There I was sterile as a ping pong ball calling out toys, I never call out toys, but they kept coming into my store waving their lottery tickets, like little brass bands, each one with a big tawdry boom dat der ship had parceled. I would, and did, get real back on my haunches, you know, back like an upper animal and wail out their names, Hey! Har! Oh! and they’d grid like pottery along the wall, those old earthenware jars with the flower-flamey rims excavated from big BC and you wonder if those pre’s ever wandered through our museums…


Caleb Garling

I rose and made it halfway to the sink before, my mind so shot through with holes, I fainted and smacked off the countertop. My girlfriend screamed. I heard the scream before losing consciousness which was strange, a sharp-trauma’ed mind taking that long to fade, like an old screen, with the dot in the middle, rather than snapping off, like a light. I awoke, blood pouring between my forehead and temple. We don’t have a good name for that spot — a colloquial name, I mean; a doctor would say pterion but it’d be annoying if we did that. Our…


Caleb Garling

Sewn up from the bottom of the pond the new bear rose. She reached her five curved claws over the ice and pulled down. The sheet gave like a trampoline and sent her into the trees. From her high perch the bear could see the smokey chimney of a lumber mill and promises burning up in their curls. With her permission she took a pawful of ponderosa, the kind at odds with the bristlecone and the char and the blemishes women find on their cheeks and men in their hands and sprayed, blew them across the power lines. A plane…


Caleb Garling

What will we do fellow patriots? They are trying to steal the election. Already the president has filed over thirty (and counting!) lawsuits before state and federal judges attempting to throw away ballots and lost — every — single — case. Every one! It’s as though the plot against us winds into the very fabric of reality! Why is the only person trying to throw out the legal votes the president!? Why is he the only one who gets it? Look at the voting machines! Most of them washed up on shore after being pushed to sea by SOCIALIST Venezuelan…


more drawings

No one will believe us. No one will believe you. No one will believe that he got this far. They will believe that he did, but they will not believe that he did, really. They will examine the jargon that blunted his conditions, the analogies and patterns that explained his tendencies, the footage, the hearings, the posts, set everything aside and say:

Yes but he was mad.

He was awful, deranged, dead through the guts. And so stupid! Jesus! You couldn’t hear his voice without feeling the very force which animates life start to fade. And yet you let him…


more drawings

Who would we call if disaster struck on the moon? It wouldn’t have to be a big disaster. A crater fills with fire. Moon dust turns to poison. It could be a tiny disaster. Like a bat got stuck in a museum of fine china, knocking plates to the floor. Or a kora player loses the sense of some sacred melody and walks hundreds of miles in the wrong direction on the moon trying to find his teacher. Who would we call — would we call anyone? Would you take responsibility for the crowds packing lonesome buttes and roof decks…


Caleb Garling

You can have a nation of laws. Or a nation of morals. Not both.

And it was as if he walked out over a deep ravine. As if he walked on a long flat board, as though a giant tree with a long cylindrical trunk had been milled into a single band of lumber and you’d set half of it, two thirds, on the ledge of the ravine and suspended the rest over the empty air and he walked slowly because there was nothing fastening anything to the ground only its weight and the dust that settled.

It was as…


https://www.instagram.com/p/CCJ5jN-JoDi/

You were pressed against the window listening, they had risen, that was the word, into a kind of pulse, a single ribbit out the window and the glass shook against your ear. It hadn’t occurred to you what they might be saying until the crickets took over, as though the power cut, every air bladder emptied, a final exhale, is that the last action of every creature, a final exhale? Was there a murderer? a bear? some kind of danger that gave the frogs pause? maybe even a special insect breed had spoken up, moved in and the frogs were…


https://www.instagram.com/p/CAegmJsp-KL/

There is nothing to say. There is nothing to do. There is nothing to say or do. A tiger has a duck by the neck or a duck has a tiger by the ear. The ballasts alongside the boat fill each time the bell rings. The executioner strides in, places small pieces of tin along the fence and sits. We wonder if things can go on like this. What kinds of paper tigers and ducks can fill our streets and halls and demand their clocks back, turned back, reset and resold with a carton of eggs. There was a time…


https://www.instagram.com/p/B56t5CpphQy/

He would approach each corral quietly, usually at dusk, and open the gate. Sometimes he whistled. The horses came and he clicked and let them run wild again. In Telluride a bullet whizzed past his ear and he hid in an old copper mine. There the hiccups began. They just began. They became so bad he snuck down looking for a chemist but happened to cross a pasture with a lone brown mare. He couldn’t help himself. She would be free. He lifted the chain loop and as she sauntered into the mountain fog he noticed her jolt to one…

Caleb Garling

Writer

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