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Drowning With Li Po in a River of Red Wine by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans, Reviews with tags , on November 2, 2010 by Scot

Well A.D Winans can say what he wants about wearing the label of a poet.  It is what it is and with his new book Drowning With Li Po in a River of Red Wine from Bottle of Smoke Press, I say he is a poet—all 396 pages, all 40 years of poetry worth spanning 55 plus books and chaps.    This is a chronological collection containing poems from every book including an excerpt from Black Lily that the Rusty Truck published.

This collection begins with Carmel Clowns 1970, which I own, and includes the poem Remember Still with this opening stanza:

I remember still how wonderful it was
Running to join each other’s dreams
Sharing our separate worlds of hope
In rooms of music where angels lay

In the 80’s he writes of Crazy John and the Reagan Pslams and in 1997 he issues a poem A Call to Poets when he ends the poem:

take a bookstore owner
to dinner
talk child talk
translate gibberish
put ego aside
put power aside
quit visiting Kerouac’s
and Bukowski’s graves
return to the world
of the living
put the poet back into
poetry
make me want to believe
in you again

In the book From Pussy to Politics (1999) he remembers his friends Jack and Bob in the poem I kiss the Feet of Angels:

Kaufman black messiah
walking bourbon street
eating a golden sardine
Micheline drinking with Kerouac
at the old cedar tavern
Jesus wiping the perspiration
from his forehead
the foghorn plays a symphony
inside my head
I hear the drums
I feel the beat
I kiss the feet of angels

Winans has said and writes in the intro of this book: I don’t think any one man’s life is really that important, but what he does with it and leaves behind is.

I agree it is what you leave behind that makes you important.  That  is why I published his  chap Black Lily.  It is why I will seek out and buy his  early work to read when I am old so that I will still remember.

The work of A.D. Winans is about the common man.  This book from BOSP is the definitive history of 40 years of such observations.  When you read a 40 year old poem and it is still relevant, you feel the significance of the writer and his work.

A.D. Winans you are a poet.  Wear the label however you wish, but I have the  documentation, Drowning with Li Po in a River of Red Wine.

(The book will be released in early November from Bottle of Smoke Press–thanks Bill)