sitting here feeling like a used car
one part after the other failing me
the aroma of  fresh brewing coffee
wakes my brain cells

the drought laughs at the masses
teases them with a light drizzle
picture of an old lover stares at me
from its place on the mantle
her smile warm as the campfire

I sat around as a child
my room a dust garden
my hamstring pull refuses to address
the promised golden years drown
in quicksand

Israel and Palestine engaged in endless war
Putin playing death games in Moscow
proof the cave man still lives inside us

fields toiled by immigrants
now treated like criminals
the elderly a liability

the young puppets in a political game
poets once warriors on skateboards
now prisoners of pride and envy

I take refuge in the soft raindrops
the peace of solitude rides my veins
like a steamship treading calm waters

the garden of my mind is still green
poems wait to be planted in fertile soil
no drought can kill

At Eighty

At 80

You realize
You’re not immortal
Parents long buried
Friends fallen by the wayside
Like spring leaves from an aging tree
Arthritic Bones that creak and moan
Mile walks turned to blocks

The year’s race by like
A track sprinter
Bring me to my mother’s grave
Her tombstone chipped
The words fading

No such fate for me
I’ll go the way of the Indian
My flesh given to flames
No dirt No worms
No suffocating box

Ashes and bone my fate
Monterey or San Francisco Bay

The sunset my head stone
My poems my marker


He was the original
Jack the Ripper
He was the tormentor
Of John Bryan

He was the villain
Of women’s lib
He was the last hope
Of the down and out

He was a Third Reich monster
He was a Hindu Guru
He wrote Harold Norse
Get well cards

He tormented his enemies
He frustrated his friends
He wrote poems in the shit houses
Of America

He wrote poems in the ballet
Of his sleep
He wrote Harold Norse
Get well cards

All he was folks was
The best show in town
Holy Priest Circus clown
The best act around

He was a Roman sonnet
He was an Irish ballad
He was the best Cesar salad
In a gourmet restaurant

He had the face of a moon crater
The stomach of a wheelbarrow
The heart of a whore
Which is more than you can say
For 90% of the poet’s around

He dug Brahms
He dug Beethoven
He was the heavyweight champion
Of Los Angeles
He was the Chaplin of San Pedro
He was stalked by the minor poet’s
Of San Francisco and Los Angeles
And the soft-boiled egg eaters
Of the Café Trieste
He was a rainbow of watercolors
Mixed in with one too many
Sunday morning hangovers

He loved boxing
He loved his daughter
He loved his women

He was an antique book
In a broken down hotel
He was a bottle of aspirin
In an empty water glass
He wrote Harold Norse
Get well cards

All he was folks was
The best damn show
In town



at eighty years two months
the sun beats down on me
like the gleam in the eye
of a butcher lowering a hammer
on the head of an unsuspecting cow
being led to the slaughterhouse

the memories circle me like
old time Indians circling
a wagon train

I walk backwards into my birth
each new year like
a sharpened knife in the hands
of a trembling surgeon

lost in insomnia like a blind man
walking a dark road in
the dead of night

waking like a shotgun blast
in a killing field
lost in a language
I can not translate

the priest passes
the collection plate
rejects my confession
my sins laid out like
a sea of stars in
a far away constellation

all my poet friends take sides
purity versus the hucksters
God's choir plays bagpipes
refuse to play referee

the creaking coasters
of my grandfather's rocking chair
sing in my one good ear

the Holy Ghost devours
me like a python
my childhood like a bat
in a dark cave waits for God
to come out of the closet
and deliver the long
promised resurrection

"I'm Not A Man" Harold Norse poem read by A.D. Winans

Harold Norse's celebrated poem "I'm Not A Man" read by poet A.D. Winans on  5/10/2015 from:
I Am Going to Fly Through Glass: Selected Poems of Harold Norse

Read More HERE

I'm not a man, I can't earn a living, buy new things for my family.
I have acne and a small peter.

I'm not a man. I don't like football, boxing and cars.
I like to express my feeling. I even like to put an arm
around my friend's shoulder.

I'm not a man. I won't play the role assigned to me—the role created
by Madison Avenue, Playboy, Hollywood and Oliver Cromwell.
Television does not dictate my behavior.

I'm not a man. Once when I shot a squirrel I swore that I would
never kill again. I gave up meat. The sight of blood makes me sick.
I like flowers.

I'm not a man. I went to prison resisting the draft. I do not fight
when real men beat me up and call me queer. I dislike violence.

I'm not a man. I have never raped a woman. I don't hate blacks.
I do not get emotional when the flag is waved. I do not think I should
love America or leave it. I think I should laugh at it.

I’m not a man. I have never had the clap.

I'm not a man. Playboy is not my favorite magazine.

I'm not a man. I cry when I'm unhappy.

I'm not a man. I do not feel superior to women

I'm not a man. I don't wear a jockstrap.

I'm not a man. I write poetry.

I'm not a man. I meditate on peace and love.

I'm not a man. I don't want to destroy you.

-SanFran, CA 1972

The Man You Don't Want to See

He’s a cheap trick puffing
On a cigarette
You can find him at the jukebox
Or at the pool table
Looking for an easy mark

He’s a cashiered soldier
He’s a second-rate Don Juan
He’s the man behind the cage
He’s the smile you see on cable TV
He has his nose up the ass
He’s a jack of all trades
He’s as old as mankind
In search of a battle zone
A boner without a bone
He’s a sex addict
Hiding under your bed
A towel man cleaning up semen
From a brothel bed

Reciting the 23rd Psalm
He’s the difference between
Night and Day
A Preacher who sells options
On how to pray

In a downtown pawnshop
He’s a weather-beaten cop
Dining on mashed potatoes
And pork chops

Intent on winning over you and me
He’s into Yoga and a master of Zen
He’s the food in a pigpen

Of anyone who can do him a favor
He comes in 28 different flavors
He’s the stain left behind
In the church pew
He’s a masturbating monkey
In the zoo

Dressed in designed jeans
And wearing dark shades

A cheap treasure find
He’s the man you never want to see
When you wake in the morning
And see yourself in the mirror



Poem about Feelings written by local Prisoner Published by AD Winans

I published many prison poets when I published Second Coming
from 1972-89. William Wantling was one of the best of them.
His statement here express my own feelings on poetry. AD Winans
I’ve got to be honest. I can
make good music and rhyme
at the right times and fit words
together to give people pleasure
and even sometimes take their
breath away---but it always
somehow turns out kind of phony
Consonance and assonance and inner
rhyme won’t make up for the fact
that I can’t figure out how to get
down on paper the real of the true
which we call Life. Like the other
day I was walking
on the lower exercise yard here
at San Quentin and this cat called
Turk came up to a friend of mine
and said Ernie, I hear you’re
shooting on my kid. And Ernie
told him so what, punk? And Turk
pulled out his his stuff and shanked
Ernie in the gut only Ernie had a
metal tray in his shirt. Turk’s
shank bounced right off him and
Ernie pulled his stuff out and of
course Turk didn't have a tray and
caught it dead in the chest, a bad
one, and the blood that came to his
lips was a bright pink, lung blood,
and he just lay down in the grass
and said, “Shit. Fuck it. Sheeit,
Fuck it. And he laughed a soft long
laugh, 5 minutes, then died. Now
what could consonance or assonance or
even rhyme do with something like that?

The Inauguration ceremony Poet Laureates in San Fran

Winans and Vargas

Poem for Ginsberg

Poem For Allen Ginsberg
I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by success and greed
Smug fashionable poets turned businessmen
Who rode the National Endowment For the Arts
Pimp train, ignoring Captain Cool and his magic airplane
I saw the best minds of my generation loitering
At closed down amusement parks
Disguised as hobo tramps standing in long lines
In hope of becoming a Southern Pacific Railway detective
Self-proclaimed geniuses who tossed restlessly in their sleep
Like a pair of naked dice on a worn Las Vegas craps table
Their ragged claws scraping at death’s window ledge
I saw the best minds of my generation
Lying lifeless in glass coffins
Hands folded in gratification
Their vacant eyes blinking like a pinball machine
I saw the best minds of my generation
Hanging out at Broadway topless bars
Searching for paradise, fat and content
Smoking Tijuana slims
Stone-faced magicians on their way to the graveyard
Three steps behind the screaming monkey grinder
With the one-eyed masturbating monkey on his back
I saw the best minds of my generation
Looking like James Bond understudies
Cruising the casinos of Reno and Las Vegas
In between being chauffeured through the
Neon lit streets of Atlantic City
Looking for the Now, Wow vision of there
Personal Zen masters
Pretty-faced aging celebrities
Hungry for the admiration connection
Who carried the star fuck media message
Inside their chemically induced minds
Who overcome with ego wandered
the streets butter-cheeked
And Crisco greased in search of there
15 minutes of fame
I saw the best minds of my generation
Walking down Hollywood and Vine
Tossing and turning in exclusive spas
Ignoring the long lines of hungry eyes
Waiting to devour them
Who floated across congested Los Angeles freeways
Looking for the right off-ramp
Stopping to partake the pleasure of heated
Swimming pools and Roman orgy bath houses
All the time contemplating their navels
And recording contracts
I saw the best minds of my generation
Bare their not so tight assholes
To aging agents wrapped in silk sheets
Autographed by the King of the Beats
I saw the best minds of my generation
Gangbanging ageless groupies
From San Francisco to New York and back
While accumulating frequent flyer miles
Sad-eyed space cadets from the Gregory
Corso School of bad boys

Photo by Ginger Killian Eades

I saw the best minds of my generation
Expelled from luxury hotels for writing
Bad graffiti in the men’s room
Who necked in the back alley of Gino
And Carlo’s bar while hawking there
Poetry in between ATM withdrawals
I saw the best minds of my generation cowering
In New York subways
on there way to literary parties
Lusting after host and hostess alike
I saw the best minds of my generation
Standing naked in fear
Burning out there counterfeit talent
At Sardi’s and Elaine’s
As the final hours came closing in on them
I saw the best minds of my generation
Listen in terror as the 4-walls came crashing
Down on them
Lady obscurity coming to claim them
Like a faceless hat check girl
Let loose in the morgue’s of America