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James Grinwis: Two Poems

Bellina Talks With Her Legs | Aubade With Fork Whose Tines Are Twisted

Bellina Talks With Her Legs

Boy with snare drum for a head.
Wolf eating mashed hens.
Wolf with small green hen on his head.

Girl made of apples.
Girl made of fire ants. Lizards.

Connoisseur of baroque wind ensembles.
Devourer of paper lighthouses.
Torch maker. Fully-hatched toad
pushing his snout around.

Boy with gorillas for hands.
Girl with ears, detachable ears.

Impressed by what:
the thing exposed.
A hush like an abandoned nest
fell onto the house, its stairs ripped out.

The second floor delegation
ended their dice match.
Bird woman, approach it slowly.

Mantis snail of barred mandibles.
Note of the lost vibraphone.

This is love in the Bronze Age.
This is the living tong of nobody else’s doom.

Strange machine animal.
So tall the descending nude.

Aubade With Fork Whose Tines Are Twisted

Retool. Use as in handle.
Maneuver deftly or roughly
or gently depending on mood.
Someday I will wear a key.
Slam shut the tiny door.
A problem everyday, red herrings
and otherwise. Hungarian style
meal deal. Emptied, all of it.
I have stabbed my fork
into the meat. I have failed
in the acts of love. I have
never shaved a dying man
or cradled a dying man
or washed the hair of a dying
woman or held her gently.
A woman drops a bag of light
but none of it spills. I am and always
will be a fool. White frost
weighs upon the leaves.
Everybody’s saying no one.


Recklessness. Footpad.
Frozen scrub holding out.
Things are well at the farther house.
Light, food, shiny faces.
All the sock warmers work there.
The cars heaped outside
are like the hulls of abandoned boats.


Solar nougat. My fork
is dull and weak. Fake maps
cover the chamber. I look up
and see an igloo in space.
City in chains made by one
who has waited so much
he’s sick of waiting more than
anyone else in the world;
how it grows like a huge white bulb
under the nerves then blossoms out
into one of any reactionary behaviors.
Less new than a freshly cut
cord of pine or a boot
drenched with the hours
of not being used. Here in my hand
is a talisman some folks wave.

Poet's Biography:
James Grinwis has had poems, prose poems and flash fictions appear in American Poetry Review, Columbia, Indiana Review, New Orleans Review, Pindeldyboz, Quick Fiction, Quarterly West, 2River, Maverick, Shades of December, Coelacanth, and In Posse Review, among others. He received his MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has worked as an environmental educator, a high school teacher, a university instructor, and most recently as an editor.

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.