The Choreographer of Raindrops

Carl Lindner

Carl Lindner is emeritus professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside where he taught courses in American literature, creative writing (poetry), and composition from 1969 through 2007. He has won several teaching awards. He was recognized for his poetry by the Wisconsin Arts Board, which awarded him a fellowship in 1981, and by his university, which honored him with an award for Creative Activity in 1996. He has published three chapbooks of poetry; Vampire, The Only Game, and Eat and Remember; two full-length collections; Shooting Baskets in a Dark Gymnasium and Angling into Light; and more than two hundred poems in various literary journals. His life has been blessed with two children, Jennifer and Peter. At present he lives in Racine with his cat Jesse James.

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Fish Tale

For years the water
swallowed my line.

Sunup to sundown,
where the sinker sank

I spent the day alone,
casting about and reeling in

only to come up empty.
The baited hook went under,

the naked hook came back.
Laying pole and tackle down,

I turned the boat around
to find my eyes

were caught
by water’s way with light.

A glance was all it took.
And now, don’t ask me how

the speckled trout leap up
or why

the wall-eyed pike are quick
to fling their silver out of blue.

I swear it’s true:
salmon struggle up the sides

as if the wood were water.
What do I know?

With every fish
that comes aboard,

the boat and I grow lighter.