Other Poems by:

A. D. Winans

Biography:

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet, writer, and photographer, 
whose work has appeared internationally, and has been translated into 
eight languages. He is the author of over 45 chapbooks and books of 
poetry and prose, including The Holy Grail: Charles Bukowski and the 
Second Coming Revolution (Dustbooks). A collection of Selected Poems 
was just published by Presa Press. He is a graduate of San Francisco 
State University and a member of PEN. He edited and published Second 
Coming for seventeen years, where he met and became close friends with 
the late Bob Kaufman, Jack Micheline, and Charles Bukowski. He can be 
contacted at: slowdancer2006@netzero.com.

FOR KELL

Old guitar slung over his back
Pure country singing the blues
in all of us
with eyes that cry out to be heard
Leaving a message on
Annieís answering machine
Reading a poem about a bird
that died in his hands
Remembering the scattering
of his daughterís ashes
Caught in the pit of sorrow
This man of music
This one time old friend
who works the nerve ends
like a skilled surgeon
Still fighting still scraping along
like the rest of us
for whatever time
is left

CITY HAPPENINGS

there having a rumble
at Ellis and Eddy streets
and the police are slow 
to respond
you can see the rage in the
Chicanoís eyes smell the
fear in Whitey the
Blacks are shucking
and jiving and rolling dice
while placing bets on winner
and losers alike the
street whores move down
a block or two
to ply their trade
one white, one Asian
one latina
the black and white arrives
at last dispensing the players
like bit actors auditioning
for a role in the big show
 small town punks gather themselves
run for cover
donít stop to look back
head for crack-house
biding their time
like a stoned Jesus
hung out to dry
on your motherís clothesline

GOING TO MAKE POETRY AN INSTITUTION

The preacher man
donít believe in evolution
The con-man
donít believe in revolution
The priest has run out
of absolution
No more autographs
No more forced laughs
No more hanging around the zoo
swapping stories with gurus
Going to smoke some dope
with my good friend the Pope
Going to make love nice and slow
Read me some Edgar Allen Poe
Lose myself in the late night show
Going to make a cameo appearance
on the 10 p.m. news
Play me some John Lee Hooker blues
Going to penetrate a prerogative
Bugger the cosmos
Evolve evolution into a revolution
Put anarchy on the stock market
Nuke technology, outlaw e-mail
Declare Da Da the official
English language
Going to hang religion from a tree
Make John Brown the new
National Anthem
Turn outlaws into in-laws
Land owners into donors
Put Bukowskiís face 
on Mount Rushmore
Pay homage to a whore
Going to name a bus after
Rosa Park
Put a little nookie
in every fortune cookie
Expose Saint Nick as a chick
with a dick
Going to invite the First Lady
to ride through the streets of Chinatown
dressed in a see-through nightgown
Going to talk to the fly in the soup
alone or in a group
Going to sing a ballad with
Lorca and a band of gypsies
stop off at the manager
and have a talk with the Lone Ranger
Going to put an end to hemorrhoids
Outlaw humanoids
Going to offer a truce
Bring back Lenny Bruce
Make politicians ride the caboose
Going to go back to school 
Erase the golden rule
Going to feed a vulture
Starve off mass culture
Going to turn evolution into
A revolution
Make poetry an institution

Bill

He keeps a photograph tucked away
Inside his meager belongings
Three soldiers smiling smoking cigarettes
A Viet Cong in black pajamas 
Hanging upside down from a pole
Gutted like a fish
Flesh nailed to wood Jesus like
Needs no caption
 
Guilt shadows him in doorways
And under freeways where
He now makes his home
Incoming artillery tears at his nerves
Pieces of flesh stuck to bamboo
lLke a piece of meat thrust into
A tigerís cage
Vietnamese peasants
Suspected Cong haunt his dreams
Like a faceless Santa Clause leaving
Behind a bag of body parts

POEM FOR MY FATHER

On weekends my father worked
For Luke Morley
At the corner grocery store
Not for money but for conversation
He never had with my mother
Staying there until late at night
Stacking shelves with canned goods
Coming home with his reward
A pack or two of Pall Mall cigarettes
Sitting alone in the livingroom
Staring out the window
Blowing smoke rings in the air
The ashes falling into the ashtray
Like bits of pieces of his life

APPROACHING 70

the words come harder
set their own pace
sometimes the turtle
sometimes the hare
always stripped bare

bukowski told me in a letter
you seem like a man
who knows where it's at
didn't then don't now
just hanging around 
with words that dangle
like an outlaw's neck stretched
at the end of a rope

GOLDEN YEARS

It's been in the thirties
two nights in a row
and my heater went out
and I'm sitting here freezing
my butt off
waiting for the power company
to come and fix the problem
But it isn't so bad when
you consider Hurricane Katrina
earthquakes and tidal waves
and terrorism that plagues the world

Thirty degree nights won't kill you
but they don't bring comfort either
The trouble with being single
The trouble with the golden years
is knowing you could die alone
and go undiscovered for weeks
with nothing but rotting flesh
to tell your story
and a few poems to remember
you by

WRITERíS BLOCK

I stare into silence
Empty space has no vision
Restless ghosts eat
My words

State Of Siege

Mc Donald's wrappers
mating with coca cola cans
floating across the rivers of America
Walt Whitman's children forced
to inhale exhaust fumes worse than
a coal miner's lungs
Christ run out of town
for practicing his trade without
a union card
children weaned on Campbell's
chicken noodle soup
not withstanding all those tiny
booger hearts floating in a sea of fat 
Late at night I can hear the
cannon fodder of Union soldiers
the sound of Confederate rifle fire
deadening my dulled senses
knowing I can't escape the
hangman's noose stretched out
across the face of America 

In the shadow of night
I hear the whimpering
of soft skinned women carrying
silkscreen fans in bone white hands
mothers of the children
I will never know 

SUNDAY MORNING BLUES

there is this kind of motionless motion
children crying themselves to sleep
the taste of sunsets for breakfast
and champagne for lunch
there is this kind of mellow music
hills made of wild strawberries
salt on hard boiled eggs
Peanuts in the comic strips
and radio DJ's with god awful jokes
that see me through another morning 
there is this kind of sadness
the feeling of dull razor blades
sliding across smooth skin
Marilyn Monroe suicides and weekends
with nothing to do
heart attacks from love or lack of it
funerals with no mourners
poets with little future
and lovers with no one to love

NORTH BEACH YUPPIE BAR

Hard to believe Richard Brautigan
Jack Spicer and other Beats drank here
As I sit and watch two business men
Playing liar's dice at Gino and Carlo's Bar
In the heart of North Beach
Their faces white as pie crust
Wearing double breasted suits
And Italian imported shirts
The legal mafia making their own rules 
The one with the twisted smile
Hides behind his dice cup
His coconspirator silently poking
At the olive in his martini glass
Looking like a hit man waiting
To fulfill a contract 

POEM FOR THE JAZZ MAN AT THE ANXIOUS ASP

they say he's burned out
but no one has bothered
to tell him
his Sax igniting a spark
across the room
his lips working pure magic
each note attacking the
heart strings of the soul
and for one brief moment
he loses sight of the bubbling spoon
the heated needle
each note a burst of machine gun fire
just like he used to before the
angel of death took him
on a straight line to hell

ONE TOO MANY POETS ONE TOO MANY POETRY READINGS

you can find them in the back room
poised for a quick exit
they're the first poets to read
and the first to leave 
they always carry
a loose leaf note book with them
they always have a pretty young girl
hanging on to their arm 

there is always one who claims
to have known Kerouac or Ginsberg
to have slept with one or both 

two or three live with the Gods
another two or three claim
to be God 

two ex-junkies one homosexual
one drag queen with too much mascara
two sad eyed women rubbing their hands
when they'd prefer to be rubbing something else 

always a drop out from the Beat Generation
a hold over from the Hippie days
a woman with short hair
a nervous poet with a tic
a refugee from the drug set
a failed poet who drops names
faster than an auctioneer 

one poet who reviews poetry
one poet who is an editor
one poet who wants to be an editor
one Messiah
and one visiting out of town star

AMERICA

Drummed out of the infantry of death

I came back to you carrying the

Poems of my soul

Opened the door of life

And found only death inside

 

America

I have read the state of the union

And listened to the state of the economy

By statesmen in a state of hysteria

 

America where the

Poor and the black

Are sentenced to Attica

And the rich serve time at San Clemente

 

America where the

Coal miner's lungs are used

For corporate profit

Where the only sounds that can be heard

Is the opening and closing of the

Downtown Bank of America

 

America where the angry voices

Of soccer moms can be heard

Preparing their children for death

Amidst the hurried jerks of masturbation

Coming from the closets of the university

 

America where the elderly are treated

Like abandoned railroad boxcars

Kept idle unemployed

Forced to walk the streets

Like an unacceptable poem

 

America

It's hard living in a country where the

Hours are shaped like coffins

The law and order administration

Running wild at Waco and Ruby Ridge

 

America where the politicians sold the

Country to General Motors and IBM

And gave the people buffalo stew

And scientology

 

Readers Digest has renewed its option

On the educational system

The mafia weans the poor on drugs

While McDonald's and Coca Cola

Compete for the nation's heart

 

America

You leave a trail of death behind

Everywhere you go

Desecrating the bodies of men

Women and children

From Wounded Knee to Vietnam

Leaving behind a trail of genocide

As your calling card

 

America

Where the narc's of New York City

Grow fat on the fears of thousands

Of junkies

Where the high priest of the cemetery

Drinks the rooster's blood

At the crossroad of reality

 

America

Where holiness is found in the

Bowels of Buddha

Where Christ died on the cross

And the police were quick

To take his place

 

America

The years grow heavy in the

Cavity of my heart

Leaving me feeling

Like an army mule carrying

A cargo of death

Your bicentennial message

Ringing loud and clear

In every cash register across

America

The American way

If you can't kill them

Buy them into the system

 

America

I grow older carrying

A new found vision warmer that

A child's smile

Walking the streets of my mind's

Third eye

Lady death blinking like the

Flickering candles on a birthday cake

 

America

You are the only county I have known

For any length of time

And unlike some poets

I have no desire for Cuba or Moscow

But I am a man

I am a poet

I am the energy running through

Your withered veins

Not afraid of your shock and awe

Your disregard for international law

All too aware of the storm troopers

Of justice

Who would turn off the beauty

And discard it like a rusted faucet

These men in blue

Who sniff the blood of my wounds

Like a hound dog crossing

A river of blood

Their sirens playing mad tunes

Outside my window

Like a poet forced to read underwater

Where the poet twice dead

And once resurrected

Turns over in his grave

But the middle finger he raises

Is jammed back down his throat

Until the shit he shits is theirs

And the blood they bleed is his

And the cries united

Fill the air

Like a lonely bird

Lost in flight

C)opyright 2007 A. D. Winans - All Rights Reserved
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