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JUNE 2006 – NO. 7

A First Warning to the Eel Fisherman

by Cecily Parks

A poem.

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I do not want eels in this my first
warning to you. I know suffering on
the spear, the crack of the horseshoe crab you split

for bait, the rattle of the wet wood crate
bedded on the truck you drive home.
I liked the idea of the hook in your fist

because you held it tight. Hook hook hook.
Coat hook, hat hook, by hook or by crook,
left hook to the heart and she falls eel-quick

to the floor. How I ever digress. By she
I mean me, and yes I slip when I say that.
I'll say I liked the hand-held hook because

a hungry mouth held it tight. If you were
hungry, which would you choose: boat or shore?
I chose to be beachless and sold my boat

for a door on which to ride the stillest
neap tide. Am I strange yet? Water buckles
and I fall eel-quick. When you were in the abstract,

I sold my sea legs for a floor. When you
were in the abstract, I liked the way you looked
in the boat of my thought. This is my warning

to you:  I am as wary as they come, and not
of eels or how you kill them. Your hands after.
I will begin with them when I begin the second time.

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Articles in this Issue

Currents, by David Fogg
Scurvy's Cure, by Stephen R. Bown
Castaway, by Art Corriveau
Man Overboard, by Bella Bathurst
Way Up In Alaska, by Steve Lohse
A First Warning to the Eel Fisherman, by Cecily Parks
Full Immersion, by E. B. Moore
The Sinking of The Ferry Ellis Island, by Phil Buehler
The Ice Story, by Peter Behrens
Brief Thoughts on Alvaro Mutis's "The Tramp Steamer's Last Port Of Call", by Peter Orner
A Report on The Piracy Report, by R. Matie


Cecily Parks's poems appear or are forthcoming in Antioch Review, Boston Review, Tin House and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Cold Work, was selected by Li-Young Lee for the 2005 Poetry Society of America New York Chapbook Fellowship. It was published in December.

Where loss is found.

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