In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

23 lobsters Or Nephropidea. At Bar Harbor my wife and I order two of them to come forth from the dark Atlantic. It is twilight and everyone is happy, drinking at the aquamarine edge of things, plates heaped with lobsters. For my mother, lobster meant money, dark-paneled restaurants, the plush ride. Lobster travelled with mink, first class, and later, when she’d lost everything, she sang of lobster in her wine-soaked tales of golden years. Arthropoda. And here from the northern oceans The Homarus arrive in their steaming coffins. Crustacean. Five pairs of legs, of which three have claws. In the old photographs lobsters like these sat with my mother and father at the best table at Rugerri’s. The war was over, business never better, so Nephropidae flew all the way from Boston to St. Louis to celebrate with my parents, my dad with his scotch and cigarette, my mother’s cloche by Chanel, dress by Dior, clutch by Vuitton, 24 the lobsters decked out in their best cephalothorax, their finest antenulles, mandibles buffed to a fair-thee-well. At our own table, my wife and I struggle to deconstruct them, our dining song the ancient crack of breaking, of bodies rent asunder, although our marriage is strong so far, easily strong enough, with the help of a good lobster cracker, to overcome this pair of Decapoda, whose blood contains copper, like the blood of snails and spiders, and is therefore blue, which would have pleased my mother, whose own marriage cracked under pressure, steamed and fizzled while my father drowned in scotch, and after he lay in his own dark cauldron, after the money had bled away, my mother would now and then scrape together enough to buy a lobster and amaze my sisters and me by bringing home a stunned, slow-moving Nephropidae, huge and prehistoric in our tiny kitchen, his great claws clownish and helpless in their rubber bands. Malacostraca. But we knew nothing about that as we watched our mother drop him in boiling water, 25 his claws waving in blind seas of pain, and she smiled and raised a glass of wine to better times, as great Hamarus, our guest from the cold pelagic darkness, drowned in his anguish, boiled alive, a method of killing now illegal in places such as Reggio Emilia, Italy, and punishable by a fine of 495 lira, although my wife and I are not interested in suffering right now— it is time for laughter and wine— so we don’t ask what happened to these two massive lobsters, dead in their splendor before us, their red steaming vaults ready to be plundered. ...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.