Archive for the A.D. Winans Category

GROWING UP IN AMERICA by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags , on November 27, 2016 by Scot

As a child I thrilled
To the railroad trains
Riding out of the badlands
Not knowing they were owned
By robber barons

I watched the Calvary charge the
Indian villages like Attila the Hun
Believing Custer a hero and
Sitting Bull a savage

Not taught in school about the
Deadly smallpox plague
Diseased blankets traded Indians
For title to their land
A secret plot to murder
An entire nation

Generations of ripped-off cultures
Gather in the museum of history
Dolphins die in tuna fishermen’s nets
While pelican eggs refuse to hatch
Victim of man’s greed and waste
As the blistered hands
Of faceless migrant workers
Reach out for a token of respect
Only to find death in pesticide laded food
The tools of revolution laid aside
Rusting from affluence and false security

The dreams of thousands upon thousands
Of brave warriors lay buried
In unmarked graves
No historical monument
Will make mention of them
Their children buried in graves so small
Their parents wear them in their hearts
Like an anchor weighed
To the tip of their tongue

UNDER THE LIGHT OF A FULL MOON by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags , on November 25, 2016 by Scot

born at home premature
under the light of a full moon
I walked the jungles of Panama
fed off Beat Mania
in the streets of North Beach

Shaman poets sang in my ears
under a bed of stars young
women with dresses
that clung to firm thighs
damp dark cavern
wet as morning dew
peach fuzz dinner
drew me in devoured me
like quicksand
the sweet fragrance of the past
mates with comrades long dead
as I walk back into my birth
work my way through
the sound of water

the wind propels me
towards my destiny
my boyhood gone
like an old jalopy used-up
rusting in an auto junkyard
I head toward the comfort of the now
nailed to the cross of the past
in the language of the present
with no words to light the fire
as I carry the memories
like a mountain climber
with a heavy backpack
vague memories of my mother
singing me to sleep
and the chill of waking
the tongue of dawn cold as dry ice
the hawk sweeps down for the kill
a dog howls at the moon
a cat yawns in boredom
the universe draws new boundary lines
fragile as a new born
the monkey rides the master’s back
the coo-coo bird moves backward
into the clock
fearful police lock and load their guns
black boys moving targets
in the night
voter suppression laws to keep
the voting down
southern barbecues with
rednecks hungry for black “boy” stew
gone the passion of revolution
sell out satisfaction to
the status quo
the night hound of death
stumbles into the day
the rich roast the poor
like a pig on a spit

labor unions turned into mannequins
fuel the fire of Wall Street
the war machine moneymakers
bleed the blood of our youth
like an undertaker dresses the dead

the Roman Senate proceeds unabated
turn out gladiators like machinery parts
endless parades marching bands
and waving flags played out
like a Disney Land production

slaves without chains
government without representation
this nation of criminal politicians
the ghost of Custer rises like
a creature from the lagoon
creeps through the night
like a faceless Santa Claus
with a bag of Indian scalps
Allah competes with the Pope
for the rights to the head of Jesus
beheaded by ISSA barbarians
back from a night of slaughter
as the congregation stumbles
like a drunk into the future
carved out in the hands
of a gypsy fortune teller
as I wait out the night hours
in solitude
shut out the demons of insomnia
like a faulty light switch
the holy of the unholy
money exchangers
make and pass new laws
laws that feasts on the bones
of the poor and dispossessed
a future where animals
turn into animal crackers
and wingless birds hop frantically
around the dinner table
with carving knives in their breasts
serve themselves up as holiday feast
the angels occupy the cheap seats
at Yankee Stadium
God sends down a bolt of lightning
dismayed at the flawed diamond
he created in his image

TRUMP LAND by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags , on November 20, 2016 by Scot

 

I cannot pledge allegiance to a racist
Who stands behind the flag
Whose principles you defile

I will not bow down to Corporate America
And its religious right

I cannot accept your moral bankruptcy
Your greenback God selling lives
On the stock market exchange

I will not bow down to a country where
Immigrants are treated like criminals
And women as chattel
A country whose papal church
Has its own bank where
Ka-ching ka-ching is the new holy mantra

America you have become
One big insane asylum
Your manic depressive innkeepers
Waging war on the masses

Your henchmen standing proud
On your purple majestic mountains
Kissing the cold stone faces on Mount Rushmore
Where you lust for your inclusion
Looking like a Mafia Don with the
Cold kiss of death on your breath

THE DAY ANNIE PASSED AWAY by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags on August 15, 2016 by Scot

The day Annie passed way
I sat outside Martha’s Coffee Shop
In the heart of Noe Valley
A bird hopped up on to the table
And I fed it crumbs from my scone
And he hopped up on my hand
And gave me a puzzled look chirped
Three times and flew away

The day Annie passed away
I put on a Miles Davis record
Black Hawk 1962
And recalled the night
His magic drew me in
Like a tidal wave

The day Annie passed away
Jazz trumpets burst the eardrums
Like artillery fire
The four walls collapsing like
A row of dominoes

The day Annie passed away
A bank of clouds made their way
Across the sky like an armada of Viking ships
Set sail for Valhalla

The day Annie passed away
Bob Kaufman read a poem to God
A drummer threw his sticks at the moon

The day Annie passed away
God punched a hole in the dance card
One last time
Birds sang dogs barked cats purred
The day Annie passed away

Drowning like Li Po in a River of Red Wine by A D Winans–Reviewed by Charles Plymell

Posted in A.D. Winans, charles plymell with tags on March 20, 2016 by Scot

 

 

Drowning like Li Po in a River of Red Wine: Selected Poms 1970-2010.  Bos (Bottle of Smoke Press)

 

 

 

Drowning like Li Po in a River of Red Wine by A D Winans is a book to be proud of. It’s a pick-it-up-random poem book that lipo2gets right to it, with selected poems organized chronologically from past publications, 1970-2010. One might think that 364 pages of verse (and colophon page) would be a lot to take in, but it is not. Everything is all right, like the years went by, exactly right, bringing it all back home. San Francisco was home to us all. She opened her doors to everyone, alone, weary, and timeless… from Jack Black to Jack Micheline. Everyone got a taste of that home, but Winans is the only one I’ve met who was born there. He must share her coiffed comeliness and spiritual highs, splashing her nacreous pearls from deep black water splayed into the fog of love, the mist from her eddies pressing back the lusty egalitarian thrust until it obeys. It always seemed a small town because it’s vertical, on different planes, each neighborhood seething with scenes. During my limited tenure, it seemed I lived on every street, if not neighborhood, or knew someone who was in this or that scene. And floating through those different planes were layers to its natural beauty that gave off the essence of love but could also sink down darkly and cruel as hell. Through the eyes of Winans one can live those streets again, like a Bob Kaufman looking out the window of a Muni bus in silent study of all action passing on her streets to the last window-framed panorama.

 

The book too, is exactly right, as a book should be made. The poems aren’t tucked in as a filler to the pretentious pages of slick magazines; they are presented in the best selection of typeface, the poems placed correctly on the page. Li Po would have approved. It has the right feel, the right dimension, and the right geography to go back to and turn the pages like wrapping dreams.

 

Winans and I are about the same age, and we both discovered the Beats in the late 1950s. We both had unconventional childhoods. My best times were in the fifties. We heard the McCarthy hearings in real time. We developed a similar political philosophy somewhere between Li Po and Upton Sinclair. Like most poets in the Bay Area grown into the sixties there was politics in our poetry. He served time in the service. Mine in the ROTC … a Clinton/Bush deferment. I arrived in his old middle class neighborhood, the Haight, as the decade of the sixties began, before the kids took over the streets from little Russian ladies. He knew poets I did and the bars they read in, and the magazines they published in. San Francisco was constantly changing, sometimes overnight.

 

charles pI didn’t know Winans in San Francisco but met him later at an Independent small publishing event. We took part in some of their organizations. We learned how the game was played and over the years watched it change as the poetry politicians began to take over as all things government do with friends rewarding friends. Over the years, we have corresponded and shared our views on poetry, political scams and awards. We spot the phonies and neither of us much cares for labels.  We’ve seen famous poets howl against Moloch and the government only to receive several thousands of government money and keep the Beatnik flack, not black, flying at the landmark tourist bookstore in North Beach. We’ve seen hypocrisy in all flavors in all the poets the city spawned. I’ve often wondered how Winans sees the invasion on his home turf.

My biggest regret is that I wasn’t with him when the great jazz clubs flourished in the days of Billie Holliday that he remembers in his poems, or the great blues legends like Johnny Lee Hooker. Yes, the times were always changing there. By the time Pam and I went to Mike’s Pool Hall with Ferlinghetti (Pam was underage), the Go Go girls were dancing in every joint. I got to see Sonny Rollins at an embarrassing two-drink minimum gig in North Beach when he was either too sick or too broken to wail. Yes, the city was built on Rock and Roll, Fillmore and the Avalon et. al. But the poets knew that it was really re-built, again and again. It all comes back in the works of Winans. It comes back as subtle and real as Bo Diddley’s words at the Avalon, a thriving line-in the street psychedelic hall bringing us the new sounds and lights. His words haunt me when he came to play to a handful, this then relatively unknown who said “And here I am now playing for you. Mercy Mercy Mercy.” I think I know what he meant. You will get the full history with Winan’s poems. They tell it real. San Francisco was always home to the outcasts from any origin. They became family. The moon on the water beckoning for all comers. The sun over the hills and bridges all bringing commerce, ships going to war. Friends and families living and dying. A changing city like the long nights and sunny days. My sister died in that Chinese Lantern of the Western Moon.

 

Jack Micheline came by to rally me to read and bring the word to the people. I had a good job on the docks and was starting a family. Besides, I said to him, how would you compete with the fame of sensational book trial no matter the poet and poet store owner was out of town and let the Japanese-American clerk who sold the book stand trial, just in case it backfired. The days of Life and Time are over. They just want the tourist version. Micheline left dejected, but hopefully to Gino and Carlos bar to have a drink with Winans and revitalize the words again. Or the Anxious Asp to hear poets insult the poets from Cleveland in their hippy drag. It was like that. It could be a tough town. We didn’t walk to the docks with Longshoreman hooks in our belts for nothing. The town was built on many layers of compassion and destruction, giver and taker, almost religiously. I wonder sometimes how a poet would live all his life there. Probably by writing lines to William Wantling, an example of the many poets who walked the streets of his town: Looking into the cracked lips of sorrow/I walk the harsh streets of tomorrow. (Pg. 297).Pick it up and open it anywhere. But to really find out how the poet down South who wrote about the poet up North and what happens with the poets from the East who come to the West and drank at the bars in Winan’s home town, you’ll just have to open the book in a river of red wine on pg 183.

 

–The hardback is sold out, but paperback copies can still be obtained from the publisher.  Contact Bill Roberts at http://www.bospress.net.

LABOR DAY POEM by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags on September 27, 2014 by Scot

like pulling a wisdom tooth
like an attack of sciatica
I sit here lost
in the attic of my mind

the fog rolling in
slips through the crack
of my living room window
.
born at home premature
under the light of a full moon
I walked the jungles of Panama
fed off Beat Mania
in the streets of North Beach

Shaman poets sang in my ear
under a bed of stars
young women with dresses
that clung to firm thighs

damp dark cavern
wet as morning dew
peach fuzz dinner
drew me in devoured me
like quicksand

the sweet fragrance of the past
mates with comrades long dead
as I walk back into my birth
work my way through
the sound of water

the wind propels me
toward my destiny
my boyhood gone
like an old jalopy used-up
rusting in an auto junkyard

I head toward
the comfort of the now
nailed to the cross of the past
in the language of the present
with no words to light the fire
as I carry the memories
like a mountain climber
with a heavy back pack
vague memories of my mother
singing me to sleep
and the chill of waking
the tongue of dawn
cold as dry ice

the hawk sweeps down for the kill
a dog howls at the moon
a cat yawns in boredom
the universe draws new boundary lines
fragile as a new born baby

the coo-coo bird moves backwards
into the clock
fearful police lock and load their guns
black boys moving targets
in the night

voter suppression laws
to keep voting down
Southern barbecues
with “rednecks” hungry
for “nigger” steak

gone the passion of revolution
sell out satisfaction
to the status quo

the night hounds of death
stumble into the day
the rich roasting the poor
like a pig on a spit

labor unions
turned into mannequin’s
fuel the fire of Wall Street
the war machine moneymakers
bleed the blood of our youth
like an undertaker
dressing the dead

the Roman Senate proceeds unabated
turn out gladiators
like machinery parts
endless parades and marching bands
waving flags, played out
like a Disney Land bonanza

slaves without chains
government without representation
this nation of criminal politicians

The ghost of Custer rises
like a creature from the lagoon
creeps through the night
like a faceless Santa Clause
with a bag of Indian scalps

Allah competes with the Pope
for the rights to the head of Jesus
beheaded by ISIS barbarians
back from a night of slaughter
as the congregation stumbles
like a drunk into the future
carved out in the hands
of a gypsy fortune teller
as I wait out the night hours of solitude
shut out the demons of insomnia
like a faulty light switch
the holy of the unholy
money exchangers
make and pass new laws
laws that feed on the bones
of the poor and dispossessed
a future where animals
turn into animal crackers
and birds are served live
at holiday feasts
the angels occupy the cheap seats
at Yankee Stadium
God sends down a bolt of lightning
dismayed at the flawed diamond
he created in his image

FOR THE PEOPLE ON THE MOUNTAIN by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags on August 8, 2014 by Scot

lift your spirit as high
as the mercy airplanes
dropping food and water
to the 40,000 Iraqui
men women and children
seeking reguge from yet
another religioius sect
bent on genocide
in the name of their
invisible God

put your heart where
your words are
all this killing in the name of God
be it Christian, Muslim
or somewhere in between

Buddha’s crossed legs won’t stop it
the Pope can’t stop it
the Koran can’t stop it

the evil inside man’s heart
began with the caveman
and waits the resurrection
hidden in a secret silo
with its missiles pointed
at God