Lost in a secret language
My head in a song bag of foreign rhythms
Politicians with their Ponzi schemes
Religious leaders shaking their bag of voodoo bones

My mind escapes into the intoxicated dawn
Poems that burst like a ruptured water pipe
Rivers of blood sing their night song
The moon a bloody accomplice
Hides behind a sea of passing black clouds

Buzzards circle our inner cities
Eyes scan the freeways for roadkill
The fragrance of lilies from funeral parlors
Drift through the passing fog bank

Under the sign of Capricorn
I was born into the great depression
Banks stealing parent’s dreams
Lost jobs foreclosed homes
People’s lives collapsed like rows of dominoes

My dreams dead driftwood
Float to a barren shore
The wind sharp as a knife
Nightmares lined up like shots of tequila
At a Mexican brothel

Gone the sweet girls of my teenage hunger
The hot rod of my youth rusted on the side road
Of a lonely ghost town

Pitch black nights where the blind go hunting
And dogs wait with panting tongues
The menfolk with guns and fevered blood
Wait like Jesus returning for the resurrection
The dead stir restlessly in their graves

I long for the days of my youth when
I went to bed to make love
Not for comfort
When lust rang out in the night
Like a distant train whistle
Nights when our flesh sang like
A four-alarm fire

The night stalkers have taken over my dreams
I a magician searching for a room of invisible walls
Through which my dreams may escape

Trump materialism everywhere
All sound drowned out by the money makers
Politicians turned bandits and murderers
Dead children lining our streets
For the gun dealer’s money profits

All changes and nothing changes
The alien smell of death hovers everywhere
The firing squad has not stopped
It’s only taking a break
The only reprieve a detention camp

The Pope passes by in his Popemobile
Tosses rosaries with lifelike Jesus beads
Trailing cars hand out Holy water
Priests of the dollar bathed in green
In league with the executive branch and the judiciary

Our stupefied citizens wrapped like mummies
Walk the streets like zombies
The American Dream dead like rotting fruit on a tree
Pecked at by hungry birds
God relegated to the bedroom clothes closet

America rotting from its ancestral baggage
Nightmares despair and discourse
Nations sold and collapsed the
People rounded up tagged for the
Immaculate money tree

Warriors pitted against Civilians
Army versus navy
Marines versus Air Force
Men versus Women
Politicians versus the Union rank and file
All stumbling in the dark
Like a ghost looking for a door to life

Cops descend on the ghetto
Blow their whistles in unison
Children crying elderly dying
Drowned out by the counting of money
In the bank vaults of America

Bandits dressed in suits and ties
Uniformed murderers weighed down by medals
Long for the lost Cold war
The bones of the dead sing like
Crickets feeding on the moon

NATO gangsters rubbing shoulders
With arms merchants selling intercontinental missiles
Political Leaders play musical chairs
With corn fed lobbyists

Ghost hunters fornicate with mannequins
Dance to a presidential sonnet
Mad doctors perform lobotomies
At the Five-and-Ten store

A petrified shit storm descends on the masses
Form cancer mills in the heartland of America
Leather-clad Priests eye their flock
Sacrifice themselves on the altar of sexual lust
Scientists cook up cures in their labs
Set down new rules:
One is for law and order, two is to judge,
Three is to kill
America divided into three parts:
Mug thug buggery

Disneyland sounds the call
Mickey Mouse the new National Anthem
Good Times Bad times Looney Tune Times
The Revolution dead as the American Dream
Rides the butt end of a cop’s nightstick

Union workers sold out by labor fakers
Backdoor deals and sweetheart contracts
And ruthless lawmakers

Babies born with funeral wreaths around their neck
Songs of Revolution replaced by break dancing
Who will sing for the poor?

Sad dreams encased in cement
The song of misery and despair
Blue-collar workers live for the quitting hour
Subdued into submission

Revolution reduced to the ballot box
Where voter suppression laws mock them
Death sold on the installment plan

Strange voices from a distant galaxy
Speak out to me in a language I can’t speak
With nothing but words for my legacy

Demons take over my sleep
My heart beats bells of revolutions won and lost
The law is only for those who can afford it
The Sheriffs, the cops, the judges
Married in lawlessness

The poor die from wear and tear
Of the body and spirit
the greatest lie of them all
“The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth”

And so we go on assigned bit roles
In a failed one-act play drowned
In Gregorian chants
Given the sky-high diversion
Football, baseball, basketball,
Anywhere, everywhere,
On any given day or night

A nation gone up in smoke
A fireball ignited in the sky
Flesh burned to ashes
The heat a burning cinder

In the Buddha temple of life
All things must die
No tarot cards, horoscopes or incantations
Will bring back the dead

The wind propels me toward my destiny
My boyhood gone like an old jalopy
In an auto junkyard

The rich roast the poor like a pig on a spit
The war machine money makers
Bleed the blood of our youth
Like an undertaker dresses the dead

The Roman Senate proceeds unabated
Turn out gladiators like machinery parts
Endless parades and marching bands
Blue Collar slaves without chains
This nation of criminal politicians

In the shadow of night
I hear the whimpering of pale-skinned women
With silk screen fans in bone white hands
Mothers of the children I will never know

It’s the way of life
It’s the way of rats and rice
It’s the system where just staying alive
Is a small victory


About the author: 

A. D. Winans (1936), is an American poet, essayist, short story writer and publisher. Born in San Francisco, California, he returned home from Panama in 1958, after serving three years in the military. In 1962, he graduated from San Francisco State College.
He made his home away from home in North Beach where he became friends with Beat poets like Bob Kaufman and Jack Micheline.

He was the founder of Second Coming Press, a small press based in San Francisco that published books, poetry broadsides, a magazine, and anthologies. He edited Second Coming Magazine for seventeen years from 1972 to 1989. Winans became friends with Charles Bukowski, whose work he published. He also published Bukowski’s then-girlfriend, Linda King. Other writers he published included Jack Micheline, Bob Kaufman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Levine, Josephine Miles, David Meltzer, Charles Plymell. etc.
In 2002, he published his memoir, Holy Grail: Charles Bukowski & The Second Coming Revolution.




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