Archive for the ‘A.D. Winans’ Category


(For a dead comrade)

This poem is for you Irwin Altman
And for Ed “Foots” Lipman too
For every poet who ever paced the cell blocks
Of San Quentin, Folsom, Attica, and Neil Island
Or gave his life in the  peoples struggle
Of Chile, Cuba or Nicaragua

This poem is for those who walk the
Dream of freedom with guerilla visions
In their hearts and eyes

This poem is for those who gave their lifeblood
To wash the streets free of oppression
For those who rest in heroic and not so heroic graves
In the struggle for human dignity

Poet of blue denim jacket
Mechanic of whispering trees
Walking the execution yard
Over the sleepy tresses of rain
The imaginary and not so imaginary
Shattering of the skull

I sit here one in my seventy-fourth year
Thinking of long unwritten poems
Thinking of young boys who have fought the real war
Of grieving mothers and widows
Thinking of young girls with color-book eyes
Young women in black suspender belts
And knee high leather boots
With revolutionary roots

Thinking of how the words come to late
And never say enough
Knowing that in the Buddha Temple of life
All things must die
Knowing there is no survival
No tarot cards horoscopes or incantations
Too bring back the dead

I walk the midnight supermarket of death
Thinking of Lorca and that long dirt road
Thinking of the execution wall the hangman’s noose
Ethnic cleansing ovens and genocide
Hearing the gypsy ballad that sings to the heavens
Knowing there is a strange code to this language
We are addicted too

As Gene Fowler pointed out to me
Evil spelled backwards is live
Being made into a State automated robot is evil
But dying is not evil
For it is in its whole the disintegration
The Bacterial feeding which in turn is a live process
And so the fight goes on and must go on
Until every street has been cleared of assassins
Until every newborn is encircled in a poem

The spirit lives on the vision remains
Even as we retreat Into the depths of our being
Listening to the blood beat solid against the hands
Knowing there are secrets in the bones
That cannot be denied or sold out
To the whims of others

Sleep well my brother
Only the flesh is gone
Your strength lives on in those who dared
To reach out and kiss the sun

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Two Poems by A.D. Winans


She started off front-page news
Became a crossword puzzle
And then the obituary column until
IOU’s became her calling card
And debts accumulated like autumn leaves
Buried in the bones of mutilated lovers
A frail starving vampire searching
For an open wound
Leaving behind wolf tracks
That courted the face of dawn
An angry cat with arched back
Hissing at that which she never knew


Blues song inside my head
Ambulance siren screams into the distant night
Umpire sweeps off home plate

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So it has come to this
73 years, days and nights
Of aches and pain
Soon to turn seventy-four
lady death a lurking whore
harder still to write
73 years and I still haven’t
got it down right
wandering in sightless sight
And I do not fear death
I will fight her with every breath
Aches and pains aside
I treasure my daily walk
a morning cup of coffee
An evening glass of wine
gossip with a friend
and yet I am but a guest
In this body as my father was in his

The silence of winter approaches
a telescope that scopes my mind
I walk inside my head
an unexplored canyon where
gulag monsters lurk
Serving minute portions of filet mignon
To the chosen elite
God and Jesus competing for my attention
One plays with thunder one with lightning
Satan answers with a tornado
Man left with nothing but genocide
And mass terror

The months multiply into years
the saxophone my holy father
the drummer my sacrament
Poetry my substance
what better pallbearers to scatter
my ashes into the wind

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Holy men on every street corner
Selling fake myths
Nuns in white with virgin toes
And mushroom dreams inside
Their loins

I am being followed by
Dick Tracy look-a-likes
With flat feet and bug eyes
The wolf’s plaintiff howl
Haunts my dreams
Evangelist’s pickpocket
My empty wallet
My one good eye
Photographs the crime scene
The police lineup consists
Of six pygmies and a ham sandwich

Ladybugs ride on the
Wings of butterflies on
A one way trip
To Never Land

God wanders the universe
Carrying Jesus piggyback
On his way to a Michael Jackson concert

The Madonna confiscates my dreams
Holds me for a ransom
I can’t pay

The insatiable night eats my thoughts
I’ve become a one-legged tightrope walker
Without a safety net
My poems turn into pigeon feathers
Fly off with the wind

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