:: Article

Five Poems

By A.D. Winans.

71 Going On 72

I like wild women who drink straight shots
And lick their lips when flirting
I like demure women
Who look like librarians
And wear long dresses that touch the floor
But I’ve retired from the game although
Not of my own choosing
Forced to sit on the sidelines
And eyeball the show
As I watch a young woman walk by
With her orange blossom smell
A false promise lost in skipped heart beats
That plays tricks with my shadow
Trailing behind like an old junkyard dog
Walking behind his master
Hoping for table scraps

Bayshore Junk Yard

What’s left of a classic 1956 Chevy
Lies like a war zone corpse
In a deserted battleground
Hubcaps gone seats gutted
Steering wheel pushed
Into dashboard
Waiting on the auto crusher
To clutch her in its steel claws
To come down on her
Like a serial killer
Mutilated raped ravished
All life squeezed out of her once
Virgin frame

Mexico November 2008

Alone in my hotel room
In Mexico, thirty-six hours
Before my flight back
To San Francisco
A hundred blank poems
Rattling around inside my head
I can turn each one
Into paper airplanes
Fly each one to imaginary places
Or write poems on them in vivid old
Mexico song rhythms
If I could draw
I’d draw a rainbow picture
Of beautiful Indian women
With faces brown as earth

Soon I’ll return to San Francisco
City of dreamers, drunkards
And lonely lovers
I will turn these blank pages
Into poems fished from the
Pond of my memory bank
Baited with the history of old


Ghostly voices race the night
Like a finely tuned sports car
Something tells me I’m in trouble
With the poetry “biz” boys
Who track my shadow night and day
It’s nearing midnight and the
Priest has canceled mass the
TV screen blank for hours
The witch doctor is making love
To the voodoo priest
A headless chicken on her plate
The poems inside my head
Turn outlaw
Hold me for a ransom
I cannot pay

Portrait From The Past

I open your old railroad watch
given to you by your father
See grandfather in his suit and tie
See his/your life sweeping by in the
seconds hand
Haunting memories rattle around inside
My head like a pair of hollow dice
The minute hand stuck at high noon
like a hangman’s noose swinging
in the wind.

A.D. Winans is the author of more than 45 published works of poetry and prose, which have been translated into nine languages. He was the editor and publisher of Second Coming for 17 years. The archives of this award winning magazine and press are housed at Brown University.
His book, The Land Is Not My Land was awarded a PEN Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. He has been awarded editing, publishing, and writing awards from the National Endowment For the Arts, The California Arts Council, PEN, and the Academy of American Poets. For samples of his work, please go here.

(Photo: A.D. Winans and Diane Di Prima, San Francisco, 2005)

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009.