a.d. winans | poem for jack micheline on his deathhey Jack
the Poetry Flash finally
gave you some space
even if you had to die for it
they used your name in the same
sentence as genius
funny, when you were alive
you never heard that

the Poetry Flash
the Iowa Review
the Paris Review
the American Poetry Review
this is not poetry
what ever happened to
Whitman’s wild children?

the Holy Grail has gone
the way of grand slams
con games and cheap scams
these people dance
with the dead
they never drank
a cup of thick black coffee
at an all night truck stop diner
or walked with holes
in their shoes
or sang the blues

they shop at Macy’s
browse the Internet
they don’t make love
they fuck
they don’t eat food
they nibble
they don’t drink
they sip
it’s become nothing more
than an ego trip

you won’t find them
in the Mission
in the Tenderloin
or South of Market
or standing in line
at the race track

they drink bottled water
eat sushi
trade favors like
baseball cards
they’re living proof
of mediocrity in the arts

they’re the gravediggers
of the Beats
playing trick-or-treat
they never miss getting
quoted in an obituary
they’re the paparazzi
of the poetry world
always looking for
a photo opportunity

they don’t know the
meaning of shame
to them poetry
is a monopoly game
hungry for money
hungry for power
hungry for fame
these would be mountain men
who set their traps with the skill
of a grave digger

this is the new breed
poetry politician
seasoned alley cats
hiding in sand boxes
sharpening their claws
looking for a back
to scratch
staking out their territory
like a vampire in need
of a fresh fix of blood

their faces are puffy
their handshakes weak
they hover in the shadows
like an undertaker waiting
to dress the dead
beware my friends
don’t die
they’ll be sniffing
at your grave