Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days- Prologue
Moles are what I write, their white claws turned out, the balls of their toes are pink,
enjoyed by all their enemies as delicatessen, their thick coat prized.
My moles are destructive, don’t fool yourselves.
–Gunter Eich in “Preamble”
For Mole, falling in love really must have meant falling. For a long time afterwards he
would arrive at wedding parties out of breath and with a concerned look, squeaking at the
guests of honor: “Whee! Wonderful! Terrific!–but next time try and make sure that you
really like the person that you’re supposed to love!”
. . . You get to sleep together in one big room with a lot of people you don’t know; also,
Mole gathers from the manual, when the biggest and loudest snorer there rolls over on
you or takes up most of your sleeping space, you’re not supposed to complain, for the
sake of revolutionary idealogical reasons.
I remember so well first seeing some time ago on your left-hand bosom, half-way up the
right-hand side of the slope: this little brown mole.
Even for a mole in his final circle of tunnels, there is always one more, larger, more
generous set of relevences into which all previous relevences fit.
–Michael Benedikt in Mole Notes
They seek tirelessly for new places to ask us whether we are who we are, and if that is
enough . . . Is this dust yours, they say?
–W. S. Merwin in “The Moles”
1: Occurring, operating, or situated below the surface of the earth.
2: Hidden or concealed; clandestine.
3: Of or pertaining to an organization involved in secret or illegal activity.
4: Of, pertaining to, or describing an avante-garde movement, its films,
publications, and art, usually privately produced and of special appeal and often
concerned with social or artistic experiment.
1: A poke; a punch.
2: A sarcastic, taunting remark; a gibe.
3: Informal. To begin to work intensively.
1: An underground or underwater passage.
2: A passage through any extended barrier.
3: A funnel.
[Middle English]: a pipe-like net for catching birds.
1: Any of the various short-tailed, burrowing mammals of the family Geomyidae . . . Having fur-lined external cheek pouches.
2: A ground squirrel.
1: A small congenital growth on the human skin, usually slightly raised and dark,
and sometimes hairy . . .
2: Any of various small, insectivorous, burrowing mammals having thickset bodies
with silky light-brown to dark-gray fur, rudimentary eyes, tough muzzles, and strong
forefeet for digging. Most live underground.
3: 1. A massive stone wall used as a breakwater or jetty, or to enclose an
anchorage or harbor. 2. The anchorage or harbor enclosed by such a barrier.
4: A mass or tumor in the uterus, caused by the degeneration or abortive
development of an ovum.
5: The amount of a substance that has a weight in grams numerically equal to the
molecular weight of the substance.
6: A Mexican hot sauce of chili, other spices, and sometimes chocolate. It is served
with various meats.
1: Any of various rodents of the genus Microtus and related genera.
2: The winning of all the tricks in a game.
The American Heritage Dictionary
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.