November 29, 2018

Ekphrastic Challenge, October 2018: Editor’s Choice

 

Hanging Collage by Courtney Carroll

Image: “Hanging Collage” by Courtney Carroll. “Locked Brakes on Blacktop” was written by Guinotte Wise for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, October 2018, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]

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Guinotte Wise

LOCKED BRAKES ON BLACKTOP

When he drives the grain truck in, what
the hell, parachutists in the trees! Cannot
believe this shit he says, farming is not
a spectator sport, used to be from seed to
silo not much else but baloney sandwich
damn hydraulics give out sometimes but
not much else to pull attention, now black
smoke blowing airhorns too brakes are
locked and tires striping Florida blacktop
jumpers out there silks aflutter standing
right there in the deathwish lane I will
do them in by hand if I jack-knife this old
Peterbilt and live to get my hands on them.
Sur-fucking-real he says, spits Red Man
into a coffee can misses the sonofabitch.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
October 2018, Editor’s Choice

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Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “There’s something delightful in the contrast between the no-nonsense trucker and the surreal scene he’s witnessing, and something mesmerizing about the half-monologue’s voice. As often happens, it was the poem that I enjoyed more every time I returned to it. And the ending, where he spits out his tobacco but misses, is perfect.”

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September 10, 2018

Guinotte Wise

THE WHY OF BULL RIDING

They asked a cowboy why he rode, 
said he was too nervous to steal and
too lazy to work. There is no answer,
maybe a test of one’s inner gumption
though there are better ways to figure
that. It’s sure as hell not money, as in
why are you a poet? The same man
said, when asked, how much he made
that year. Twenty-two thousand was
the reply. How much were your 
expenses? Twenty-three thousand.
Not many answers in the game,
sometimes just a look away, a 
clearing of the throat, a grimace of
discomfort, a sidle toward the rodeo
office to sign up, draw his bull. He
hopes it is a good one, and hopes
he makes it to the buzzer in one
piece, decent score, hopes the old
Dodge starts, gets him to the next 
one, the big one at Cheyenne, see
what luck will bring. His ribs are
taped but beer and pain pills mess
up his edge, adrenaline is what he
needs, that’s his eight second cure.

from Rattle #60, Summer 2018
Tribute to Athlete Poets

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Guinotte Wise: “Rodeoing made me feel alive, alive-oh, as the Irish ballad goes. Then writing fiction and poetry became my arena. Same feeling. The more you put into it, the better you get, like anything else. Rejections are just flies on the windshield on the way to an acceptance, a ride to the buzzer.” (web)

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