Two Poems by Guinotte Wise

Two Poems by Guinotte Wise

Poet Lariat
I’m not a Poet Laureate
of even a one-horse Kansas town
But. I’m a Poet Lariat
which is a poet with some dusty duct-taped boots
who drew some bulls at the here and there
jackpot rodeos in towns you never drove through.
I was committed to my horses, you can say that
about me if nothing else.
They lived their lives at Wise Acres,
good lives, too. They liked me fine,
and I was so fond of them. Good feed,
pasture, shots and care and ten thousand
mile checkups, no harsh words.
They came to me and dipped their heads
into their halters, stood for the farrier,
stood while I put my foot in the stirrup,
and I cried when they died. And I was
there. They knew that, cold and rain and
storms. I owed them that and more. They
talked to me, and I, to them, if you know
what I mean. A poet lariat would know.
The Spoon Lady
Time honored spoon play is what she
orchestrates with washboard, tin cups,
a bell or two sometimes, but her spoons
are magic and her hands dip and fly as
her instruments of choice create a cadence
I wish I could make my words snap and
clack and emulate, the click, the tang, the
perfect flow and flourish, but also the
birdlike hands that follow through and dive
along the jingle and the arabesque of ring
and ping and flick of metal bowls caressing
her sleeve, the back of her balletic hand and
chattering clattering with decisive pops on
the backbeat continuous flashing magick of
an Appalachian family playing to survive
another winter another coal mine cave-in
head of household rises flatfoots slowly
at first, his arms seem to float for balance
and his heel and toe match the spoons as
he gains speed no expression on his face
he is propelled by spoons and centuries
and the eerie harmony of an entire family
escaping through Wildwood Flower and
a boy on banjo as big as himself. The
spoons sound like lovely skeletons.
Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and enough money to fix the soffits. Five more books since. His fiction, essays and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals including Atticus, The MacGuffin, Southern Humanities Review,  Rattle and The American Journal of Poetry. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it. (Until shelter in place order) Some work is at