary Embodiment of a Passing Cloud
30        How I Acquired My New Position


  1        Entrance to the Moon
  2        Scatter to the Hills My Children
  3        Three or Four Births, a Death and Something Else Entirely
  4        Sunlight, Another Shadow
  5        Etiquette
  6        Consolation Gifts
  7        Blood Cleanses the Wound
  8        The Car Rocked in the Wind Like a Cradle
  9        Military History
10        No One Intends to Shoot Us
11        Moral Lessons
12        A Contemporary Reflection on the Traditional Values of
             Marital Union
13        A Pause on the Way Up the River
14        Voice from the Fire
15        Voice of Rest
16        Voice of Despair
17        Voice of Forgetfulness
18        Voice of Reason
19        Voice of Time
20        Voice of Self Pity
21        Pablo’s Snapshots
22        Abandoned Breeze
23        Another Ransom Note
24        I’m Surprised to Discover I Have No Desire to Rub Them
25        The Story of a Chair
26        People Tell Me That I Look Like Someone Else
27        Indecision
28        Sunset, After Quail Hunting with My Father
29        An Elegy for the Woman Next Door
30        I’m Not Finished Yet
31        Portable Mood Splicing Device


  1        That Wasn’t the Way You Answered
  2        I’ve Given Everyone a Copy
  3        Natural Laws
  4        1945
  5        A Calculation of the Trajectory
  6        Smoke Sailing Slowly Over the Hills Without Rising
  7        The Geisha’s Reply
  8        Patiently Waiting Inside an Imaginary Surface
  9        A Translation of the Missing Story
10        Enemies
11        A Ladder-Cart Overturned by Ruffians
12        The Baby’s Terrible Diaper
13        What I Knew About My Sister, Patricia, Life Span Two Hours
14        The Clairvoyance of the Blinded Eye
15        Domestic Engines
16        Having Given Up Hope, He Is Confident
17        Paternity
18        Innocence
19        Learning to Count
20        How Did You Get in Here?
21        Detritus
22        The Day Before the Arrival of the Owls
23        An Apology for What I’ve Done to You
24        It Seems Like Everything’s in Order
25        Big Fish, Little Fish
26        Change in the Weather
27        Port Gamble, 1983
28        The House by the Lake
29        Box Seats
30        Dust


  1        The Dark Bird in the Dream of an Old Woman
  2        Cold and Shining
  3        The Seminar on Advanced Reasoning
  4        Critical, Overt, Unloading
  5        Natural Phenomenon: Tulsa, 1933
  6        Cruel Story from the North Country
  7        The Widow Lundstrom Remarries; South Dakota, 1914
  8        Midnight in the Museum of Desire
  9        Triangle for Two
10        The Fugitive Is No Longer Believed to Be in This Area
11        Open
12        Aren’t You Going to Be Slightly All Right?
13        Cruel, Not Unusual
14        A Transition
15        Leaning House
16        At the Movies
17        The Point of His Music
18        How to Locate Your Equivalent in the Real World
19        Horizon
20        Very
22        Night Gardening
23        Budget Cuts
24        German Photography and Russian Politics
25        The Resting Place of an Art Deco Clock, Which Has Not Moved
             in Thirteen Hours and Thirty Three Seconds
26        You Didn’t Need to Yell at Me as Much as I Thought You Did
27        A Second Generation Citizenship Test
28        A Temporary Cure for Self-Pity
29        Nickel Dropped in a Deadman’s Beer
30        My Sons Go Dancing
31        The Price of Anticipation

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days published in serial @ Silenced Press.