Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A.D. Winans' Days In Heaven Nights In Hell

A.D. Winans’ collection Days in Heaven Nights in Hell is book nine in the Pocket Protector Series from Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press. I “dog-eared” the majority of the pages because the poems really struck a chord with me. A.D. Winans can be blunt, witty, and familiar all at once. I am more than happy to share some of them with you:
City Poet
Once addiction sets in
There’s no stopping it
You become a serial killer
Attacking the keyboard at will
Your mind working in shifts
Strange creatures live inside
Your head and show no mercy
Give no ground force your fingers
To do their bidding
Writing down their thoughts
In your looseleaf notebook
The city is your slaughterhouse
Like a wife it accommodates
Your moods doesn’t seem to mind
Your giving her a bad name
You walk her streets like a vampire
Lapping up your own blood
On nights when word transfusions
Are not enough.
The disembodiment of poetry vs. the writer is entertaining. Poetry as an “It” shape-shifts throughout the poem in an alarming way which only Mr. Winans can describe and makes writing an adventure. It’s marvelous.
Going Back In Time
I was looking at my scrapbook the other night
while listening to an old Dylan record
and there I was in my youth traveling
from California to Arizona and places
farther west
heading in so many directions
it was like getting lost in the
trick-mirrors at the old fun house
and there were the women
then young girls
free flowing spirits who gave
their minds and bodies at the
slightest invitation
and nights too lying alone
in tangled sleep feeling
like a deer caught in barbed wire
or sitting hunched over cold and disheveled
at the local Greyhound station
fighting off the eyes of leering men
who preferred boys to women
Now seventy and counting
I realize I was there and back so fast
like a train running out of track
returning home carrying my life
in a Knapp-sack
the days the months the years
hung out to dry
like your mother’s washing
on an old clothesline.
I enjoy recounting Mr. Winans’ adventures alongside him in this poem. A brief glimpse of travels veers into surprises such as the experience of “leering men/who preferred boys to women” and the rush of traveling down memory lane back to the present. He touches and goes in the poem the same way his memory does and executes this beautifully.
At 71, death plays with me
Cases my apartment
Like a cat burglar
Sniffing at the four corners
Of my bedroom
Toys with me like a cat
Toys with a spool of thread
On good days he allows
Me a poem or two
Words of thunder
Then the melancholy sets in
Blackbirds flap their wings
Against the window panes
In the kitchen a spicy sauce
Simmers on the back-burner
An opera playing on the radio
Stills the winter chill
Leaves me feeling
Like a drifter walking through
A ghost town.
Mr. Winans’ poem on death and aging is poignant in its mysteriousness. Death peeks in during every day moments while cooking or writing and leaves Mr. Winans with a chill on his skin which can be felt on my own while reading.
If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you can purchase A.D. Winans’ collection, Days In Heaven Nights In Hell for $3.00 at Propaganda Press through Alternating Current. Alternating Current allows authors to set royalties and is one of the few places where small press poets can receive payment for their work. It is a wonderful way to support small press poets and I urge you to check out Alternating Current at:
Thanks always for reading, please drop in tomorrow for more Poems Found By Poet Hound…

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