The book too, is exactly right, as a book should be made. The poems aren’t tucked in as a filler to the pretentious pages of slick magazines; they are presented in the best selection of typeface, the poems placed correctly on the page. Li Po would have approved. It has the right feel, the right dimension, and the right geography to go back to and turn the pages like wrapping dreams.
Winans and I are about the same age, and we both discovered the Beats in the late 1950s. We both had unconventional childhoods. My best times were in the fifties. We heard the McCarthy hearings in real time. We developed a similar political philosophy somewhere between Li Po and Upton Sinclair.
Like most poets in the Bay Area grown into the sixties there was politics in our poetry. He served time in the service. Mine in the ROTC ... a Clinton/Bush deferment. I arrived in his old middle class neighborhood, the Haight, as the decade of the sixties began, before the kids took over the streets from little Russian ladies. He knew poets I did and the bars they read in, and the magazines they published in. San Francisco was constantly changing, sometimes overnight.
I didn’t know Winans in San Francisco but met him later at an Independent publishing event, “Small Press.” We took part in some of their organizations. We learned how the game was played and over the years watched it change into the “Politburo of Poetry” as all things government do with friends rewarding friends. Over the years, we’ve corresponded and shared our views on poetry, political scams and awards. We spot the phonies and neither of us much cares for labels. We’ve seen “revolutionary” poets & middle class kids get permission to protest. We’ve seen famous poets howl against Moloch and the government only to receive several thousands of government money and keep the Beatnik flack, not black, flying at the landmark tourist bookstore in North Beach. We’ve seen hypocrisy in all flavors in all the poets the city spawned. I’ve often wondered how he sees the invasion on his home turf.
|AD Winans with Jack Micheline|
|Gino and Cralos Bar|
-Charles Plymell on Winans's latest publication
Drowning Like Li Po in a River of Red Wine: Selected Poems 1970-2010 by A.D. Winans
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