poetryrepairs 16,09:101

A.D. WINANS : Poem for an Old Friend
A.D. WINANS : 101poem2

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Poem for an Old Friend

the mind silent like a whisper in the still of night you stiff as a mannequin laid out in hospital gown eyes fixed to ceiling poems spin in your head weave present into past until you’re back on the docks lifting crates with hooks and beefy hands waiting to clock out and hit Gino and Carlo’s Bar with other “white cap” longshoremen young women eyed your masculinity like vampires devoured your loins your head buried between nectar sweet limbs now laying in solitude fluids not whiskey runs through your vein tubes in your nose labored breath the angel of death no angel at all but a minion from hell dreams reduced to confetti fall slowly to the ground stepped on or around death waits like a sadist plays your mind like a card shark your breathing ragged as a rat’s claws the hour’s pass at horse and buggy speed lady death a faceless mugger does a two-step shuffle like a gypsy woman selling her wares in the shadows of the tattooed dawn

poetryrepairs #228 16,09:101


at eighty years two months 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

poetryrepairs #228 16,09:101


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San Francisco native, A.D. WINANS has authored over 50 books and chapbooks of poetry and prose.

CRITIQUE: WINANS does well when the poet writes scenic poems that allow place to carry the weight of narrative; they fail miserably in lesser hands but work miraculously in the sure hands of an artist. Old Men on Skid Row, by Winans (see #200 14.05:059), "is universal as it could be about the reader, anyone the reader knows, or someone the reader has seen in passing. Yet we meet ‘these old men’ through an observer who sees and reports. This is social narrative verse at its best.