Monday, August 21, 2006

Poetry By A.D. Winans


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
Annie’s answering machine
Reading a poem about a bird
that died in his hands
Remembering the scattering
of his daughter’s 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
like the rest of us
for whatever time
is left


there having a rumble
at Ellis and Eddy streets
and the police are slow
to respond
you can see the rage in the
Chicano’s 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 spade

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
don’t stop to look back
head for crack-house
biding their time
like a stoned Jesus
hung out to dry
on your mother’s clothesline


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 fashion
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
Like a piece of meat thrust into
A tiger’s cage
Vietnamese peasants
Suspected Cong haunt his dreams
Like a faceless Santa Clause leaving
Behind a bag of body parts


The preacher man
don’t believe in evolution
The con-man
don’t 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 stockmarket
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 Bukowski’s 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

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet, writer and photographer. His work has been published internationally. Recent books include This Land Is Not My Land (Presa Press) and The Last Rodeo (Bottle of Smoke Press). Presa Press will be publishing a book of his Selected Poems in January 2007. He can be contacted at

No comments: