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Two poems by Sandra Soli article


Trolling (at the bar)     

A Found Poem for the Lubber


The Wise Fisherman’s Encyclopedia

William H. Wise & Co., Inc., NY: 1951      


There is more to trolling

than just cruising around.

At spawning time, a general movement

of adults. Keep your eyes open.


Sharp eyes pick up gulls

working on bait –

strange ripples in the water

not quite caused by wind –

fill the fish box.


Keep at it.

Too many are discouraged after a few hours.

There can be plenty of fish under your boat

without your catching one.

Try different lures, at various depths,

stick to it some more.


[Under L for lures, we find] Live Bait,

Lay [as in] lay to, lay down, and laid up.

Lunate: Crescent or moon-shaped


(see also Anatomy of Fish).


Lunge, Lurch, and Lure:

a term understood to mean

artificial fly (which see) or bait

used to attract fish.  For elaboration,

see Bait Casting, Eelskin lure, Tackle,

Jig, and the Revolving Wiggler,

among the most successful

of modern lures.


If all there was to fishing was catching fish

it would be poor sport.

It’s uncertainty, the expectancy

that makes it such fun.




On Reading Didion’s The White Album

                  blood and bread   


Nancy’s problems not children, nor

the bullet that would afflict her husband

but assumptions of privilege

   (a house where nobody lives

    borrowed for a time like dinner gowns)


juxtaposed against uncertainty –

unsure of seating charts, the advance team

who left her clueless on the protocol

of communion by intinction at a church

they would visit on Sunday.


A porch chair in late summer.

I can hardly focus for a white acid sun

irritant yippers behind a fence,

the insistent whine of grass trimmers

somewhere to my left, and butterflies


impelled to migrate in a hurry

perhaps forewarned, as all of us were

during the Cold War. The big blow

with its fireball flowers practiced

its nuclear dance out by the reservation


only lizards and Indians to notice

a rising cloud. So many mistakes,

accidental troubles along the way.

   (Who’s to say which keeper of keys

    would set things loose?)


We were young.

Bad girls with ankle bracelets sneaked

cigs behind the gym. Good girls in white

socks and penny loafers wanted to be

bad girls with ankle bracelets.


We joined sororities and book clubs,

watched Nancy’s man grow famous.

Raised him up to be Jack the Giant Killer.

He could throw touchdowns, ride horses,

bluff Russians to demolish a wall


but all that came later. Nancy learned

to borrow dresses like a good Presbyterian,

never doubting her ascendancy -- nor did we.

This light smells like blood, spilled as though

it were nothing, ink on a page.





Sandra Soli publishes in every genre except the novel. Former teaching artist and poetry columnist, she received, among other honors, an Oklahoma Book Award and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize. Her article "Prose Poetry: Fish or Fowl?" was featured in Poet's Market. Sandy authored two poetry chapbooks and a workbook for aspiring memoir writers, Who Will Tell the Story if Not You? Writer, editor, and biblioholic, she lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.




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