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  • Published 20210428
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-59-7
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

It’s strange that a dog barking at the beach becomes a cause for concern. Those nearby look around for who owns the baying in the shallows, occasionally swimming a few feet out, then circling back to rescue driftwood from its returning master. It distracts from the fact I have been talking out loud to myself this entire stretch, barking in my own fashion. Old sayings, new moon. This association with madness is not medieval; it is as ever present as the wet stick protruding from my dog’s teeth.

My new psychologist has encouraged me to view the mind as a stick that can bend and break. I think of this as my dog recovers endless sticks from the waves only to rush away up into the dunes and deposit them beyond the reach of others; when I pick one up to scrape my dog’s shit into a small green bag, warm in my hand as a heart; and when a rotten thought falls and is not immediately at one with the ground. I am an expert at breaking the sticks in my head. I have not mastered bending the branches, I often go too far out on a limb. My new psychologist suggests I be mindful and choose a mantra in order to untie myself from the past. I whisper adrift repeatedly until it turns into an anchor.

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