Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A. D. Winans’s Wind On His Wings


A. D. Winans’s Wind On His Wings 

Reviewed by Pam Rosenblatt

A.D. Winans is a poet who tells life as he sees it, as he lives, and as he knows it. Mr. Winans has published over 50 poetry books over the past 50 plus years.  His name is well-recognized around  United States poetry circles. It’s no surprise that Wind On His Wings is another successful read by A.D. Winans.
                Published by Presa Press in 2012, Winans’s Wind On His Wings is a 41 page chapbook that contains poems that are easy to understand, to the point, and reflect what’s on the poet’s mind at the time of the write. Often times his words are humorous, often times his words are political, and sometimes his words are distasteful. But all the time, Winans has maintained his status of “poet”.
                In his opening poem, “Aladdin’s Lamp”, Winans speaks his masculine mind in a light, sexual tone that carries the reader’s interest – that is up until the final stanza that reveals his ability to show the distastefulness of the aging process in a humorous light:

I push my way through the old
Wild West barroom doors
at the Saloon
the oldest bar in San Francisco

I order a boilermaker
eye the swamper with a wheel barrel belly
who pays me no attention

I down a shot and beer
in less than five minutes
pull out the key
to the upstairs hotel room
walk up the stairway
fit the key in the lock
the young woman I picked up
the night before
still naked on the bed

I climb in beside her
a fire lit in this old man’s body
as I rub my cock
like Aladdin’s lamp
hoping there is one more wish left

Winans has the ability to write in a sensitive, more caring tone as well, as can be read in his rather political poem, “POEM FOR ROBERTO VARGAS AND THE NICARAGUAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS”:

this poem is for you Roberto
and for Ed “Foots” Lipman too
this poem is for every poet
who ever paced the cellblocks of San Quentin
Folsom, Attica, and Neil Island
or fought the people’s struggle in 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

I sit here in my seventy-sixth year
thinking of young boys
who have fought the real war

thinking of grieving mothers and widows
of young women in black suspender belts
and knee high leather boots
with revolutionary roots

thinking of how the words come too 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
to 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 to

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
in encircled in a poem

the spirit lives on
in those who passed the baton
the vision cannot be killed
even as we retreat into
the depths of our being
listening to the blood
beat solid against the walls
of the heart knowing
there are secrets in the bones
that cannot be denied
or sold out to the whims of others

sleep well my comrades
only the flesh is gone
your strength lives on
in those who dared
to reach out and kiss
the sun

A.D. Winans has written a complex chapbook that reads easily, though sometimes he makes the readers painfully aware that “the spirit lives on/in those who passed the baton/the vision cannot be killed/even as we retreat into/the depths of our being/listening to the blood/beat solid against the walls/of the heart knowing/there are secrets in the bones/that cannot be denied/or sold out to the whims of others.”
In his aging years, Winans seems to have come to the conclusion that “your strength lives on/in those who dared/to reach out and kiss/the sun”. If these words are true, then A.D. Winans has lived a full life, and his poems reflect his own inner “strength”.  
A.D. Winans’s Wind On His Wings is an excellent year 2012 read!

No comments:

Post a Comment