By accident or design he took his life
and turned Owl Farm to icon, Johnny
Depp and friends shot his ashes into
the sky and swirled them like a flock
of birds or leaflets a ticker tape parade
of ball-drop confetti that came to rest
on aspen meadows, thickets and on
the backs of leaping deer who took
it to the roads and threw themselves
at trucks in throes of actuarial herd-
thinning and very little thought to the
gonzo genius whose ashes rode them
to their own felo de se in headlights
grille and fender mauling endgame.
Deer aside, the wake is the thing and
this one was classic HST red white
and blue lit the sky and then the famed
flamed exitus flagrante in preplanned
thundrous salute a single salvo that
said I left the way I lived, out of my
way you bastards and a long cigarette
holder whipped through the night sky
slamming into place on the bear Ursa
Major pointing forever at Polaris the
star that guides lost sailors, writers,
bikers and artists, those voyagers who
step into the unknown with nothing
but their try, their lashed-together
boats of sticks and hubris to float
them all the way to Styx and maybe
who the hell knows, to Elysium.
~ Guinotte Wise
Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Southeast Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and enough money to fix the soffits. A double Pushcart nominee, his fiction and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals including Atticus, The MacGuffin, Santa Fe Writers Project, Rattle and The American Journal of Poetry. His latest collection of poetry, Horses See Ghosts, was published in 2018. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it. Some work is at http://www.wisesculpture.com
James Benger is a father, husband and writer. His work has been featured in several publications. He is the author of two fiction ebooks: Flight 776 (2012) and Jack of Diamonds (2013), and two chapbooks of poetry: As I Watch You Fade (EMP 2016) and You’ve Heard It All Before (GigaPoem 2017). He is a member of the Riverfront Readings Committee in Kansas City, and is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online poetry workshop and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.
4 thoughts on “Hunter in the Sky with Cordite — By Guinotte Wise”
“Buy the ticket, take the ride” – he said that, didn’t he? Such a remarkable life and poem honoring it – tsk
He did. And he sure took the ride. Thank you.
You should continue writing and making art.
I will consider doing that. And I will consider that a compliment. Of the Quimbyesque variety.