Back from an MRI and At 80

by | Dec 20, 2016 | Poetry

 

BACK FROM AN MRI

Back from an MRI brain scan
I listen to a Miles Davis album
Black Hawk San Francisco 1962
Where a young Latina
And I grooved on the vibes

Here at home
Jazz in my head jazz in my bed
Jazz waking up the dead

Miles, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young
Serenade an army of poets
Sitting on my bookshelf

T.S. Eliot playing the banker
Walt Whitman walking the battlefields
Williams Carlos Williams suturing wounds
Kaufman walking the streets of New York
Juggling a “Golden Sardine”
Sings A duet with Billie Holiday

Blake playing cards with God
Lorca playing Russian Roulette
Micheline dancing with Mingus
Gary Snyder building word bridges
And suddenly I’m not alone anymore
The words falling like soft rain
In a winter green garden

 

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

 

A.D. Winans is an award winning San Francisco poet and writer. His work has appeared internationally and has been translated into 8 languages. He edited and published Second Coming Press from 1972-1989. In 2006 he won a PEN National Josephine Miles Award for excellence in literature. In 2009 PEN Oakland Presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009 he was presented with a Kathy Acker award in poetry and publishing.

 

 

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