Issue 9 – Winter 2005 – Thorpe Moeckel

Thorpe Moeckel


Same Water, Different Fish

See the eyes, weighted head,
              as it jerks – Lefty’s Deceiver – tug
by wrist snap, 
seven feet of leader, tapered.
Here land
                  goes under – salt, sun, sand –
a balance so vast
               it’s cartoonish. Some inlay
of attention, some search engine.
The land

goes under. Compression borrows
                your highlighter. Striper
run – schoolies: Scooby snacks.
Another swiveling. Casts           
(say Kineo, Kennebec) – another
& another.
the behind the on top of, a
piling, a footer 
of pour. You land

             some; lips rip. Savagery runs
through you
                 like love, like
those fish, arm-length, flopping
at eddy-edge,
launched by seals, stunned
to meal.




Merrymeeting Bay, March

Spring’s close,
   the ice says so —

   a thousand acres

melts, sweet
   break-up. Listen

to the scrape
   & boom. Piebald,

    half slush, half prune;

think gum
    chewed, think trilobite,

a sheepish one.
    All day puddles

bloom avocado
    in the balm; all

day swan-whites
    oyster into cloud tones,

and then eddy —
    slow, adhesive light —

through the white pines
    behind the gravestones

and down to the imploded
    heap of a winter

fishing shack – fungus
    of lumber, stovepipe, rust.



Thorpe Moeckel is the author of Odd Botany. Chapbooks include MeltlinesThe Guessing Land, and Making a Map of the River. He teaches at Hollins University and lives near the James River north of Roanoke.