Grimes was born next to a burning campfire a thousand miles from the sea. His eyes wrinkled and closed, altricial . He heard the mummer of soft voices and smelled burning pine and sage. When the eyes first opened, he saw stars spilt across a black moonless sky.
He was two when they moved west:
Across grasslands he thinks might be a shaky, green sea.
Across mountains so close to the clouds he reaches a small hand to pull them to him.
Across deserts where rays of light bend and dislodge distant images under unmasked skies.
When he, his mother and father, first come to the ocean, they carry him across smooth, dark rocks and stand him up in wet sand holding the boy’s hands stretched over his head. A small wave of cold white water washes around his legs.
Jeff Grimes is a writer, musician and filmmaker. His short stories have been published in a number of chapbooks, literary journals and zines and have been translated into French and Chinese. His readings often marry the written word with live music.
Grimes has also released two full-length albums of original songs - More than a Memory and Violent Girl - available worldwide on most streaming platforms. He also made 8mm non-narrative, short films which are characterized by hand-held camera work and stream of consciousness documentation of natural and urban settings.
Grimes instituted the first creative writing program at Camarillo State Mental Hospital and has published four anthologies of his students' work.
He lives in Ventura, California.
Courthouse, Film 8mm, 8:26 seconds
The film was made in 1973—I was just a young lad with his father’s 8mm camera. When I transferred it to digital last year, Grimes took Neal into the studio and recorded a new soundtrack for it because the original was lost.
Flower Cabin, Short Story, Hand-made book with Lettre Sauvage Letterpress Studio (2018)
Jeff Grimes, Lake of The Sleepers, Short Story Reading with live music composed and played by the author and Grady Runyan, 20 Minutes.