3 POEMS BY SAN FRANCISCO LEGEND A.D. WINANS

GOING TO MAKE POETRY AN INSTITUTION

Going to run for political office
On a pledge to make poetry an institution
Going to rattle the white mans power cage
Show them the meaning of real rage

The preacher man doubts evolution
The con man doesn’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 me 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 Jimmy Fallon show

Going to make a cameo appearance
On the late night show
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
Landlords into donors

Going to pay homage to a whore
Put Bukowski’s face on Mount Rushmore

Going to name a bus after Rosa Park
Put a little nookie in every fortune cookie
Expose Saint Nick as a chick with
A twelve-inch dick

Going to invite Trump’s old lady
To ride through the streets of Chinatown
In a see-through nightgown

Going to sing a ballad with Lorca
And a band of gypsies
Stop off at the manager
Have a long 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


BROKEN PROMISES

at eighty years
the sun beats down on me
like the gleam in the eye
of a butcher lowering a hammer
on the head of an unsuspecting cow
being led to the slaughterhouse

the memories circle me like
old time Indians circling
a wagon train

I walk backwards into my birth
each new year like
a sharpened knife in the hands
of a trembling surgeon

lost in insomnia like a blind man
walking a dark road in
the dead of night

waking like a shotgun blast
in a killing field
lost in a language
I can not translate

the priest passes
the collection plate
rejects my confession
my sins laid out like
a sea of stars in
a far away constellation

all my poet friends take sides
purity versus the hucksters
God’s choir plays bagpipes
refuse to play referee

the creaking coasters
of my grandfather’s rocking chair
sing in my one good ear

the Holy Ghost devours
me like a python
my childhood like a bat
in a dark cave waits for God
to come out of the closet
and deliver the long
promised resurrection


At 80

You realize you’re not immortal
Parents long buried
Friends fallen by the wayside
Like spring leaves from an aging tree
Arthritic Bones that creak and moan
Mile walks turned to blocks

The years ace by like a track sprinter
Bring me to my mother’s grave
Her tombstone chipped
The words fading

No such fate for me
I’ll go the way of the Indian
My flesh given to flames
No dirt No worms
No suffocating box

Ashes and bone my fate
Monterey or San Francisco Bay
The sunset my head stone
My poems my marker


About the author: 

A. D. Winans (1936), is an American poet, essayist, short story writer and publisher. Born in San Francisco, California, he returned home from Panama in 1958, after serving three years in the military. In 1962, he graduated from San Francisco State College.
He made his home away from home in North Beach where he became friends with Beat poets like Bob Kaufman and Jack Micheline.

He was the founder of Second Coming Press, a small press based in San Francisco that published books, poetry broadsides, a magazine, and anthologies. He edited Second Coming Magazine for seventeen years from 1972 to 1989. Winans became friends with Charles Bukowski, whose work he published. He also published Bukowski’s then-girlfriend, Linda King. Other writers he published included Jack Micheline, Bob Kaufman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Levine, Josephine Miles, David Meltzer, Charles Plymell. etc.
In 2002, he published his memoir, Holy Grail: Charles Bukowski & The Second Coming Revolution.

A.D. Winans has had poetry, book reviews, and short stories published in over 2,000 magazines and anthologies. He has written 63 books of poetry, and two books of prose.
A song poem of his was performed at Alice Tully Hall, New York City. In 2006, he was awarded a PEN National Josephine Miles Award for excellence in literature. In 2009 PEN Oakland presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015 he was a recipient of a Kathy Acker Award in poetry and publishing.
His latest book, « San Francisco Poems » published by Little Red Tree Publishing, CT, includes an extended biography with many photographs, plus 99 poems, old and new.
In 2016 he appeared in a documentary movie on the life of poet Bob Kaufman. The movie was premiered in April 2016 at the San Francisco International Movie Festival.

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