a.d. winans | a call to poets

25 11 2007

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Poetry Dispatch No.151 | January 12, 2007

I’ve been holding this one for awhile, hoping to introduce it with yet another little essay/note regarding the role of “The Beats” on the American poetry scene, past, present, future. In fact, the American culture. Period. Too often they are brushed aside as less than marginal. But…here I go again, without the time this extremely busy week to say again (what I have stated in various essays and poems in the past)…and extend the thought yet a bit more.

Let’s just say, there’s a role, a very important role, for what I might call “the poet as provocateur.”

And I love the thought of poets on top old fashioned soap boxes, yelling their concerns. Something I remember from back in ‘old’ Chicago (Bug House Square) and the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park London.

I’m especially fond of A.D. Winans’ reference Kenneth Patchen, another favorite (see the Blei’s Blog archive, 08/26/2006), not to mention his take on Bukowski—something I’ve been trying to voice to writers for years. Love and enjoy the man for his contribution to the poetry of our times. But forget about becoming Bukowskl. Become yourself. More than yourself. Take a heavy dose of Zen. A walk in the woods. A look at the dark side of the American dream down any mean street. Go back to our country’s literary roots and heartland. Read the poets and writers who make up the rest of the world—those whose names you can’t even pronounce. Find your own way, your own words. Norbert Blei

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A Call to Poets by A.D. Winans

Poets unite
Forget about a career
In poetry
And concentrate on the
Poem
Quit turning out
Factory assembly
Line poems
Quit trying to imitate
Bukowski.
Poets unite
Listen to your brothers
And sisters
Quit being the first poet
To read and the first to leave
Quit using words
As preaching tools
When all over the world
People are starving
Dying and committing genocide
As we stand on stage well fed
Begging for applause
Playing to the audience
Telling our most intimate secrets
Pretending to be knowledgeable
When we know so little
Rams out fucking sheep
Poets playing trick-or-treat
Politicians beating their meat
Whores making it under the sheets
Predators lined-up with elbow grease
Landlords waiting to cancel your lease
It’s gotten so bad
You can’t tell the real
From the elite
Everyone has become a carbon copy
Of themselves
Take a number
Step up on stage
Rattle the cage
Let loose your rage
Be sure to wear your page
(The call you miss may be from God).
As we rival Ringling Brothers
Standing tall standing proud
Working the crowd
Like a carnie hustler
I call for all poets
To put down their poems
For 72 hours
Give up “my space” for a week
Take a Kaufman vow of silence
Help an old woman across the street
Serve a holiday meal at Saint Anthony’s
Quit sending out manuscripts for a month
And spend the saved postage
Helping the homeless
Sell your signed copies of Bukowski
And Ginsberg and give the proceeds
To war victims in Iraq
Pay homage at Malcolm
X’s grave
Hoist one for Robert Kennedy
Ride a boxcar for
Woody Guthrie
Say twelve Hail Mary’s for Ali
Sing a song for Selena
Say a prayer for Allen
Take the Eskimo out
Of Eskimo pie
Scalp Ted Turner with the
Atlanta Brave’s own tomahawk
Rename “Hooters” Bar
“Testicles”
And hire Male waiters
To serve in jockey shorts
Legalize prostitution
Campaign to have cops arrested
For disturbing the peace
Tell the Pope that
You’re giving up drugs and the church
To worship at the
Altar of Walt Whitman
Make Kenneth Patchen required reading
Visit an animal shelter
Save a pet from its owner
Volunteer for meals on wheels
Deliver food to the disabled
Give up center stage ego driven mania
For a trip to the park at dusk
Invest in yourself instead
Of interest bearing bank accounts
Meditate instead of masturbate
Make love instead of fuck
Set fire to Naropa
To prove you’re more than
A poet junkie
Sign a petition to replace Bush
With Bob Dylan
And give America a real high
Take a bookstore owner to dinner
Talk child talk
Translate gibberish
Put ego aside
Quit ingratiating yourself with one poet
At the expense of another poet
Do a soul dance for James Brown
Remember that life is but
A warm-up for the dance to come
Quit visiting the graves
Of Kerouac and Bukowski
Return to the world
Of the living
Put the poet back
Into poetry
Make me want to believe
In you again

“A Call to Poets” was published as a chapbook by Green Bean Press in 2002, republished by 24th Street Irregular Press as a free poetry pamphlet, and later by the same press in a thumb sized poetry booklet release. It has appeared in a number of literary journals both here and abroad. It has been recently slightly revised by the poet to bring it up to date.

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5 responses

13 05 2009
stourleyk

Poem
Quit trying out
Factory assembly
Line poems
Quit turning to imitate
Bukowski. Poets unite
Forget about a career
In poems
Quit turning to imitate
Bukowski. Poets unite
Forget about a career
In poetry
And concentrate on the
Poem
Quit trying out
Factory assembly
Line poems
Quit trying to imitate
Bukowski. Poets unite
Forget about a career
In poems
Quit trying to imitate
Bukowski. Poets unite
Forget about a career
In poetry
And concentrate on the
Poem
Quit trying out
Factory assembly
Line poems
Quit

7 07 2010
A.D.WINANS

not very original.

7 07 2010
Stourley Kracklite

What profit has a man of vanities, said the sun.

13 07 2010
friscokid2010

I only talk to the moon.

14 07 2010
Stourley Kracklite

Astronomers in meditation
Have no need for medication.

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