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COLUMN EIGHTY-SIX, MARCH 1, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

BOOK REVIEWS


 (Copyright " 2003 Joyce Metzger)

    A BASTARD CHILD WITH NO PLACE TO GO by A.D.Winans , 12 Gauge Press, 2002 (p/b 76pp) Original Limited Edition , Cover by A.D. Winans,  Photos: Joel Deutch, Richard Morris and A.D. Winans
Foreword by Jack Micheline

"Beneath everything, above everything, in his work seems a human and humane compassion toward the human drama and its actors and actresses."  --Antler

"Winans disowns much of modern America.  He puts me in mind of that character in Paul Theroux's Mosquito Coast."  --Richard Real, Beat Scene

And we could go on and on; every reader, every editor, publisher, poet, acquaintance, friend, and critic of A.D. Winans will have a different construct of the man, and of the poet.  Winans seems to all, the voice of the "every man," the person on the street, the prisoner calling out obscenities, the lonely, misplaced military youth who awakens dazed, to discover self in an Alien environment, the subject slave to warped thinking.

A.D. Winans is Mr. San Francisco.  Since I am working as a biographer/author on a manuscript for a book with that title, I use the term within a two-fold capacity.  It is a correct aphorism to describe the man, and it reveals within terse conciseness,  A.D.'s dedicated love for his native city.  The other maxim definition I use is "Mr. Walks Tall."  Winans walks tall, never slouches, stares straight ahead as thoughts coalesce, even as he speaks his mind in muted toned sentences. Be assured he is assessing, and cataloguing for future use-reference.

My words are not red-flagged warning signals.  Winans remains an acute judge of character. An effusive word explosion often masks a frivolous mind-set.  A.D. knows this.  Winans has always been a small press activist.  He is a member of PEN, and in the past, A.D. actively participated in the Folsom Prison Writer's Workshop.  He also worked in conjunction with Paul Fericano for several youth poetry groups.  His history of publishing via Second Coming Press, for seventeen years, is well documented.  A.D. has read with Jack Micheline, Bob Kaufman, Todd Lawson, Neeli Cherkovski, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gerald Nicosia, George Tsongas, Wilfredo Castano, Simon Ortiz, Gene Fowler, Eugene Ruggles and many other outstanding, and memorable, poetic voices.

Lady Death, one of A.D.'s poems has been set to music and was performed in April, 2002, at Tully Hall in NYC.

Winans has dedicated his life and word, thoughts and heartbeats, energies and vitality to the promotion of words.  I?m not certain concerning the direction of his thoughts in regards to the title of this book: A Bastard Child With No Place To Go. I suspect A.D. has arrived at the conclusion that we are all "bastard children? after we have opened our eyes and minds to the injustices which contradict the normal apprehension of a supreme being, a super-intelligence which directs all, and everything, including the sadistic actions which exist in this world. "No place to go? might well be his thoughts about where we will go after all has been accomplished, or has been left, undone.  Has he, have we, hit the ultimate; too high, too wide, and too thick, too deeply anchored to dig beneath, wall?  There we are with all illusions shattered, bare-assed, with no place to hide, no place to go.  Could be.  And it just might be that every reader would have to judge for himself or herself about a private interpretation.  You will find here, a beautifully constructed, perfect-bound, packed with the words of A.D. Winans. 

The foreword was written by Jack Micheline, penned on Christmas Day, December 25, 1996, in San Francisco.  In the author's note, A, D, Winans writes; "Not many poets would spend Christmas Day writing a foreword for another poet, but Micheline was always generous with people he considered his friends."  

For d.a. levy
 
It's all a lie
Nothing changes
Poets have become exotic
Merchants of death
And we go on too
Like a tired tongue
Resting between the legs
Of a very bored woman?

* * * 

Early Morning Thoughts
 
down to the Mission District
bars opening their doors
to the living dead
old men slumped over bar stools
with eyes vacant as cattle being
led to the slaughter house?

* * * 

Old Ghosts

old ghosts stand guard
at deserted Playland
at Ocean Beach
 the fat lady laughs
 no more
 the fun house torn down
 like my old high school?

Retrospective haunting.  Memory torment. Contemplative thoughts stir from slumber, as reflections of past connections collide head-on with the present.  Bukowski, Kaufman, Levy, Hooker, Robertson, and O'sullivan.  All are present here, again, for A.D. Winans never forgets his friends.

Order this book.  Keep it.  Read it.  Revisit old haunts. Immerse yourself in an era that will never, return again.  This is excellent, vivid imagery.  Every poem lingers to become a page-turner. This reviewer has written enough.  Order a copy today.  ##

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