Carolyn Guinzio

Three Poems
February 20, 2023 Guinzio Carolyn





Every time I try to walk
his hands shook
when he greeted the guard
Meanwhile in Arkansas
he was thinking about writing
about greeting the guard
those boats are sitting ducks
full of American owned
aren’t all jewels costume
because when you put them on
it doesn’t mean belonging
what do you call not placebo
you don’t believe the real thing
will come crawling out of it
doleful cat we left for two days
to weave around the moon
jellies stinging his hand
his hand shook when he read
about greeting the guard





When did you see your life
in a stairwell in the stars
take this it will calm you down
the only people I need are
a way to carry the unconscious
where are you taking it and can I
get a lift it is no longer punctuated
in the space between days
they made her film into a book
they made her book into
I would never dream of
a cat being carried look through
the ruins a ghost with the widow
his diabolical circling
helicopter rides fifty dollars
ten minutes Meanwhile in Arkansas
invisible eternity from up there darkness
only solid ground will calm me down
but now that we’re here
there is a rattling I liked the part with
the light: that was my favorite part





Of the plaque left to mark
a place cloud-to-ground
lighning struck the black
oak down because it called
attention to itself don’t
lure the human eye and if
you do wave them through
the four-way stop with a human
expression of fellow feeling
her advice was say I am
sorry I’m sorry and leave it
at that we are made differently
here differently now Meanwhile
in Arkansas the renamed
stretches of roads the exits
abound the radiating letters
glitter differently when memory
serves if it serves it stings
and if it stings the shells
of black walnuts take
pain down to littered ground

Carolyn Guinzio is the author of seven collections, most recently A Vertigo Book (The Word Works, 2021) winner of the Tenth Gate Prize and the Foreword Indies Gold Medal for poetry book of the year. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Nation, The New Yorker and many other journals. She lives in Fayetteville, AR. Her website is