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Wednesday, January 09, 2008


by A. D. Winans

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 tossing 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 monkey masturbating 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 their
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 wealthy and overcome with ego
Wandered the streets butter-cheeked
And Crisco greased in search of their
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
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 their
Poetry in between ATM withdrawals
I saw the best minds of my generation cowering
In New York subways on their 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 morgues of America

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet, writer and photographer. He is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose. In 2006 a song poem of his was performed at Alice Tully Hall in NYC. In 2007 he won a PEN Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. Presa Press recently published a book of his Selected Poems, The Other Side Of Broadway.