FISH TALES Third Place: “Hooked” by Bill Newby


Inspired by Uncle Bob’s First Fish,
A Pompano, 1928

by Bill Newby

the point dents

a dimple

then a furrow

then a pit



diving into hidden guts

with the firmness of a contract

whose clauses are binding

and where penalties fall fast and hard

the blade slides forward

flesh hugging the bevel

caressing its cold symmetry

then gracefully parting

in a flange of speckled mucus

my guts tighten

my eyelids zip

no splitting, spitting sickness

is wanted now

and the knife saws gritting

through the bone

Bill Newby was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where he later worked as an English teacher, school administrator, college advisor and adjunct lecturer.  He considers himself an “everyday poet” – writing about the small, everyday events – recording moments of celebration, complaint, concern and comedy.  His work has appeared in Whiskey Island, Ohio Teachers Write, Bluffton Breeze, Sixfold and the Island Writers’ Network’s Time and Tide. He now lives with his wife in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.