Sunday, September 19, 2010

"This should keep you going for a while."

Halfpounders are back in the river here in Sacramento and I've managed to move a few. As for landing fish, I'm doing exceptionally well with smolt.

The few adult fish I've made contact with have kept me going, though, kept me watching my line swing across the current when my mind starts wandering after memories of steelhead past. Like the fish in the photo, above, caught at about this time last year.

Lately, I've been thinking about the similarities between submitting my poems for publication and chasing after steelhead. Success in both arts requires equal amounts of stubbornness and patience. On top of whole-hearted enthusiasm.

While I didn't connect with a steelhead last week, my manuscript of poems, Standing in the River, was announced the winner of Tebot Bach's 2010 Clockwise Chapbook competition.

When I shared the good news with my friend and poetry mentor, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, she had a great line: "This should keep you going for a while."

Publishing poetry is like swinging for steelhead, where landing one nice fish can keep a guy going for another 1,000 casts.

(Photo: Adrian Psuty)