Tuesday, February 6, 2024

new from above/ground press: The Old Man: new stories, by Clint Burnham

The Old Man: new stories
Clint Burnham


1. How was the conference, I asked him by text. It was 5 in the morning my time, an hour later where he was. Pretty good. Some interesting stuff. Some eye roll stuff. The usual.

2. Her friend sent her some photographs of ikebana she had done. Their stark minimalism made her think of death - her mother had just died, it was on her mind I suppose. She looked it up and sure enough, under “ikebana” she read “A flower arrangement made to mark a death is typically constructed of white flowers, with some dead leaves and branches, arranged to express peace.” In her mind she dropped out the “is,” and thought ikebana was just about death, not one of the options.

3. She mourned her mother who had died two months earlier, a mother who moved out when she was 8 years old, and now they - she and her sister - had to, had to sort all of her stuff, she’s given them nothing but bothering in life - okay, she gave birth to us but that was a bit of a settler’s gift, she thought, a smallpox blanket. She had given them nothing in life. And now they, her sister and she, had to sort their mother’s shit. Including some actual shit, because towards the end of her life she was using Depends and there were a few in the garbage can in her room. It was a white plastic bucket made to resemble an aluminum can, with chrome clamps on either side to keep the lid on tight so smells wouldn’t leak out.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
February 2024
as the twenty-third title in above/ground’s prose/naut imprint
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Clint Burnham
teaches in Burnaby and lives in Vancouver. He was born in Comox, British Columbia, which is on the unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks (Sahtloot) First Nation, centred historically on kwaniwsam.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

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