The Problem

Michael Bazzett

                                     was the miniaturebears that became so fashionablewere prone to hip dysplasia    so those who had been         unable to resistowning a grizzly the size of a house    cat were forced to watch                the animalsslowly lose the function of their back legs    and drag their limbs behind them    in an uncanny echo                   of a miniature sea lion.What made it worse                             was how good-natured the little bears turned out to be,    how accepting          of their fate, as if they'd knowntheir legs would last only a short while,like the anticipatory grins    of those waiting in line for the tilt-a-whirl        at the county fair. Peopleused to post photos of the bears    holding plums between their forepaws,        tucking into the fruitlike a melon. A man in Seattle    thought it would be funny                to film his        wrestling with a salmon    but when the silver jaws                                        grippedonto the tiny furred limb and they both            flipped into the streamit went viral for the wrong reasons    and the look on the man's face        as he dragged the sodden hulkof what looked like a strangely delicate        woodchuck from the watertold us everything we needed to know.

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Print This Poem

Michael Bazzett is the author of three poetry collections: You Must Remember This, Our Lands Are Not So Different, & The Interrogation.

Winter 2018

Portland, Oregon

Editor in Chief / Publisher
Win McCormack

Rob Spillman

Poetry Editor
Camille T. Dungy

“As everything goes increasingly haywire in our politics and in our world, we stand in ever-increasing need of the emotional and ethical education that great literary magazines can provide. With each issue you finish, you’re more awake, erudite, socially aware, and alert to exciting new writers. What more do you want between two covers, anyway?”
—Jim Shepard

Tin House is a human habitat, an abode for the bodacious, an apartment for the artful, a bullpen for writers, a castle, a cave. It’s a commorancy for birds of a feather, a condo for the uncommon, a crash pad for the dark night of the soul. It’s a cubbyhole stuffed with language—our digs, our domicile, our glorious word dump—a dwelling for the light inside us. It’s a flat, a flophouse, a hole in the wall, a joint, a lean-to, a mansion, a pad, a shack made of words, doors and windows flung open, a tin-rooved shanty on a island of desire.”
—Dorianne Laux

Tin House magazine is a port in the storm for people who love language. It is unfailingly excellent, and committed to publishing new voices in addition to delivering freaky-fresh work from established writers.”
—Karen Russell

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.