Contents
 

 

 

Sketchbook 

A. D. Winans, US

 

 

 Free Verse

South of Market

South of Market
You can see from the
Look in his eyes the
Scar on his face that
Heís someone
You donít want to mess with
His eyes survey the scene
Like a periscope
Heís a two-bit thug
Looking for action
An old time beat cop
Looking for a head to bash
Heís Boston Blackie
And Al Capone rolled into one
His women are mean and lean
Bred on the S&M scene
With tattooed flesh and black mesh
They walk the seedy side of town
Looking to do the last waltz with you
In a back-alley at South of Market
Or in a basement dungeon
Itís all the same
All part of the game
Doing a tap dance on your spine
Looking dead serious
Like a sumo wrestler sizing
You up for the kill
 

 

Reality

Overcome with street sounds
Strange love songs serenade
My head
Outside the window invisible
Vampires wait for the
First sign of dawn
When dreams turn
To ham and eggs
 

 

Walking the Streets Again

Iím out walking the streets again
Like a priest looking for a miracle
Past Saint Paulís Church where the
Smell of alter boys permeates the air
The ripped-up street still hot from the
Smell of freshly laid tar
The tongues of harlots call out
Like hungry birds
Diving for scraps of food
Passing over the head of the
Elderly priest waving his hand
In the air
As if in a private conversation
With God
Extending his hand to a wrinkled
Italian woman talking into
Her rosary beads
Dusting off another miracle
Like an aging cowboy
Back from a long trail drive
 

 

High on a Hill

twenty years high on this hill
on Laidley Street
writing these words
drinking and playing the horses
waiting on the big score
and sometimes its steak and eggs
but mostly hamburger helper and noodles
waiting for the exacta to come in
at Bay Meadows race track
waiting on the big score the
great American dream
and after another losing day
itís back to Gino and Carloís bar
eying the daily scratch sheet
looking at the early morning line
keeping one eye out for the poets
who line up like a bad daily double
at a fairgroundís race track the
other eye scanning the paper
looking for the big kill
Silky Sullivan l6 lengths back
making his way down the back-stretch
and slowly gaining ground
all those lonely faces lit up
like a string of Christmas lights
their life on the line like a long line
of hot dogs moving down
an assembly line
at the butcher factory
The crowd going crazy
as Silky Sullivan races across the
finish-line winner by a nose
the tote board lighting-up like
an army of fire flies
and then the announcer says:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
please hold on to your tickets
an official inquiry has been posted
and then itís official
a disqualification for bumping
in the stretch
Silky Sullivan is moved from
first to third
Hypnotic Agent is moved to second
and Perverse Fantasy declared the winner
and itís back to Gino and Carloís
the big score no more
left feeling like a man going
to bed with Jennifer Lopez
and waking up in the morning next
to Barbara Bush
 

 

Adult Disneyland

Here they come again
Old and young alike
Strutting boldly down the street
To the beat of Brown Sugar
Blaring from inside a neon lit bar
With topless girls offering their wares
Here on Sun Street, the Philippines
Home to young serviceman sporting
Crew cuts with their white arms
Slung casually around the shoulders
Of brown skinned young girls
Milling about shopping malls where
Enlisted men have their pick
Of Vegas like glitter
Boots and belts in every conceivable skin
Buying Tee Shirts with sporty slogans like:
A Womanís Place is on my face
Or with pictures of a woman
Tied to a motorcycle seat
Being ravished by a Bull dog
Wearing a motorcycle cap
Tipped jauntily over one eye
These are the same young boys
Who will grow up to become men
Returning home to become
Respectable citizens
Men who will cheat on their taxes
Go out with the boys on Saturday night
Returning home to kick their women around
Promising each time to be the last time
Men destined to find happiness
At an occasional bachelor party
Copping a quick hard feel
To help remind them
Of the good old days
Men with eyes cold as steel
That cuts deep into the flesh
Like a butcher cutting into
A slab of beef
 

 

Looking Back

When I was twenty
It was a ball
There were no thoughts
About the right one
It was simply this one
And that one booze music
And fun
When I was thirty the
Search began
It became a bit more than
Flesh and bone
And I began to think
of marriage children
And a home
Tired of hangovers
Bent retching over a toilet bowl
The searching of the soul
When I was forty
Doubts began to set in
Memories of my mother breaking
A dish over my fatherís head
A lover long dead
Young women passing
In and out of my bed
When I was fifty the women
Began to walk it past my door
And the bars became a bore
But the search went on
Now at seventy
My spirit on the run
I no longer play the game
Just trying to stay sane
Having escaped the mad house
Having escaped the nursing home
Is a small victory in it self
The graveyards are filled with
Lovers who search for the right one
Only to rot under the
Weight of the sun
 

 

Christmas Poem

turn the radio off
down a shot of Tequila Gold
turn the television on
no war news
first time this month
I can recall
neighbors upstairs cat
pays me a visit
one yawn deserves another
Iíll spend the night drinking
and writing poems
sign an armistice with
my troubled soul
let Santa Clause sucker-
punch me one last time
 

 

Heat Wave

Itís hot in San Francisco
Maybe ten, twelve days
A year, which accounts
For all those linen white faces
Sitting on the bar stools
At neighborhood bars instead
Of cruising the boardwalk
In convertibles or moon-roof
Sport cars
On the way to Ocean Beach
To check out young women with
Bikini-line tans
I like the weather in San Francisco
The fog rolling in
Blanketing the city with ghostly tears,
The old bones are comfortable here
Better than sitting in Miami wearing
Sunglasses and sipping on cocktails
Looking like a retired Mafia Don
Me here in San Francisco
Sitting in the shade looking
Like Sam Spade
Taking aim at the sun with
A sawed-off shotgun

 

 

How to Spot a Yuppie

Theyíre young and have an ambitious
Look about them
They wear expensive suits
With gold chains around their necks
They congregate at trendy restaurants
Parking their BMW in front of fire hydrants
As they show off their stock portfolios while
Sipping white wine looking
Like they just returned from a trip to Mexico
Casual yet serious looking enough
That not a stand of hair is out of place

You can find them on any given weekend
Playing tennis or jogging at nearby malls
They look like they want something
And are willing to kill to get it
 

 

 


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