a.d. winans | fourth of july poem

A.D. Winans and Senator Robert Kennedy | Photo taken  in 1966 with an old Brownie camera.


stepped on, pissed on
cheated and abused
taken advantage of blue collar man
caught up in the American scam
don’t tell me anyone
can be anything they want to be
if they put their minds to it
bull shit crap laid on like butter
on the working class stiff

save your message for
the deaf dumb and blind
it’ll never sell in the ghetto
or to the immigrants
you’ve turned your back on
high-fiving, jiving court jester
with an act as old as death
out of step reeking from bad breath

take your message to the church
tell it to the men on death row
tell it to the starving poor
tell it to the sick and lame
tell it to the rich folks
tell it to the politicians
tell it to the serial killers
tell it to the bankers
tell it to Wall Street
tell it to the union busters
tell it to the man on the gallows
tell it to the cowardly terrorists
tell it to the last man at the Alamo
tell it to the chiseled faces on Mount Rushmore
tell it to Madonna
tell it to the street whore
tell it to the last wino on the bowery
tell it to the butcher
tell it to the unemployed
tell it to the circus clown
tell it to the insane
tell it to the outlaw
tell it to the in-laws
tell it to the panhandler
tell it to the conman
tell it to the baby found stuffed
in a garbage can
tell it to the displaced factory worker
tell it to the elderly
tell it to the re-po man
tell it to the academics
tell it to the poetry politicians
tell it to the last space alien
hiding out in Roswell
tell it to the militia
tell it to the FBI sharpshooters
at Ruby Ridge
tell it to the arsonists at Waco, Texas
tell it to the junkie with dry heaves
tell it to the farm worker
tell it to the dishwasher
tell it to the orderlies
tell it to the flag waver
tell it to the Chinese peasants
working the rice fields
for a dollar a day
tell it to the garment worker
slaving away in sweat shops in Chinatown
and the Latin Quarter
tell it to the garbage man
tell it to corporate America selling
tortune devices to fascist nations
tell it to big business
tell it to the oil barons
tell it to the tobacco merchants
tell it to the children addicted
to television and video games
tell it to the fur industry
who club live baby seals to death
for the clothing merchants
with blood on their hands
tell it to the molested children
tell it to the battered wives of America
tell it to the pharmacy industry dispensing
billions of dollars of drugs each year
tell it to the millions of people
dying from air pollution in Mexico and abroad
tell it to the man on his deathbed
not sure why he lived or what he is dying for
tell it to Jesus Christ
shout it to the stars
line the traitors up against the wall
rewrite the Ten Commandments
and start all over again

I actually wrote the poem several years ago and few days ago edited and revised it. It was published in a somewhat different version as a broadside by the now defunct Free Thought Press. Editors kept praising it, but said it was too long for them. Even a left wing mag said that. I don’t see how a good poem can ever be too long. –A.D. Winans

5 Replies to “a.d. winans | fourth of july poem”

  1. This needs and audience of millions like Pres Obama’s inagural poem though I can’t recall a word from it. This one I recall the lines well. We need to tell it to the guys with shop vacs trying to suck oil from the marshes here Pelicans can’t fly and evrything will die until not even a cricket will be heard. Fuck the Fourth of July. Hey, that’s a proud shot of you with RFK. What would he do now? Charles Plymell

    • Hey Charlie, I just saw this now. You know how much I admire you and your work so high praise coming from you.

  2. AD:The 4th. of July is my name’s day on the Latvian calendar. Since my father (a painter and architect) could not know the day was Independence Day in America (and we immigrated to the US -in 1949- only after the Russian occupation of the Baltic States). But this day has never had a special meaning for me. I dislike the smell and noise of fireworks. Since I live in a semi -rural house on a lake, the local idiots that set this shit off only pollute my water.

    So your poem has a special ring of what’s really going on Independence Day and every day. And your poem hits all the bases.

    Too long? It only takes a few minutes to read. But a lot longer to consider and shake the images from my mind, if even just for a little while.

    Write, write on, old friend. I’ts the kind of message
    that gives food for thought and asks for the real liberty bell(s) to ring.

    Ulvis Alberts

  3. Al, you already know how much I love and admire this poem. I posted a link to my facebook profile where more people will see it, too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.