Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
Issue Twenty-six
Summer 2011
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Issue Twenty-six,  Summer 2011
Lobsters Have a Language All Their Own


The message on the screen is for you.
My hope is that you take
it over, plan something in the margin
or in the interim to make
it yours. Look.

1. Lobsters are not red in the wild.

At seventeen, after reading Narrow Road
to the Deep North
, I enrolled in Japanese class,
planning to retrace Basho’s walk.

2. Lobsters have hearts.

I thought I saw my likeness
in every carving: vague ripples
for arms and hips, a part
like white quartz      dividing my scalp.

3. Lobsters are invertebrates.

nearest to wings      the only certain angels

4. Lobsters age gracefully.

They accept the role
of court jester much too quickly;
work towards strangeness consciously.

5. Lobsters don't lose appetite, energy, sex drive.

Isn’t it amazing how they hold each other?
one jagged mouth filling the other,
locked in at the teeth.

6. The teeth of a lobster are in its stomach.

Molly said Whiskey in a Can, what a horrible idea.
I said, no, ChocoVine, red wine and chocolate milk,
now that is a horrible idea.

7. To hypnotize a lobster, rub between the eyes.

It was March you fell in, big-eyed & arms close.

8. One nickname for a lobster is cockroach of the sea.

Fuckery spread through your bowels
like the brain of a cockroach.

9. Lobster claws come in different sets:
crusher and cutter, two crushers, or two cutters.

Orange crosshatch not truly if
taken from an attacked billboard shatter,
reconstructed five noises of sanctuary.

The Maine Characters by Lori Pitten Jenkins
The Maine Characters by Lori Pitten Jenkins
About the Artist

10. A female lobster is called a hen. Older hens are more fertile than younger ones.

When Nadia found out I was not closed,
she made the sign of the cross
over my uterus. Stht, stht, stht,

11. Lobsters molt.

Horses, remove your luggage and get a concert; we shall shoulder this night, howsoever unromantic. Here we may never be understood.

12. When is a lobster a pistol?

They’re auctioning off Trigger
Bullet too.

This cento is composed of first lines from our Summer 2011 contributors' poems. For the answer to the final fact, visit the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's page on lobster Riddles, Trivia and More, from which several of the lobster facts are borrowed.

Lissa Kiernan, Poetry Editor
Susan Yount, Editor & Publisher, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal

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