Ex barfly Ex drunk
Diminished Don Juan
Kissing the pages
With red hot words
No stash
Graying moustache
Watching Larry Curly and Moe
Down at the Last Picture Show

Head spins back in time
Pork loin roast
And sweet potatoes
Roasted on fire of jazz
Here alone dancing
With my nerve ends
An aging tightrope walker
Walking a high-tension wire


I know this Academic poet
Who spends months editing
A single poem
Wants each line to be as tight
As a young virgin’s ass

Chop chop chop is his motto
Although I think
He borrowed that line
From Ezra Pound

Only trouble is
He never gets invited to read
Never has enough poems

Last I heard
He got himself a job teaching
Bonehead English
At a small Midwestern college
Assisting the football coach
Specializing in tight ends


My mother’s eyes stare at me
Like a wounded doe
Staring into a rifle scope
Her smile fades
Like watercolors from
A worn canvass
The months grow antlers
The year’s fangs
Time a barbed wire fence
Tears at my soul
The shadow of my ancestors
Stalk my dreams
Like an aging warrior
Tracking game
My mother’s eyes smoldering
Like hot ashes
In a Hiroshima graveyard


New York days and nights
Lodged in the back of my skull
Like tiny splinters beneath a hangnail
My mind stoned like Merlin the Magician
On a starless night
Lost in a whirlwind of lust
That comes and goes like a fevered dream
My words empty as a tramp’s pocket
As you allow me to probe
The lining of your soul
As we make it one last time
To the music of a thousand crickets
Rubbing their hind-legs in applause


She was like a gunslinger of old
Quick on the draw
A master at mind games
Sitting in the garden growing flowers
Playing he loves me he loves me not
And I should have known it was over
When she sent me an e-mail saying
“Beware of Scorpio’s
They will bite you in the ass every time
When you are young
A female smile can get you hard
When you get older that same smile
Can be like walking the last mile
And you know it’s time to move on
When you begin to feel
Like the words to a bad song
The betrayal not the reason
But the last straw
She of loveless love letters
That lay on the page
Like a corpse on a slab
At the morgue

A.D. Winans is an award-winning poet and the former editor and publisher of Second Coming. Awards include a PEN National Josephine Miles Award for excellence in literature, a PEN Oakland Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kathy Acker award in poetry and publishing.