Before the breach came,
a rock rolled into me.
It gave no hurt, it just nudged
my position away.
My son screamed
when we broke the lobster.
In the womb, he was
transparent, a blur, and now
he’s staking his fortune
somewhere north.
The guidebook for professionals
I left rotting beside
the basalt gorge.
Distances, landscapes.
How do I relate to them
this sense of elsewhere?


A huge is an instinct,
a severe is a creature
of proportion. A huge
walks like a potato crab,
slow and stifling.
A huge has a mouth
with 30 throats.
A cube is a baby bobmouse.
She clings to the cliff
in search of a context.
A blur, a caveman’s utensil,
and everywhere you look
pounds of snow.

Author Image

James Grinwis co-founded Bateau Press with Ashley Schaffer in 2007. He is the author of The City from Nome and Exhibit of Forking Paths, which was selected for the National Poetry Series and published by Coffee House Press in 2011. His work has appeared recently in Versal, Artful Dodge, and Court Green.

Willem Kalf, “Still Life with Lobster,” oil painting, 1653

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