I like to imagine that my idols will stare at a blank screen
the same way I do, just waiting for the words to come:
Collins, eyes glues to the screen, Kooser, eyes glued
to the screen, Komunyakaa, eyes, glued, Wright, eyes glued
as he runs his hands through his thin hair.
It’s a lot like fishing. You have your tools, your instruments,
your tackle. You throw a line in the water and wait for a solid tug
at the other end. You stare at the bobber, watch intently
for any sign of movement. It’s a slow, slow process
that may or may not yield in the end.
Some can smoke and drink while doing this. Others can eat
sandwiches and chips or even carry on conversations or listen
to the radio while they wait for that bite, but not me. I sit quietly
and stare at the water, holding the rod upright. Just like I imagine
all the greats did, except for maybe a couple of people.
At the end of the day, sometimes I go home with a great catch
in my creel, sometimes with nothing but an old suckerfish or eel.
Sometimes I go with nothing at all, my landing net loose and dry.
But I know I’m not the only one who has to occasionally
and boisterously tell a whopper to the boys later on at the bar.