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bear parade

compassionate moose
by karen ashburner

this is the tenth book in the bear parade series.

Karen Ashburner lives in North Carolina. She is an elementary school teacher. She has a daughter who smells like peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. She is the author of many chapbooks, poems, and online stories. If you google her name you can find some of them. She used to edit an online journal. Many people say it was a good journal. When she lived in New York City she got drunk a lot and ran out of money after she quit her teaching job. Sometimes she sits at her computer and takes photos of herself or writes whimsical, slightly harrowing stories about small children saying "Fuck" by accident in front of a school assembly into the microphone or running into the street to chase a ball thrown by an irresponsible but loving step-brother who now lives in Texas. She rarely gets drunk anymore. She is no longer broke and unemployed. She is still slightly oppositional defiant and harbors a strong resentment against the establishment that makes it necessary for her to buy sticks of cheese in individual plastic wrappers.

maize moose horn


i like it a lot

- tao / August 27, 2007 10:33 PM

I'm reading this book while listening to my daughter not sleeping in the other room as my wife tries for the third night in a row to get her to go to sleep despite her own lack of sleep because for some reason my daughter has refused three nights in a row to allow me to settle her back to sleep, resulting in no sleep for any of us plus extra guilt and feelings of futility for me as well. The book has been mildly comforting in the face of this situation.

- adam / August 28, 2007 6:14 AM

When I read this book the first time I was reminded of a memory. I wrote about the memory on Tao Lin's blog: In fourth grade I missed my mother so much I'd cry in the office and she would stand there in her pants-suit needing to go to work. My mother was a teacher then but not at the school I went to. She was paid a lot of money and was in a position where she could be late. I remember I was very sad then for some reason. Scared and screaming and crying. I thought I would never see my mother again. I always saw my mother again but I never thought I would see her again. So she gave me her wedding ring to hold onto and I kept it in one of my father's white handkerchiefs inside my desk at school. Someone in fifth grade used to go to the bathroom because he wanted to be alone and play with the small plastic action figures that used to come in cereal boxes. He had a bear from Golden Crisp and also Smacks the frog. My mother giving me her wedding ring was something like the Golden Crisp bear. I'd open my desk and open the handkerchief and feel consoled. I didn't cry. I'm sad thinking about it now. This book is like my mom's wedding ring and is like the Golden Crisp bear. Thank you, Mazie Louise Montgomery.

- Matthew / August 31, 2007 7:33 PM

This book makes me happy.

- Adam / September 2, 2007 2:50 AM

This book is fun to read. Good job to everyone involved.

- Ken / September 22, 2007 3:43 PM

these stories feel like if tao's "a poem written by a bear" were stories instead of a poem. i like them very much and think about the ending of "moose language" maybe every day.

- colin / December 2, 2007 4:05 PM

This is beautiful. Thank you for writing these stories.

- John / February 2, 2009 3:24 PM